Online News Viewing Cuts into Cable Viewership

Source: eMarketer, JAN 16, 2013

Cord-cutting and mobile foster more digital news consumption

Cable news shows may be seeing a dip in viewership among digital-savvy US consumers. According to a January survey by AYTM Market Research, 37% of internet users surveyed said they watched less cable TV news than they did five years earlier. The survey points to both online news sites and online video clips as drawing more attention from news seekers.

Online news reading has become a commonplace activity among US consumers, with the frequency of online news reading having passed that of cable TV news watching, according to the survey. While 39% of respondents said they read online news every day, only 25% said they watched cable TV news every day. Moreover, a mere 4% said they never read news online, compared with nearly 20% who said they never watched cable TV news.

Despite the popularity of reading news online, watching video news content on the internet may have an even greater effect on whether consumers tune in to cable TV news or not. More than half of internet users surveyed said they watched news clips online—45% watched short video clips, 19% live-streamed video, and 14% viewed full online news shows.

Cable TV cord-cutting plays a likely role in consumers’ decreased interest in cable TV news and growing viewership and reading of online news. Additionally, mobile news snacking has affected the way consumers get their news. According to September research on mobile news consumption by mobile ad network Mojiva, 42% of US smartphone owners and 40% of tablet owners considered their laptop or desktop computers their primary news source. The Mojiva data suggests that mobile device owners consume news more often through digital means than they do via cable or network TV.

When it comes to accessing mobile news, Mojiva data also found that tablet and smartphone owners were roughly split when it came to receiving mobile news through the mobile browser or a mobile app. Based on mobile device behavior, it’s likely that mobile users snack on bite-sized news items during the day. These users want and expect news to find them wherever they might be, and on whatever device they might be using.

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