This year’s study also includes special reports on the impact of mobile technology and social media on news. Those reports, which feature new survey data, finds that rather than replacing media consumption on digital devices, people who go mobile are getting news on all their devices. They also appear to be getting it more often, and reading for longer periods of time. For example, about a third, 34%, of desktop/laptop news consumers now also get news on a smartphone. About a quarter, 27%, of smartphone news consumers also get news on a tablet. These digital news omnivores are also a large percentage of the smart phone/tablet population. And most of those individuals (78%) still get news on the desktop or laptop as well.
A PEJ survey of more than 3,000 adults also finds that the reputation or brand of a news organization, a very traditional idea, is the most important factor in determining where consumers go for news, and that is even truer on mobile devices than on laptops or desktops. Indeed, despite the explosion in social media use through the likes of Facebook and Twitter, recommendations from friends are not a major factor yet in steering news consumption.
In the post-PC present, we have news up the ying, exploding out of all our devices like volcanic magma. But the Pew verbiage about who profits misses an essential point — typified by the ‘news consumption’ viewpoint they still espouse — we have moved away from audience-centered media to experience-centered media. The experience is what matters, so that’s why the value shifts to the tools we use to use information shaped by the news form factor. Using information is not equivalent to ‘consuming media’, but the media companies don’t get it.
The new media folks desperately want to write for some hypothetical audience, one they can find the center of. They are like border collies, wired to herd sheep and frantic if they can’t find any.
Read the full report.
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Web anthropologist, futurist, author. My focus is the future, and the tectonic forces pushing business, media, and society into an unclear and accelerating future. more.
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GigaOM Research analyst and curator.
Also writing beaconstreets.com.
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