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A story in the Guardian about the launch of WSJ’s City app last week got us thinking about how the news environment is evolving, and how the nature of news competition is changing too.
The UK has one of the most competitive Press environments in the world. However, the appetite for print media is declining, and newspaper sales are falling fast. But does this mean that interest in the news has decreased?
Without a doubt, traditional news brands continue to dominate the market but there has been a shift in how we consume news from these outlets, and that shift has been digital.
The media has become part of a complex ecosystem whereby we are able to access news through more devices than ever before. The growth of smartphones and tablets in the past few years has significantly increased the level of cross-device news consumption.
A recent study carried out by The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at The University of Oxford revealed some fascinating findings about how we consume news in the UK.
When it comes to reading news online, 59 per cen% of us tend to use a computer, 42 per cent use our smart phones and 31 per cent use a tablet. The desktop computer is experiencing a decline, although it continues to be the most used, whereas there is a quickening pace towards social and mobile use which continues to grow.
Online content is more personal, more interactive, more tailored to your news interests, and more up-to-date
Out of all the countries analysed, the UK is the only country where people are more likely (46 per cent) to read news through an app, compared to a web browser (40 per cent) on their mobile phones and tablets, showing just how important the news app environment is becoming in the UK in particular.
That’s not to say Brits don’t value traditional news outlets, such as TV, newspapers and radio. Most people over 45 years haven’t changed their core habits, but instead have diversified them by adding online news into the mix.
There has been a fundamental shift from broadcast models from the past. Although TV news and print newspapers are still the key media, online content is more personal, more interactive, more tailored to your news interests, and more up-to-date.
The smartphone is emerging to be the defining devise for digital news consumption, a trend that has become ever more significant in the past 12 months, with apps offering a slicker and faster experience for news consumers.