Social Media Trumps News Sites
Due to various major events of the last few years, including the global economic crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Ukraine war, there have been high accelerations in the digital world that have caused business models, formats of journalism, and media consumption methods to experience structural alterations.
It was discovered that many consumers have been reevaluating how much they can afford to spend on news media due to the tight household spending that resulted from the economic crisis. The Reuters Institute conducted detailed research in the US, UK, and Germany with customers who maintained, started, and cancelled subscriptions in the previous year to understand the reasons behind their decisions.
The Decline of News Media Subscriptions
Traditional media consumption has declined in many markets, with online and social media filling the void. The increase in the influence of tech platforms has been a struggle for news publishers over the last decade. Audiences have chosen to access news materials by directly navigating to the website via a search engine. The cost pressure is a major reason for people to cancel their news subscriptions since it wasn’t affordable, or they simply didn’t have enough time. Besides going straight to the news source through search engines, a huge audience (mainly younger people) has resorted to getting their information from social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. Further information can be found at https://reutersinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk/digital-news-report/2023/dnr-executive-summary
The Current News Outlets
Social Media has evolved to play a major role in today’s news delivery. Between 2016 and 2019, the sharing market was mostly fueled by Facebook and controversial events like Donald Trump’s election in the United States and the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom. Facebook is still one of the most popular social networks worldwide, but it lacks in the news department, which has resulted in its waning influence on journalism. For users under the age of 25, their focus has shifted to Instagram, then Snapchat, and finally TikTok.
Facebook’s dominion is still thriving. Its popularity stems from its user-friendly interface, the “Marketplace” for buying and selling items, and the “Messenger” app to keep in touch with friends and family. YouTube is hard on its heels. It is also the second-largest search engine after Google. It has grown to become the major source of news since TV stations like CNN, BBC, NBC, CBS, and Al Jazeera are associated with it. It is a great platform for communicating with a large audience and offers educational information to students, entertainment, and news. Instagram is known for providing more visual content, which makes it a very appealing platform. Its reel algorithm and feed collaborate creatively to provide users with fresh and engaging content. Finally, the controversial Chinese-owned app TikTok has surpassed Twitter and Snapchat and now has a similar audience size to Facebook. Additionally, they also use Twitch (12%) and Discord (15%) more frequently than other social networks.
Popular Consumption Trends
This isn’t an era where we can always resort to using the same methods. Every year, there is something new that people must adapt to in the digital world. As mentioned before, people have resorted to using search engines to access what they want directly, saving them the hassle of having to deal with subscriptions. News platforms that require their customers to pay can survive the fall if they reduce their prices and offer special trials.
Younger demographics watch disproportionately more news videos on social networks than they do on news websites or apps. Many Instagram reels and YouTube Shorts deliver the important portions of events in just a few minutes. Reels and Shorts are ideal and simple tactics for news companies to gain recognition by producing short, interactive, and engaging videos about worldly events. The best thing about the social media platforms that were mentioned is that they are totally free. Anyone can keep in touch with global information as long as they have an internet connection and social media applications.
Besides engaging video content, the popularity of audio news has increased recently because of shifting consumer preferences, better-quality material, and improved monetization. News publishers have started investing in podcasts because this inexpensive method can be used to establish lasting relationships and attract younger audiences. Some popular news podcasts include ABC News and BBC Radio Podcasts. Other local or global news companies produce audio content with Spotify or Apple podcasts. News podcasts have the ability to rejuvenate journalistic content because they can expand content distribution, deepen coverage of worldly issues, and produce a new source of revenue.
Even if bringing traffic to websites and apps is an important objective for business models, building relationships and communities also requires using other platforms and channels with reliable information. The most common feature that has popularized most social media apps is video and audio content. Customers want to access real material in the quickest and easiest manner; therefore, using the latest methods available on social media platforms to deliver the current happenings of the world is a smart way to highlight a brand’s name.