[皮尤研究中心]移动时代新闻消费:新闻业的好消息

皮尤研究中心近期选取了3000多名美国成年人进行了一项有关移动时代新闻消费的研究,他们发现了移动时代新闻消费的一些利好的趋势,新闻业在移动时代应当“比PC时代做更好的工作”以适应读者的需求。具体说来,这些趋势包括:

  • 人们越来越倾向于使用多平台来看新闻;
  • 使用移动设备的人花在新闻消费上的时间更长;
  • 新闻组织的声誉在移动时代比在PC上更加重要,它决定了人们是否看你的新闻;
  • 虽然我们进入社交时代,但在新闻消费上人们同伴影响并不占主导;
  • 移动时代人们在新闻类APP上花的时间、看的页数、重访率都要高于传统PC;
  • 人们在移动设备上阅读长篇新闻报道的几率增加;
  • 移动时代人们获取新闻的主要方式是直接前往媒介网站或使用其APP。

Mobile Devices and News Consumption: Some Good Signs for Journalism

By Amy Mitchell & Tom Rosenstiel of PEJ, and Leah Christian of the Pew Research Center
Read more from Pew

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The migration of audiences toward digital news advanced to a new level in 2011 and early 2012, the era of mobile and multidigital devices.  More than three-quarters of U.S. adults own laptop or desktop computers, a number that has been stable for some years.1 Now, in addition, 44% of adults own a smartphone, and the number of tablet owners grew by about 50% since the summer of 2011, to 18% of Americans over age 18.

Each of these technologies offers a separate set of features, conveniences and potential uses. But less is known to date about how people use these devices — whether they behave differently on different platforms and what the move to mobile might mean for news and journalism and the notion of a common experience or public square. Past research found much of the desktop news experience was built around search — people looking for what they need or want to know right now, which tilted influence (and revenue) toward aggregators such as Google. To what degree is that true in mobile? Have apps (or applications) and social media networks altered that? And do consumers favor one way of accessing news on their tablet, another their desktop and yet another on a smartphone?
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A new survey of more than 3,000 U.S. adults by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism finds that rather than gravitating toward one device, a growing number of Americans are becoming multiplatform digital news consumers. These “digital mavens” get news on all their devices — and even more so if they own all three types of devices. In other words, digital devices appear to be an additive experience.

The data also find 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.

There are some signs that the way people interact with news on mobile devices is quite different than news behavior on the desktop/laptop computers. Data from Localytics, a client-based mobile analytics firm, analyzed by PEJ reveals that people spend far more time with news apps on the smartphone and tablet, visit more pages at a sitting, and return more frequently than they do on conventional computers. That data reinforce findings from previous PEJ research in 2011 that people read more long-form news articles and go to new news sources on tablets.

Taken all together, the growing body of data suggests that the move toward mobile holds some promising options for news producers, including increasing the amount of overall news being consumed.

To capitalize on that potential, however, the industry will need to do a better job than it did in the desktop realm of quickly coming to understand audience behavior and developing technology and revenue models to adapt to it.

Among the major findings of this research:

  • The majority of Americans now get news through at least one digital, web-based device. While the desktop or laptop computer remains the primary digital platform for news (54% of Americans get news there), the number of consumers who get news on multiple digital devices is growing.  Nearly a quarter of U.S. adults, 23%, now get news on at least two devices–a desktop/laptop computer and smartphone, a computer and a tablet, a tablet and a smartphone, or on all three.
  • The most common way that people get news is by going directly to a news organization’s website or app. About a third of desktop/laptop news consumers and smartphone news consumers get news this way “very often.” Even more tablet news users, 38%, follow this path.  On desktop/laptop computers, going to a news site directly is statistically tied with search (30%). Yet even these numbers may understate those seeking out news home pages. Previous PEJ studies have shown that many people who access news through search engines are typing in some variation of the home page name, not searching by topic across different news sources.
  • Social media, while clearly a part of the digital news experience, is not nearly the driver of news that many have suggested.  Just 9% of digital news consumers follow news recommendations from either Facebook or Twitter “very often” on at least one of the devices asked about here. Of the two networks, Facebook garners about twice as many news followers than Twitter. Still, though, the rapid growth is striking. As written about in the Digital chapter of this report the percent of traffic that comes to news sites from social media platforms increased 57% since 2009.
  • For those who get news on both the smartphone and tablet, social networking is a much more popular way to get news. Among that group (13% of all digital news consumers), fully two-thirds (67%) have ever gotten news recommendations from Facebook. That compares to 59% who get news on just one of those devices and 41% who only get digital news via the desktop/laptop.  Similarly, 39% follow news recommendations on Twitter, compared with 24% who just use a smartphone or a tablet and 9% who use only the desktop/laptop.
  • Consumers who still only get digital news on the desktop/laptop computer have a very different set of behaviors. This group is less likely to get news in any of the ways asked about in the survey than those who get some digital news on a smartphone, a tablet or both. Only about half (48%) get news using key word search “very or somewhat often” compared with at least 70% of those who use a smartphone, tablet or both for news. Similarly, 54% go directly to news websites or apps somewhat or very often, while 80% or more of those who get news on other devices do so.
  • Commercial data tracking online usage reinforce the findings of this survey. Localytics shared its proprietary data with researchers involved in this study, and that information shows that people using mobile devices tend to spend more time with news on mobile devices than they do on computers. They go to news sites more often, spend more time per session and read more articles per session.

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Ownership
More than three-quarters of U.S. adults (77%) own a laptop or desktop computer. That number has remained stable since 2007.

What is growing now instead is mobile. Fully 44% of adults own a smartphone, and a little less than half of that number own tablet computers (18%). That tablet ownership grew 50% from the summer of 2011 when it was at 11% to January of 2012 when this survey was taken.

Much of this mobile ownership is occurring among computer owners who are adding mobile devices to their digital collection. And in many cases they have added both smartphones and tablets.

Over half, 52%, of desktop/laptop owners now also own a smartphone and roughly a quarter, 23%, own a tablet computer (while 43% own just the desktop/laptop computer).
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Smartphone owners are even more likely than others to be digital omnivores. Almost a third (31%) of those who own smartphones also own a tablet computer. And more than one in ten Americans, 13%, now own all three.
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News Use on Digital Devices
The data also reveal that news is a substantial part of what people do on each of these devices. Fully 70% of desktop/laptop owners report getting news on their computers. Half of smartphone owners (51%) use their phones for news. A majority of tablet owners (56%) use the devices for news.  (A third of all U.S. adults, 32%, gets news digitally only on a laptop or desktop.)
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The evidence also increasingly hints that the level of news consumption on mobile devices is especially heavy. For instance, the 56% of tablet owners who say they get news on those devices is on par with the percentage who in our 2011 survey said they get news on their tablet every day (53%). And the data from the mobile analytics firm Localytics, which are discussed more below, offer further evidence that people use mobile devices for news more often and for longer sessions.

Many analysts have wondered whether the release of lower-cost versions like the Kindle Fire at the end of 2011 would alter the population and decrease the portion of news users. The survey data suggest that a solid portion of the tablet population still uses the new device for news.

For most with multiple devices, there is not a single place for news. People who acquire mobile devices appear to be using them to get news on all their devices. This also suggests they may be getting more news more often. 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. While this smartphone/tablet news consumer group is small, just 6% of the population over all, it is a large percentage of those who own smartphones and tablets; fully 44% of people who own both kinds of devices use both for news.  What’s more, most of those individuals (78%) still get news on the desktop or laptop as well.
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While there is no single digital news device, there is a primary one. For now, the desktop/laptop still reigns as the place people get most of their digital news. Fully 82% of people who get news on a computer say that is where they get most of their digital news.  But much of that may mainly come from the computer being their only digital option. Again, about half of that group (43% of all desktop/laptop owners) does not own another device.

When people add mobile devices to their digital inventory, the research suggests these newer devices begin to be their primary digital news source.

Smartphone news users are now nearly split between their laptop and smartphone as their primary news platform; 46% still get most of their news on the desktop/laptop; 45% get most on their smartphone. Another 7% of these smartphone owners say they get most of their news on a tablet. Early tablet news users are moving in the same direction, but remain somewhat more reliant on the laptop or desktop computer. Of tablet owners, 47% still get most of their digital news via desktops or laptops, while a third, 34%, have already transitioned to consuming most of their news on the tablet.
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And how about the cross-mobile omnivores? Of that small but growing population, the 6% of adults who get news on a smartphone and tablet, their behavior was similar. Over all, 43% of this most connected group said they still get most of their digital news on the desktop/laptop while the smartphone and tablet draw equal crowds, 27% each.

In short, as we have seen with other technology shifts, consumers are drawn to newer forms and may even make them their primary mode, but they are not abandoning older forms altogether. Instead their news experience widens and deepens.


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