Digital News in UK Are Read on Mobiles
UK citizens seem to be abandoning PCs as their main method to access news, switching to updates on various mobile devices. According to the research carried out by Oxford University’s Reuters Institute, the proportion of readers who mostly rely on a desktop PC to get news on the Internet has fallen by 23 percentage points over the year and totaled to 57%.Now smartphones are used to access digital news for 24% (which is up 11 percentage points over the same period), and tablets for 16%, which is also up 11 percentage points. The authors of the report admit that such shift in hardware is part of a broader change, which may have potentially profound effects for society.
The results of the research point out that there was a so-called “echo chamber” effect, because mobile consumers tend to rely on increasingly narrow sources to make sense of the explosion of choice on the Internet. According to Dr David Levy, director of the Reuters Institute, in some countries, including the United Kingdom, the established news brands have retained their loyalty in the more competitive web environment. However, the rapid growth of social media may be the way to discover and consume news content, which would have a range of possible ramifications.
The research points out that while choice proliferates, news consumption may narrow. The matter is that reliance on recommendations from like-minded friends could result in people being less exposed to a broad news agenda.
According to the report, some UK readers are increasingly committed to news providers amid the rapid change. Of those consumers who buy digital news, 63% do so via a recurring subscription – this figure was only 42% last year. In most cases, a selling point is the reputations of individual reporters and commentators.