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10 Things You Need To Know About Digital Media in 2013

by Jane Susskind, published

digital_media_in_2013 Print is out, touch screen is in. Here's what you need to know about digital media in 2013. Image: Shutterstock, Yeko Photo Studio

As you read this online or on your phone, consider how the state of the media has changed in the last year.

One-third of users worldwide now get news on at least two digital devices. Search and social media are becoming leading gateways to online news, with 30% of Americans now finding news through social networks. Since 2012, the percent of consumers accessing news on a tablet device jumped from 11% to 16% in the US.

While consumers around the world, including the United States, still cling to traditional modes of media like newspapers and television, the overall message is clear: the future of news is digital. Share on Twitter:  Tweet

To back it up, here are 10 facts from the Reuters Institute Digital News Report of 2013:

1. "Second Screens" Are In: 33% of consumers get news on at least two digital devices.

2. TV vs. Online News: In the battle between digital and traditional media, age matters, with younger audiences increasingly citing the Internet as their main source for news.

digital_Media_2013 "For ‘under 45s’ – almost half the population – the internet is now the MAIN source of news as well as their most frequently accessed source."

3. Information is Free, For Now: Only 5% of respondents said they paid for digital news.

Note: Most news sources do not yet charge for online access, slightly skewing this statistic, but in the event that sites are forced to monetize beyond ad revenue, consumers unwillingness to pay for information online could be troubling.

4. Social is the New Search: In the US, 47% of "under 45 year olds" think social media is more important than search in finding news. In the UK, that number drops to 27%, but in both countries, the percentage of "over 45 year olds" picking social over search is drastically lower.

5. Newsflash: People want impartial news, with 68% of U.S. respondents favoring news with no particular point of view over news that shares his/her viewpoint or news that challenges his/her viewpoint.

6. We Don't Just Listen, We Participate: Around one-fifth of Americans, 21% of respondents in the US, comment on a news story in any given week.

7. New Types of News: News no longer refers to your traditional image/text format. Short video clips and streaming of live news online is becoming increasingly popular, with the United States leading the way with the largest amount of short form videos being consumed online (accounting for 27% of news consumption).

8. Live-Blogs: 40% of consumers think that live-blogs are more balanced than article pages because they give a range of opinions. What do you think?

digital_media_in_2013_liveblog *These numbers represent UK news consumers and do not include analysis from United States respondents.

9. Your Phone Matters: In the US, there is a notable relationship between iPhone users and sharing, with users on an Apple smartphone 41% more likely to share news that other digital users.

10. All Politics Is Local: In the U.S., local news remains the most important news to the individual, with 59% of respondents expressing interest in this type of news (ranking higher than any other type of news).

How have you seen the state of the media change in the last year? Share your thoughts in the COMMENTS below.

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