3 PR Takeaways From Pew’s News Media Report

social-media-strategy-600x400Pew Research Center’s State of the News Media report for 2015 offers an informative snapshot into Americans’ news consumption habits. When, how and what type of news we read says a lot about how we function as a society, how our values are shaped and what influences our opinions.

PR pros can learn a lot from this year’s survey. Evolving media trends pose a challenge when it comes to finding and keeping audiences. Knowing the direction in which information trends are moving can mean the difference between having your brand get noticed, mentioned and covered or left in the dust.

With that in mind, here are some of the more eye-catching items from this year’s Pew report:

  • The shrinking cable news audience. Total cable news viewership is down 7 percent, the largest audience dip since 2010. Revenues remain strong for the corporations behind Fox, CNN and MSNBC, but, as more people walk away from pay TV in favor of other more individualized options, the audience will continue to shrink.
  • Podcasting continues to grow. The rise of podcast consumption is impressive by every measure. The percentage of Americans who have listened to a podcast in the previous month has doubled since 2008. One-third of all Americans over age 12 have listened to a podcast at least once. And podcast awareness has doubled since 2006, with 49 percent of all Americans aware of podcasts as an information option.
  • Mobile use is up, but desktop holds audiences longer. We all know that mobile news consumption is on the rise. Thirty-nine of the top 50 digital news websites get more traffic from mobile than desktop computers. However, desktop visitors spend more time per visit on half of these sites.

Follow Richard Brownell on Twitter: @RickBrownell