Monday, 18 June 2018 10:29

Nearly 60% Australians read news on smartphones: Reuters study Featured

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Fifty-eight percent of those who consume news in Australia do so on their smartphones, the first time this percentage has overtaken the consumption on computers and tablets, according to the seventh annual Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2018.

The survey covered more than 74,000 people in 37 markets with 2026 people being interviewed in Australia. This report will only cover the Australian findings; the full report can be downloaded free here.

Advertising continued to shift online, with 50% of the total ad spend going to online platforms. Of this the majority went to Google and Facebook. The report also said there was an increase in mobile advertising, with ads on social media now a rival to TV ads when it came to affecting buying decisions.

reuters study

The report said two-thirds of news consumers continued to watch television news.

A significant uptick was recorded when it came to general trust in news, with the figure going up from 42% in 2017 to 50% in 2018.

But trust in social media for news was low at 24%, with the study authors commenting that this "possibly reflects a growing awareness of a distinction between quality journalism and ‘fake news’."

reuters study twoAs far as trust in brands went, ABC News scored 7.23 out of a possible maximum score of 10, with SBS News second at 7.1. The Australian Financial Review was third with a score of 6.86.

The report found that 20% of consumers now pay for their news, an increase of 7% over the previous report. In the rankings for paying for online news, Australia was fifth out of 37 countries polled.

The report also found that 30% of Australian consumers use an ad blocker, an increase of 6% over 2017. Country-wise, Australia was ranked 12th among 37 countries surveyed.

Eighty-two percent said that online sources, including social media, were their main news sources, up from 78% two years ago. The percentage using print fell from 38% in 2016 to 36% in 2018. Percentages for TV and social media were more or less unchanged.

Photo and graphics: courtesy Reuters

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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