Types and Formats of News Consumed Online

A key question for researchers and news organisations relates to the types and formats of news consumed online. Many news organisations are now putting significant resources into creating and curating live blog pages, which they update throughout the day for major news events. There is also more and more expensive audio video content being produced – but does the investment justify the cost? Are these formats attracting new users or simply super-serving existing audiences?

These data offer insights into some of these questions by showing how different content initiatives resonate with consumers across the demographic groups. In this sense they can help define how online channels can best complement offline content such as newspapers and broadcast channels.

Ways of accessing online news

[Any video: 39%; Any radio: 16%]

Q15 Thinking of the way you looked at news online this week, in which of the following ways did you access news online?

Base (n=2173)

It is no surprise to see that glancing at headlines and reading full stories are the most common types of online news consumption, but watching video news is quite close behind, with nearly two-fifths of the sample claiming to have done so in the past week. Online radio news consumption lags far behind, with only 16% of the sample claiming to have accessed any radio news online in the past week.

Men are more likely than women to engage in all of these behaviours except glancing at the headlines. The biggest difference is around video news: 47% of men engage in at least one of the video behaviours, compared to just 32% of women.

Over 45s are much more likely to say that they’ve glanced at the headlines online, and much less likely to say that they’ve read a full news story online, than younger age groups. This fits with online being a secondary platform for news consumption amongst this age group.