When and Where Do We Access the News?

Typically consumers in the United Kingdom access the news first thing in the morning or early evening. Younger people tend to access in a more even way throughout the day. Older people such as the over 55s are more likely to follow the breakfast, lunch, and early evening peaks, compared with all the groupings under 45. Even the 35–44s seem to be losing the commitment for appointment-to-view news bulletins in the early and late evening.

News access across the day by age (UK)

QS2: When do you typically access the news?

Base: UK=2078 18 to 24 (n=269) 25 to 34: (n=286) 35 to 44: (n=321) 45 to 54 (n=383) 55+ (n=819)

Looking at our segments, we can see that traditional users are more likely to have fixed times of day for consuming the news, whereas the mainly online and heavy multi-channel groups tend to access throughout the day (50% and 61% respectively) reflecting the greater ease of access to online news outside the home. Heavy multi-channel users also extend their news consumption right through to bedtime.

News access across the day by platform segment (UK)

QS2: When do you typically access the news?

Base: UK=2078 Mainly Online (n=162) Half/ half (n=791) Mainly traditional (n=400) Half/ half moderate (n=597) Heavy multichannel (n=194)

Locations for news

For the first time this year we have been able to look in detail at locations and devices used for news across the day in two of our countries, Denmark and the UK. The overall patterns in both countries are almost identical, with most news use in the home – followed by commuting and work.

Where news is accessed (UK vs Denmark)

QS3A: Where were you when you looked at/listened to the news over the last few days?

Base: UK=2078, Denmark=994

When we look at the specific platforms used in each location, we can see how the internet plays a bigger role at work and on the move. In general traditional media are not being replaced, although print is clearly being substituted in some areas.

Television is the main source of news in the living room but the computer takes over in personal spaces at home and at work. Radio dominates in the car. One element to note is the amount of media that are consumed in the communal space, with computers, smartphones, and tablets now competing with newspapers, magazines, and radio.

News sources uses by location (Denmark)

QS3A: Where were you when you looked at/listened to the news over the last few days?

Base: UK=2078, Denmark=994

We see the greatest effects of substitution on the daily commute via public transport, traditionally a heartland for newspaper reading. In the UK and Denmark, the mobile phone has overtaken print as the main way of consuming news on the way to work. In Denmark, people are twice as likely to use a mobile phone for news (63%) than read a printed newspaper (33%).

On UK public transport 48% use mobile phones, 34% use print, and 6% access news via a tablet – though print is still ahead in London (56%), probably because of availability of strong free newspapers and limited internet access on the Underground.

The tablet remains largely confined to the home – certainly in the UK – although the arrival of smaller more mobile 7” tablets may change the mix in years to come. Once again, the shift towards digital is being led by younger age groups, with the over 45s largely sticking with print.

Changing face of media use on public transport (UK)

Scroll data area to see more

  London South East North
Mobile 46% 56% 48%
Print 56% 25% 28%

QS3B: Please mention the key news media you used in these locations

Base: While travelling via public transport UK (n=270) Den (n=92),

Those who have looked at news on public transport in last days London (n=66), South East (n=61, North (n=71)

The mobile phone is also by far the most important source of news when ‘out and about generally’. Of those who looked for news in this way, 76% used a mobile phone in the UK, compared with 18% using printed newspapers. In Denmark the numbers are 85% by phone and 13% reading newspapers in print.

Despite platform substitution there is no evidence that brands are being substituted. Some of the most successful brands on the move in both countries are free newspapers such as Metro in the UK, which has been pursuing an aggressive digital strategy and is widely used on tablet and mobile, as well as in print.

In terms of personal transport – largely cars but also bikes – mobile phones are also making inroads as a source of news, not least because they can access audio-based news podcasts or other on-demand news content which can plug into headphones or a car sound system.

Changing face of private transport (UK and Denmark)

UK3B: Please mention the key news media you used in these locations.

Base: While travelling via private transport UK (n=400) Denmark (n=283)