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Web Video Viewers Favor Comedy And Education: Study

By | Thursday October 10, 2013 @ 7:00am PDT

About 58% of adults who use the Internet watch comedy videos, up from 50% in 2009, the Pew Research Center found in a July survey of 1,003 adults. But I was surprised to see how popular serious fare has become on the Web. Some 56% said that they watch How-to videos followed by Educational (50%, up from 38% in 2009), Music (50% vs. 32%) and News (45% vs. 43%). Genres with smaller audiences include Animation (28% vs. 22%), Political (27% vs. 30%), Sports (27% vs. 21%), and Ads (15%, no change). What about porn? About 12% of respondents admitted that they watch, up from 7% four years ago, although Pew acknowledges that the figure may be skewed by “a reluctance to report the behavior among some adults.” The survey also found that 31% of adults upload their own videos, a big increase from 14% in 2009. About a third of them — 11% of adults — do so in the hope that their clips will go viral. The most popular subjects among those who post: friends and family doing everyday things (58%), themselves or others doing funny things (56%), events including concerts and sports (54%), and pets or animals (45%). Just 23% offer “intentionally staged, scripted, or choreographed videos.” Pew says that social network sites including Facebook have made it relatively easy to post. But what it calls the “growing online video culture” took off as smartphones became popular. … Read More »

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More Than Half Of U.S. Adults Now Own A Smartphone: Pew

People who can’t live without a smartphone may be surprised to learn that they’ve been in the minority until this year, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center‘s Internet & American Life Project. About 56% of the 1,127 adults questioned in May said that they own a computer-like, Web connected phone, up from 46% in a similar study last year. Pew says that another 35% in the new survey own a conventional mobile phone, and 9% don’t own a cell phone. As you’d expect, young adults are most likely to own smartphones: About 81% of 25-to-34 year olds have one; the number drops below half the population at age 55 and older. About 39% of those between 55 and 64 own one, sliding  to 18% for those 65 and older. When it comes to smartphone operating systems, Google and Apple successfully held off threats from Blackberry and Microsoft: Among all cell phone owners 28% have a smartphone powered by Android (up from 20% last year) while 25% have an iPhone (up from 19%). Another 4% use Blackberry (down from 6%) and 1% are on Windows (down from 2%). But researchers found distinct differences in preference by demo. For example, Android beats Apple among those 54 and younger while Apple wins among college grads and in homes with incomes above $75,000 a year.

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Bad News For Network And Local TV News

If you care about news, then the Pew Research Center’s latest annual State Of The News Media report will make you want to cry. Providers across all platforms became “more undermanned and unprepared to uncover stories, dig deep into emerging ones or to question information put into [their] hands,” Pew’s Project for Excellence In Journalism finds. The shortcomings stood out during the election when “campaign reporters were acting primarily as megaphones, rather than as investigators, of the assertions put forward by the candidates and other political partisans.”

Even in a year with an exciting presidential election the collective audience for ABC, CBS and NBC’s evening newscasts fell 2% to 22.1M “resuming the downward trajectory of nearly three decades” after an uptick in 2011. Total audience for local TV newscasts — the nation’s #1 news source – shrank last year in all key time slots except for early morning and across stations aligned with all the networks, resuming a downward trend that seemed to have ended in 2011. Viewing of the evening newscasts that aired between 5:00 and 7:00 PM at the major network affiliates fell 7% last year. One reason: young people are tuning out. About 28% of adults under 30 regularly watched local news last year, down from 42% in 2006. Local news devoted 40% of air time to sports, weather, and traffic, up from 32% in 2005. And just 20% of the stories last year ran at least a minute, down from 31% a decade ago. Read More »

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YouTube News Viewers Flock To Natural Disasters And Political Upheaval: Study

By | Sunday July 15, 2012 @ 9:16pm PDT

Last year’s tsunami in Japan, the elections in Russia, and turmoil in the Middle East were the most popular topics for news watchers on YouTube in the 15 months that ended in March, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. The group says that the Google-owned platform is beginning to become a major news source; in one third of the months in the study users searched for news terms more than anything else including entertainment. “The data reveal that a complex, symbiotic relationship has developed between citizens and news organizations on YouTube, a relationship that comes close to the continuous journalistic ‘dialogue’ many observers predicted would become the new journalism online,” Pew says. But it warns that videos often can’t be verified, or are copyrighted and used without permission, which ”creates the potential for news to be manufactured, or even falsified, without giving audiences much ability to know who produced it or how to verify it.” Pew says that personalities don’t necessarily drive interest in news: At least 65% of the most-watched news clips didn’t feature an individual.

Although the length of YouTube news videos varies, the median length of the most-watched ones was 2 minutes and 1 second — far longer than local TV news, where stories average 41 seconds, but less than the network evening newscasts where they average 2 minutes and 23 seconds. By and large audiences look … Read More »

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TV News Broke Its Losing Streak In Action-Packed 2011: Study

By | Sunday March 18, 2012 @ 9:01pm PDT

This is one of the first times in years that TV journalists and executives won’t need a box of Kleenex nearby when they read the Pew Research Center’s encyclopedic and authoritative annual State Of The News Media Report, which will be released today. Broadcast networks, cable news networks, and local TV stations all showed signs of improvement in 2011 as people became riveted by stories about Arab Spring, the death of Osama bin Laden, the shooting in Tucson of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Britain’s royal wedding, and the tsunami in Japan, according to Pew’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. The audience for the major networks’ newscasts increased for the first time since 2001. Cable news viewing also was up, a relief after a huge slide in 2010. And local news gained ground, ending a five-year decline. To be sure, traditional news providers across the board still haven’t figured out how to make money in digital media. And last year they “lost more ground to rivals in the technology industry,” Pew says. The audience for online news sources grew 17.2% while revenues were up 23.0%, Still, researchers say that “news is becoming a more important and pervasive part of people’s lives” — and that “could prove a saving factor for the future of journalism.” Here are some of the highlights for TV news: Read More »

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Pew: TV Falling As Political News Source

By | Tuesday February 7, 2012 @ 10:41am PST

Only 69% of adults turned to the tube first for election news last month, the lowest percentage in at least 20 years, according to the weekly surveys taken for the Pew Research Center’s News Interest Index. The latest figure is  down from 72% four years ago, 78% in 2004, and 86% in 2000. Broadcasters are seeing the biggest losses. Just 32% of adults cited local TV news as their primary source for election news, down from 40% four years ago. The national nightly newscasts were down to 26% from 32%. Cable news channels held relatively steady at 36%, down from 38%. As you might imagine, a lot of people now are turning to the Internet for their political news fix.  It passed newspapers to become the No. 2 source of election news, with 34% turning first to the Web vs 26% in the 2008 campaign and 13% in 2004. CNN.com ranked first for politics junkies on the Internet, followed by Yahoo News and Google News. Only 22% picked Read More »

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Study: Tablet Owners Love Using Them For News, As Long As They Don’t Have To Pay

By | Tuesday October 25, 2011 @ 9:50am PDT

This is sure to chill all of the newspaper and magazine companies that thought subscribers would return to the fold once the content became available on the sexy mobile devices. The finding comes from the most detailed study yet of the 11% of the country that owns a tablet, conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism in collaboration with The Economist Group. They found that 53% use their tablets every day to catch up on the news — making that the second most popular activity after Web surfing (67%). Tablet news fans like to check out different sources, including many they never look at on TV or their PCs. And it isn’t just for headlines; 42% say that they read long news articles or analyses. But only 21% say they’d be willing to pay as much as $5 a month for news on their tablets. That jibes with other data showing that 14% say that they’ve paid directly for news on their tablets, although 23% have subscriptions to newspapers or magazines that include digital access. For the most part, owners use the portable screens as a substitute for the news that they used to track on their PCs or laptops — but nearly six in 10 also use their tablets as a substitute for newspapers, magazines, and TV newscasts.

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Report: TV Station Newscasts Vulnerable As Viewers Turn To Smartphones For Local Info

By | Sunday September 25, 2011 @ 9:01pm PDT

The TV station business is becoming tougher by the day, but here’s something that could make things painful: The broadcasters’ biggest cash cow, their local newscasts, could lose lots of viewers as people discover that they can find the info they want more quickly and easily on mobile devices such as smartphones. That’s one of the many sobering findings from a study that examines how people discover what’s going on in their communities, out today from the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism and the Pew Internet & American Life Project with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. ”For some things TV matters most, for others newspapers and their websites are primary sources, and the internet is used for still other topics,” says PEJ Director Tom Rosenstiel. Newspapers satisfied the most needs with their coverage of issues including local government, taxation, and zoning matters — but still ended up as the fourth-most-popular sources of news behind TV, word-of-mouth, and radio.

But here’s the catch. Although 74% of adults watch TV newscasts at least once a week, viewers primarily tune in for just three things: weather, breaking news, and traffic. These “might easily be replaced by mobile platforms that are even more accessible than TV,” the report says. “For weather, this may already be happening — as roughly a third (32%) cite the internet as a primary … Read More »

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Study: Tea Party Supporters Followed Debt Ceiling News Most Closely, And Acted On It

By | Tuesday August 2, 2011 @ 10:03am PDT

The Pew Research Center for People and the Press offers a clue today into why the battle in Washington to raise the debt ceiling ended up with a deficit-reduction deal that would just cut spending with no increase in taxes. Those who wanted budget cuts paid the most attention. In the last week in July, the story accounted for 47% of the news coverage in newspapers, TV, radio and the Internet; that was appropriate at a time when 41% of all adults considered it the most riveting development according to Pew’s weekly survey of public interest in the news. But if you look more closely, you’ll find that 66% of Republicans and supporters of the Tea Party closely tracked the budget negotiations vs 34% of those who held different views or had no opinion. What’s more, about 20% of the Tea Party supporters contacted an elected official. Only 5% of those who disagreed with the group did so. Interestingly, young people — who had the most at stake in the debate — were least motivated to try to influence the outcome. Only 19% of adults between 18 and 29 followed the story closely and 1% contacted an elected official. By contrast, about 54% of people over 50 kept up with the budget debate with 16% contacting an official. Pew’s findings come from a telephone poll of about 1,000 adults (including both landline and cell customers) and has a margin of error of plus or minus … Read More »

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