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. About 20% of adults use their phones to post videos.
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% …
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.
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:
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