Report comes amid intense soul-searching

This year’s report comes amid intense soul-searching in the news industry about fake news,
failing business models, and the power of platforms. And yet our research casts new and
surprising light on some of the prevailing narratives around these issues.

This year’s report comes amid intense soul-searching in the news industry about fake news,
failing business models, and the power of platforms. And yet our research casts new and
surprising light on some of the prevailing narratives around these issues.
• Mobile marches on, outstripping computer access for news in
an increasing number of countries. Mobile news notifications
have grown significantly in the last year, especially in the US
(+8 percentage points), South Korea (+7), and Australia (+4),
becoming an important new route to content and giving
a new lease of life to news apps.
• In a related development there has been a significant growth
in mobile news aggregators, notably Apple News, but also
Snapchat Discover for younger audiences. Both have doubled
usage with their target groups in the last year.
• Smartphones are now as important for news inside the home
as outside. More smartphone users now access news in bed
(46%) than use the device when commuting to work.
• Voice-activated digital assistants like the Amazon Echo are
emerging as a new platform for news, already outstripping
smart watches in the US and UK.
• In terms of online news subscriptions, we have seen a very
substantial ‘Trump bump’ in the US (from 9 to 16%) along with a
tripling of news donations. Most of those new payments have
come from the young – a powerful corrective to the idea that
young people are not prepared to pay for online media, let
alone news.
• Across all countries, only around one in ten (13%) pay for online
news but some regions (Nordics) are doing much better than
others (Southern Europe and much of Asia).
• Ad-blocking growth has stalled on desktop (21%) and remains
low on smartphones (7%). Over half say they have temporarily
disabled their ad-blocker for news in countries like Poland
(57%), Denmark (57%), and the United States (52%).
• We have new evidence that news brands may be struggling to
cut through on distributed platforms. In an experiment tracking
more than 2,000 respondents in the UK, we found that while
most could remember the path through which they found a
news story (Facebook, Google, etc.), less than half could recall
the name of the news brand itself when coming from search
(37%) and social (47%).
• Austrians and Swiss are most wedded to printed newspapers,
Germans and Italians love TV bulletins, while Latin Americans
get more news via social media and chat apps than other parts

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