The Media in Figures: ‘Information snacking’ on bite-sized news

ALMOST half of UK consumers are now ‘information snacking’ their news on a daily basis – according to research published last week.

Commissioned by smartphone folk, HTC, figures for both the UK and Scotland came from a wider survey across ten countries, involving 10,000 people.

UK-wide, it was found that 45 per cent of people ‘information snacking’ on bite-sized news, on a daily basis.

Other findings, UK-wide:

* We’re waking up to it – half (52 per cent) admitted to checking the news within an hour of waking up, with over a third (38 per cent) also checking the news within an hour of going to bed;

* We’re addicted to it – over half (66 per cent) admit to a greater overall need to be the ‘first to know’ and informed about global news;

* We want it all – over half (57 per cent) agree that they have a more rounded viewpoint on the news because they have access to multiple sources of information and opinions; and

* We want it now – nearly three-quarters (71 per cent) of us feel more knowledgeable about what is going on in the world because news is more accessible.

And that’s not all…

* Story over source – over half (55 per cent) are more interested in the news story itself rather than its source;

* The generation gap – 50 per cent of over-55s were found to be loyal to traditional news outlets compared to only 34 per cent of under-25s;

* News becomes social – almost half (45 per cent) of under-25s are less likely to differentiate between a news story and a social media post.

Says a media release announcing the research: “This lack of differentiation towards sources of news, coupled with our constant need to be informed, is already impacting how we will consume news in the future. News will need to be even more social, tailored to personal interests and delivered along with other content such as weather updates, calendar reminders, or status updates. Aggregators such as HTC BlinkFeed, Facebook’s Paper app, The Huffington Post and Upworthy, will grow in popularity as the desire to stay on top of ‘news’ in all its guises continues.”

Scotland-specific data include the following:

* 76 per cent of people in Scotland have a smartphone and 84 per cent own a laptop;

* More people check Facebook on a daily basis (59 per cent) than online news resources (56 per cent) and 41 per cent check the papers daily;

* People in Scotland use their smartphone to access news more than anywhere else in the UK, with 51 per cent saying they use it more than any other device;

* 62 per cent of people in Scotland have said that they read more news stories now than ever before because it is far more accessible and 71 per cent said that they feel more informed about what is going on in the world for the same reason

* 24 per cent of people in Scotland check the news in bed before they go to sleep.

Source: HTC, March 20 2014.