Part one of this series provides a snapshot of mobile news access across sites, apps and social networking platforms. The data show that a fundamental shift has happened toward accessing news via mobile — and that the landscape continues to evolve. Adapting to and leveraging the opportunities in these evolving audience trends in news behavior is critical to any news organization’s survival


  There is a substantial audience for mobile news. Nearly the entire population of adult mobile users consume news on their devices, and more users are spending news time on social platforms.

  While mobile users only spend 5 percent of mobile time on news, on average, the time they do spend includes “hard” news about current events and global news, as opposed to routine weather reports and other forms of “soft” news.

  Mobile users who access news through apps spend more time reading the content, but the overall audience for apps is small, so it’s essential to know who those users are.

  Social media sites and apps are important sources of news for social media users, although television remains their top source. However, social media users also depend on friends, contacts and individuals they follow as trusted news sources as much as or more than they depend on media outlets.

  Mobile news users active on social networks do not just passively engage with news content but take offline action related to the content.

Audience size and time spent reading news on mobile

Million people access news and information via their mobile device. While analysis of the mobile news audience shows that it had grown 9 percent from the previous year, but the increase has recently slowed, suggesting that the mobile news audience is reaching a plateau.

Why develop a news app?

News-seekers spend significant time using apps, but news organizations need to understand the users to maximize the benefits. As Figure 10 illustrates, entertainment news dominates social networking news consumption and patterns of news consumption are similar across Facebook, Twitter and Google+. However, consumption patterns diverge on Instagram and LinkedIn. LinkedIn, for example, is highly accessed by news-seekers looking for tech and financial/business news whereas Instagram’s content on lifestyle dominates.