BBC News Survey: Mobile Devices Complement TV, Internet News Consumption

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Instead of smartphones and tablets eating away at television and desktop news consumption, they are instead complementing each other by allowing people to consume their news through various platforms throughout the day.

That’s one of the many findings in the BBC World News and BBCNews.com in their global survey released today, which focuses on news consumption in the digital age. The BBC surveyed more than 3,600 top-income digital device owners from the United States, Australia, France, Germany, India, Poland, Singapore, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates about their news consumption through television, laptop/desktop Internet, smartphones and tablets.

Jim Egan, CEO of BBC Global News, said in a statement: “Avid news consumers are hungry for information wherever they are and expect to stay in touch on all the devices they now own. There’s been speculation for years that mainstream uptake of smartphones, laptops and tablets will have a negative impact on television viewing, but this study has found that the four devices actually work well together, resulting in greater overall consumption rather than having a cannibalizing effect.”

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The study found that tablet users watched more TV news than they did five years ago and get their news simultaneously from tablets as well as television. Also, young professionals between the ages of 25 and 34 consumed the most news.

Other topics of the study include that smartphone and laptop/desktop news consumption dominated during work hours but television news increased sharply after 5 p.m. and peaked at 7 p.m., when TV consumption is 50 percent higher than other devices. When breaking news happens, 42 percent of users turned to television first, with nearly two-thirds or 66 percent of television viewers going to the internet to get more in-depth information.

Other interesting information found in the survey includes:

- Even with the increasing number of smartphones and tablets, television still dominates overall usage at 42 percent of consumption as opposed to laptops (29 percent), smartphones (18 percent) and tablets (10 percent).

- When it comes to the type of news consumed, 84 percent of those surveyed said that international news is more important, followed by local news (79 percent), business news (61 percent), sports (56 percent) and entertainment (43 percent).

- News audiences see mobile advertising (79 percent for tablets, 84 percent for smartphones) just as much as TV (87 percent) and internet (84 percent) advertising.

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