With the fast adoption rate of internet-connected smart phones, you would expect the number of people accessing news on mobile to rise substantially.  Well, it did.  In a Knight Foundation research study done by Nielsen, 89% of the U.S. adult mobile population access news on mobile devices.

Knight-11In fact, people access news on mobile devices more than any other medium… except television… when seeking out news.  Social networking websites and apps topped the list at 54% each, behind TV at 70%.  Media companies websites scored high on the list at 43% with radio also at 43%.

Media companies have invested a lot of time and money in apps, which shows mixed results.  About a third of the news seekers use apps for their news and information, but app users are more dedicated and “brand loyal” to a source, spending longer engagement times than mobile users.


Knight-13Key Findings:
SOURCE:  Knight Foundation

    • 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.


    • Knight-12Mobile 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.


Read the full report here.