Overwhelming majority of consumption happens on TV

Adults in the US spend more than 72.5 BILLION MINUTES consuming news during an average week.  The Nielsen folks say total new consumption across platforms was up 18% last year.  Broadcast TV (local and national) accounted for the biggest chunk of viewing (29.4 billion) followed by cable news networks (27.1 billion).

Broadcast TV accounts for 40% of all news consumption.  If you add cable news to the mix, news on television accounts for 77% of all news consumption .

Despite all the talk of news online and social media, the comparative numbers for consumption on desktop was 4.1 billion minutes, followed by smartphone consumption at 1.5 billion.  Radio news was at 10.5 billion.


How times have changed. In this survey, newspapers weren’t even mentioned.

Broadcast TV News had the largest reach (46.2% in an average week), split fairly evenly between network and local news programs.  Cable news networks reached 28.6% of the population, edging out radio news at 26.8%.

Since it was an election year last year when the study was done, Nielsen also took a look at January of 2017.  Compared to January, 2016, cable news networks were up 20% from the previous year, local TV news was up 12%, and national TV news was up 6%.