Growth of Mobile Looms Large in 2015 State of News Media Report

First in a series looking at Pew Research’s annual report on news media
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ALEXANDRIA, Va.�News media is on the move as the mobile revolution is expanding to all areas of the industry, according to the 2015 edition of the Pew Research Center�s annual State of the News Media Report.

This year Pew Research has created 13 individual fact sheets, each focusing on a single sector of the industry. As part of a four-part series, we will look at the specific findings for Audio, Public Broadcasting and Podcasting, but part one will summarize Pew Research�s overall findings.

For radio, the big trend last year was the major spike in online radio listeners through mobile devices. As of January 2015, 35 percent of cellphone-owning adults reportedly have listened to online radio via mobile devices; that is up from 21 percent in 2013 and 6 percent in 2010.

Podcasts are also on the rise and could affect the future of audio journalism, according to Pew Research. Fore example, downloads for NPR podcasts grew 41 percent year over year based on the company�s internal data.

Despite the continuing growth of digital media, a significant increase in digital revenue has yet to occur for all types of news media. According to eMarketer, despite an 18 percent increase in digital ad revenue across all media in 2014, which totaled $50.7 billion, it is still only a small share of their total revenue. Mobile ad spending saw a 78 increase and now accounts for 37 percent of all digital ad spending, though its growth did slow-down compared to the previous two years.

A reason that mobile ad spending has become such a crucial aspect for news media is that a majority of their traffic comes from mobile devices. In a study from comScore Media Matrix, 39 of the top 50 news sites get more traffic from mobile devices than from desktop computers. However, only 10 of those 50 sites see mobile visitors spend more time on the site than desktop users.

Other major findings include an 8 percent decrease in cable news prime-time median viewership, while local and network news are seeing increases of their evening and morning news coverage. Newspapers also continue to receive a declining return from ad revenues, losing another 4 percent for a total of $19.9 billion, less than half of what it was a decade ago.

Tomorrow we�ll take a look at Pew Research�s findings for Audio, which primarily focuses on radio news stations.