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US NEWS MEDIA MARKET REPORT

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the News Media market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Key points included

  • The credibility nightmare of news media
  • The balance of convenience and tradition
  • Justifying the payment of news
  • Politics divide news media consumption

Covered in this report

For the purposes of this report, Mintel’s definition of news includes any reporting on current events, from professional news organizations to non-news online publications. Other sources of news include TV, radio, social media, magazines, newspapers, news aggregators, search engines and online publications. A person who has looked at any news source in the past three months is referred to throughout the report as a news consumer, news viewer or news reader.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by John Poelking, a leading analyst in the Leisure & Media sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

News media is an integral component of everyday life for most consumers. A lack of trust and a plethora of options have made it difficult for the average news consumer to figure out what is real and whom to trust in a continuously fragmenting market. As news media becomes more personality driven and editorialized, consumers will gravitate to sources that can deliver the information they can trust in a way they can understand John Poelking
Leisure & Media Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • Overview
          • Figure 1: News consumption, May 2019
        • The credibility nightmare of news media
          • Few people trust the news
            • Key opportunity
              • Figure 2: Trust and the media, May 2019
            • The balance of convenience and tradition
              • Getting the whole story
                • Key opportunity
                  • Figure 3: Ways to get the news, May 2019
                • Justifying the payment of news
                  • Most news is available for free
                    • Key opportunity
                      • Figure 4: Paying for news, May 2019
                    • Politics divide news media consumption
                      • Liberals and conservatives view the news differently
                        • Key opportunity
                          • Figure 5: Number of news sources used, by political views, May 2019
                        • What it means
                        • The Market – What You Need to Know

                          • TV retains significant influence
                            • Fragmented landscape has different impacts on news
                              • Digital age has shifted journalistic expectations
                                • Mitigating risks in turbulent times
                                • The News Media Market

                                  • TV has the largest reach in news media
                                    • Figure 6: News consumption, May 2019
                                • Market Breakdown

                                  • On the air: TV and radio
                                    • TV remains the most popular news source
                                      • Figure 7: TV and radio news consumption, May 2019
                                    • Older men drive analog interests
                                      • Figure 8: TV and radio news consumption, by age and gender, May 2019
                                    • On the page: Newspapers and magazines
                                      • Local newspapers have the edge
                                        • Figure 9: Newspaper and magazine news consumption, May 2019
                                      • On the internet: Online sources
                                        • Social media is the primary destination for online news
                                          • Figure 10: Online news consumption, May 2019
                                        • Parents looking for answers online
                                          • Figure 11: Online news consumption, by parental status, May 2019
                                      • Market Perspective

                                        • Catching up on the news is one of the most popular digital activities
                                          • Figure 12: Frequency of digital activities, February 2019
                                        • Teens do not go looking for news
                                          • Search engines dominate internet traffic
                                            • Figure 13: Top 10 sites visited in past 30 days, October 2017-November 2018
                                          • Influencer market gives credibility to anyone
                                            • Figure 14: Categories followed, December 2018
                                        • Market Factors

                                          • Mergers and acquisitions reshaping media landscape
                                            • The internet is a primary news source…
                                              • Figure 15: Attitudes toward the internet and information, 2014-18
                                            • …at the expense of traditional media
                                              • Figure 16: The internet and traditional media, 2014-18
                                            • Cable sites dominate news coverage on mobile
                                              • Figure 17: Reach of news sites via smartphone over 30 days, October 2017-November 2018
                                          • Key Trends – What You Need to Know

                                            • Extending brands into emerging tech
                                              • Credibility and engagement difficult to achieve and maintain
                                                • Quicker and more interactive news
                                                • What’s Working?

                                                  • Putting the news brand first
                                                    • Figure 18: Washington Post Super Bowl message: Democracy Dies in Darkness, February 2019
                                                    • Figure 19: The New York Times Facebook ad, May 2019
                                                  • Extending the brand into different platforms
                                                    • Figure 20: The Weekly | Season 1: Official Trailer | FX, May 2019
                                                  • Journalists as personalities
                                                    • Figure 21: Fox News digital ad, May 2019
                                                  • Smart speakers as news briefs
                                                  • What’s Struggling?

                                                    • Fake news epidemic erodes trust in media
                                                      • Fake news mentions skyrocket with new administration
                                                        • Figure 22: Monthly mentions of “fake news” and “#fakenews” on Twitter in the US, January 2016-May 2019
                                                      • AI creates false stories
                                                        • Getting online publications to keep the lights on
                                                          • Hard to stick with sites for a long time
                                                            • Figure 23: Top 10 news sites visited and time spent per visit over 30 days, October 2017-November 2018
                                                        • What’s Next?

                                                          • Fact checking in real time
                                                            • The potential for dedicated streaming services
                                                              • Investment in interactive content
                                                                • Figure 24: Behind the Scenes of the Democratic National Convention | 360 Video | NBC News, July 2016
                                                              • More emphasis put on digital magazines
                                                              • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                • Opinions are stronger than balance
                                                                  • Many different ways to get the news
                                                                    • The news is for local and national coverage
                                                                      • Difficult to convince people to start paying for news
                                                                        • A time of upheaval
                                                                          • Political affiliations shift narrative around media
                                                                          • Perceptions of News Outlets

                                                                            • Key opportunity
                                                                              • Perceptions shape unique opportunities across outlets
                                                                                • Figure 25: Perceptions of the news, by source, May 2019
                                                                              • National coverage trusting, cable and online show bias
                                                                                • Figure 26: Perceptions of the news – Accuracy, May 2019
                                                                              • Inverse relationship between entertainment and a personal touch
                                                                                • Figure 27: Perceptions of the news – Entertaining and personal, May 2019
                                                                            • Where You Get the News

                                                                              • Key opportunity
                                                                                • Two thirds of adults use at least three news sources
                                                                                  • Figure 28: Number of news sources used, May 2019
                                                                                • Analog sources not finding much success with online distribution
                                                                                  • Figure 29: Correspondence analysis – Symmetrical map – News sources and locations, May 2019
                                                                                • TV networks extend their influence online
                                                                                  • Figure 30: Online viewership of select TV news sites, 2014-18
                                                                                • News viewers still want the whole story
                                                                                  • Figure 31: Ways to get the news, May 2019
                                                                                • Age a huge signal for changes in news media consumption
                                                                                  • Figure 32: Ways to get the news, by age, May 2019
                                                                                • Hispanic news readers going to new media
                                                                                  • Figure 33: Ways to get the news, by Hispanic origin, May 2019
                                                                                • Legacy media outlets can expand into new content
                                                                                  • Figure 34: Ways to get the news, by news sources used, May 2019
                                                                              • Topics of Interest

                                                                                • Key opportunity
                                                                                  • The news and nothing but the news
                                                                                    • Figure 35: Topics of interest, May 2019
                                                                                  • Men seek information, women entertainment
                                                                                    • Figure 36: Topics of interest, by gender, May 2019
                                                                                  • Older adults say the news is for news
                                                                                    • Figure 37: Topics of interest, by age, May 2019
                                                                                  • Special interests in magazines and on social media
                                                                                    • Figure 38: Topics of interest, by social media and magazine users, May 2019
                                                                                • Paying for the News

                                                                                  • Key opportunity
                                                                                    • Seven in 10 news readers don’t pay
                                                                                      • Figure 39: Paying for news, May 2019
                                                                                    • Coverage makes gets people to pay
                                                                                      • Figure 40: Reasons to pay, May 2019
                                                                                    • Some users want to show more support for the content they crave
                                                                                      • Figure 41: Reasons to pay, by news services used, May 2019
                                                                                    • One in four non-payers say the cost is too high
                                                                                      • Figure 42: Price of news services, May 2019
                                                                                    • When pay walls go up, usage goes down
                                                                                      • Figure 43: Avoiding news payments, May 2019
                                                                                    • The pay wall problem for print
                                                                                      • Figure 44: Paying for news, by print media use, May 2019
                                                                                  • News Media Attitudes

                                                                                    • Key opportunity
                                                                                      • Readers demand accurate information
                                                                                        • Figure 45: Attitudes toward news information, by age, May 2019
                                                                                      • News is more important now, few engage in social media conversations
                                                                                        • Figure 46: Engaging in news media, May 2019
                                                                                      • Only one in five news followers trust the media
                                                                                        • Figure 47: Trust and the media, May 2019
                                                                                      • Black, Hispanic consumers more likely to engage in media activities
                                                                                        • Figure 48: Attitudes toward trust and news engagement, by race and Hispanic origin, May 2019
                                                                                      • Comedy fans engaged and defensive of media
                                                                                        • Figure 49: Attitudes toward news and the media, all vs comedy news viewers, May 2019
                                                                                    • Politics and the Media

                                                                                      • Key opportunity
                                                                                        • Split fairly evenly down party lines
                                                                                          • Figure 50: Political views, by party affiliation, May 2019
                                                                                        • Liberals look to more sources
                                                                                          • Figure 51: Number of news sources used, by political views, May 2019
                                                                                        • Political leanings impact coverage preferences
                                                                                          • Figure 52: Topics of interest, by political views, May 2019
                                                                                        • Conservatives want to listen, liberals want to read
                                                                                          • Figure 53: Ways to get the news, by political views, May 2019
                                                                                        • Liberals read for free until they can’t anymore
                                                                                          • Figure 54: Avoiding news payments, by political views, May 2019
                                                                                        • Liberals more than twice as likely as conservatives to defend media
                                                                                          • Figure 55: Trust and the media, by political views, May 2019
                                                                                        • Conservatives less engaged in the media but more discerning
                                                                                          • Figure 56: Engaging in news media, by political views, May 2019
                                                                                      • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                        • Data sources
                                                                                          • Consumer survey data
                                                                                            • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                              • Abbreviations
                                                                                                • Terms
                                                                                                • Appendix – Key Trends

                                                                                                    • Figure 57: Monthly mentions of “fake news” and “#fakenews” on Twitter in the US, January 2016-May 2019
                                                                                                • Appendix – Correspondence Analysis

                                                                                                  • Methodology