We knew it was bound to happen sooner or later and in the latest Pew Research Center for the People & the Press survey, conducted Dec. 1-5 with 1500 people reveals for the first time ever that a majority of those 18-29 years old now get their news primarily from the internet.
The survey showed that 65% of this highly coveted demographic group by advertisers now cites the internet as its primary source of news which is almost double the number of 34% from 2007. Over the same period of time those citing television as their primary news source dropped from 68% to 52%.
This shouldn’t come as a big surprise to anyone as the internet continues to grow apace with blogs and social media applications like Twitter and Facebook capturing the attention of young people across the country both with their ease of use and accessibility via cell phones and other mobile devices. Newspapers and television stations may even be contributing to this trend as they expand their online offerings in an attempt to attract and hang on to viewers thus shifting them away from the boob tube.
While the shift to the internet was faster and more dramatic for the 18-29 year old demographic Pew found that all other age groups surveyed were trending in the same direction with the exception of the 65 and older group where internet news sourcing barely grew while still maintaining a high loyalty to television news.
Overall Pew reported that 41% of people surveyed get their news from the internet which is up 17 points from 2007 and while 66% are still clinging to their television sets for news that is down 8 points from three years ago and from the 82% figure reported in 2002.
Network television news still attracts a large audience of 22 million per night but the audience is older and less appealing to advertisers who know that it’s the younger generation that has the disposable income to spend on their products which makes these past cash cow news divisions more of an albatross for the networks and puts their future very much in doubt as the internet continues to siphon its audience away.