A new Pew study on news consumption shows that digital media, particularly social media, continues to grow at a rapid rate, with newspapers and radio suffering the most from the move to online news.
As more powerful smartphones become available, along with the rapid increase in the use of tablets and other mobile devices, the public is able to access news 24/7 on the go, something print newspapers can’t duplicate, which is contributing towards their decline.
In just two years the percentage of Americans saying they either saw news or read news headlines on a social networking site more than doubled from 9% to 19%. Even worse for newspapers, of adults under the age of 30, one-third said they saw news on a social networking site the previous day, compared to just 13% who read a newspaper in print or online.
The survey also found that the percentage of Americans who read a print newspaper has dropped from 41% a decade ago to just 23% today.
Social media has filled that void, with 47% of respondents saying that they get their news from social networking sites like Facebook, and that number continues to grow.
All of this is bleak news for newspapers. They haven’t been able to stem the erosion in their readership base despite spending millions of dollars in building up their online presence, only to see the social networks steal away their last and best hope to save their business.