NEWS22 July 2015

Newsbrands remain strong for millennials

News UK

UK — The majority ( 74%) of 18- to 34-year-olds still turn to newsbrands to get a balanced point of view despite the rise in social media and an increasingly cluttered news landscape.


However there are distinct use patterns among millennials. They are more likely than boomers ( 50- to 65-year-olds) use digital devices – which allow them to ‘snack’ on news throughout the day according to Newsworks’ Generation News, conducted in conjunction with research companies Flamingo and Tapestry.

Millennials have also developed different routes of accessing newsbrands; for example, 73% of 18- to 34-year-olds agree they visit a newsbrand website to get more information when they see an interesting story on social media.

More than one million 50- to 65-year-olds read a digital newsbrand daily (NRS PADD April 2014 – March 2015 + comScore March 2015 ) and enjoy the speed and ease of accessing news digitally, while also reading newspapers. However, boomers’ newsbrand habits are more centred on specific times of day.

The report claims that for both generations, the saturation of news across platforms has strengthened the role of newsbrands as providers of ‘real’ and ‘professional’ journalism.

The research identified five news habits, which transcend generations:

  • Fix – access news constantly, prompted by a general need and state of distraction
  • Track – access news regularly throughout the day to keep up to date with breaking stories
  • Fill – access news to pass the time when moving from one place to another
  • Indulge – make time to enjoy the news as a break from everything else in the day
  • Invest – read the news regularly to get an in-depth perspective on stories.

Millennials are more likely to adopt the Fix and Fill habits and boomers have more time to adopt the Indulge habit and – to a degree – Track and Invest.

The research was conducted in partnership with Bas Verplanken, professor of social psychology at the University of Bath and with Flamingo and Tapestry research companies in June 2015. It used a series of methodologies to engage with millennials and boomers including digital self-ethnography, wearable glasses and intergenerational depth interviews. It also involved a national representative survey among 1,000 of the two generational groups.