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Oct. 27, 2015, 11:30 a.m.
Mobile & Apps

Reuters report: Across Europe, digital news consumption and access via mobile devices is varied

The proportion of those who use smartphones to access news is high in Poland and urban areas in Turkey, but lower in the Czech Republic and Portugal.

Allegiance to traditional media like TV remains strong in many European countries. Many of these countries also see a low proportion of people paying for online news. But the newly released supplement to the 2015 digital news report from Oxford’s Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism also found some significant differences between the six new countries it examined.

It’s important to note that the findings from these six countries — Austria, Czech Republic, Poland, Portugal, the Netherlands, and urban Turkey — are meant to serve as a base for tracking changes in digital news consumption in the coming years. Highlighted below are some findings that in particular could be useful to, say, a news organizations considering international expansion.

The report reveals a lot of variation across countries in the proportion of people accessing the news via mobile devices. In Poland, for instance, a relatively high proportion of people use smartphones to access the news (52 percent), but a very high proportion of people also access news via desktop or laptop (81 percent). In the Czech Republic and in Portugal, smartphone news access is relatively low (both at 34 percent), but desktop access is very high (83 percent and 78 percent, respectively).

device-access-news-reuters-supplement

In Turkey, smartphone news access was also high (57 percent), but because the Reuters survey was conducted online and about digital media, and because Internet access is spottier in more rural parts of Turkey, that number is more likely representative of an urban Turkish population.

Domestic digital news outlets for the most part are also more popular than international brands that have been growing their outposts abroad — think BuzzFeed or The Huffington Post — in the six new countries surveyed, with the exception of Google News in Austria:

digital-domestic-brand-reuters-supplement

Breaking down this data further, the report did find in general a higher proportion of 18- to 24-year-olds in each of these countries using non-domestic news brands.

In terms of actually paying for news online, results are mixed. In Turkey, a very respectable 26 percent surveyed said they paid for (or accessed a paid-for) online news service in the past year, though as the report points out, those surveyed were likely more affluent urban residents. In this survey, over half of those who reported paying for online news say they’ve coughed up a one-time fee for a single article or issue, though in the Netherlands, where the micropayment platform Blendle started, subscription payments were more popular.

pay-for-online-news-reuters-supplement

Unsurprisingly, Facebook remains the go-to social network for news in all these countries. In urban Turkey, the proportion of those surveyed who used Facebook for news in a given week is 69 percent, followed closely by Portugal (67 percent).

facebook-social-media-reuters-supplement

You can check out the full supplement and methodology here. The main digital news report published in June, which surveyed 12 countries, is available here, for further comparison.

Photo of Vila Chã, Portugal by Rosino used under a Creative Commons license.

POSTED     Oct. 27, 2015, 11:30 a.m.
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