TV is Biggest Source of News — or Should We Say Video?

A new survey by Gallup found that “TV is American’s main source of news.” But with many Americans, especially younger ones, cutting their cords for Internet-based television viewing, perhaps it’s more accurate to say video is America’s main source of news.55% of people in the survey said they got their news from television, with Fox and CNN receiving special call-outs. But because the survey asked about delivery not sources, the data is a little fuzzy.For example, 21% of respondents said they received the news online. However, some legacy print publications, such as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, were named as Internet sources of news. The study did not break out news sites that were both online and in print, reporting that only 9% of respondents said print was their main source of news.Hence, it’s possible that many Americans getting their news from television are actually getting it via the Internet, but prefer video to reading. Savvy subscription news sites should begin to see the desktop as the second screen it really is, and begin to understand that not having moving pictures online (for content, not ads) is a bit like having an audio-only broadcast on television. It really doesn’t play to the strength of the medium or how consumers engage with it.However, that doesn’t mean everything digital has to be video. In fact, video has only incrementally increased engagement for magazine apps on tablet devices. When consumers want to read, it’s disruptive to play video, especially ads. And smaller mobile devices are more optimized for reading than video.Therefore the medium (Website, tablet, mobile) is separate from the delivery system (Internet), and savvy subscription content publishers should know how to use each medium skillfully in order to increase subscriber engagement and sales.