Just The Facts Quik Trends™: Fragmentation of News Sources for Millennials

Just The Facts, Inc.® market research was not surprised by a recent article in Investor’s Business Daily that Millennials’ information sources are “not your father’s Newies” 3/26/14.

Today’s young adults are relying heavily on social networks’ apps for their news and information. Other sources are not real news, like Jon Stewart or of Jimmy Fallon of the Tonight Show.  As a result, some have defined Millennials as “low information” because they rely less on in-depth sources versus more social “idea-sharing” as Just The Facts Research has discovered in its analysis.

Traditional news sources like papers and TV are not capturing the youth.  The leading sources for Millennials are Twitter (45%), YouTube (39%), Facebook (34%), Google+ (26%) and LinkedIn (18%).

Millennials are known as “digital natives” with the use of smartphones, resulting in the “app-ification” of news which in turn is dramatically changing the media world and causing news providers to re-think everything they are doing.

In some cases the news received is just incidental, as when a Facebook user is corresponding with friends and  just happens upon a news topic.  But it was not the primary purpose of going to Facebook, instead they click on a link or news feed shared by others.

As a result, the social media are exploring methods of tapping into this arena by making news more prominent, and adding news feeds for PC users, and providing apps for mobile devices.

Twitter though much smaller than Facebook is positioning itself as a greater news source, and has established themselves as having more “breaking news.”  According to a PEW Research study nearly half (45%) of Twitter consumers fall into the 18-29 bracket (21% of US population), in second place are 30-49s representing 38% of Twitter users.

Many new start-ups are appearing targeting Millennials, such as Circa, Flipboard, Reeder, and Feedly.  While traditional news sources like CNN, New York Times and Yahoo are promoting smart phone apps.

Researcher ComScore cites that 18-34s get 58% of their news from a mobile device.

So, the unanswered question is “who is going to own Millennials for news, information and media for the future.”  At the moment it is a highly fragmented arena, and constantly evolving.  Stay tuned!

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