|Chart of the week: Americans' trust in media recovers from historic low
||Often referred to as the “Fourth Estate”, the media plays an important role in any democratic society. A free press is essential to hold governments accountable and inform the public, thus enabling voters to partake in political debate and make qualified decisions.
The United States also has a long history of a free and independent press, with organisations such as the New York Times, Time or CNN renowned and respected around the world. however, in recent years Americans themselves started losing faith in their country’s media organisations. Arguably inspired by a president who makes no secret of his aversion to the press, the percentage of US adults having a great deal or a fair amount of trust and confidence in mass media dropped to a historic low of 30 per cent in 2016. While President Trump recently renewed his denunciation of the media as “the true enemy of the people”, the public view of mass media is gradually improving from its 2016 low point.
According to polling company Gallup, 45 per cent of adults in the US expressed their trust in the mass media in a September 2018 survey, marking a significant improvement over the 2016 outcome of the same survey. Gallup reports that the level of trust in the media varies greatly depending on political preference. While Republicans have traditionally viewed the media more critically than Democrats, the divergence between both sides of the political spectrum has never been greater in terms of how the press is regarded – a trend mirroring a political climate that seems more hostile and divided than ever.
|Chart of the week: Podcast listeners are young, educated and affluent
||The rise in popularity of podcasts hasn’t gone unnoticed by the advertising industry. According to estimates by IAB and PwC, podcast advertising revenue in the US will reach USD$400 million this year and grow to more than $650 million by 2020.
One of the reasons for brands’ growing fondness of podcast advertising is the unique audience they can reach via the increasingly popular format. As the following chart, based on survey results from Edison Research, shows, podcast listeners in the US are younger, more educated and richer compared to the general population. For example, 51 per cent of monthly podcasts listeners have an annual household income of at least $75k, compared to just 38 per cent of the population. The same holds true for educational attainment: 61 per cent of podcast fans have completed at least four years of college, compared to 44 per cent of the entire population.
Podcasts give brands a chance to get their message across to an attractive audience that is otherwise hard to reach and to do it in a way that is personal and feels less intrusive than other forms of advertising. Most podcast ads are read by the host, which has the positive side-effect of projecting the host’s credibility onto the advertised product/service.
|Chart of the week: Subscriptions lead digital content spending
||Throughout the past decade, one of the key challenges for content owners and publishers has been how to get people to pay for digital content that they were used to getting for free.
To this day, many people are unwilling to pay for access to a news website, while they have no problem buying print media. The lack of a physical, haptic product seems to diminish the perceived value of digital content, notwithstanding the fact that media is mostly consumed digitally these days.
One way of getting people to pay for digital content is to create a product/service that takes advantage of its digital nature by offering something that no physical product could. Take music streaming services for example: for a modest monthly fee, subscribers get access to millions and millions of songs, creating a service whose advantages clearly outweigh the disadvantage of not owning an actual record, at least for most consumers.
As the following chart shows, based on data from Statista’s Global Consumer Survey, subscription services are currently the most popular way of consuming paid digital content in the US and the UK. While digital distribution has become the new norm for music and video content, the willingness to pay for digital news content is still limited. Interestingly, Americans appear to be more open to spending money on digital content than Brits across all categories.
|Chart of the week: News pages are abandoning third-party ad trackers
||The GDPR is changing how advertisement performance is tracked on European news sites.
According to a study by Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism the usage of third-party cookies decreased in Europe by 22 per cent per page while third-party domains decreased by four perc ent since the GDPR became enforceable. However, reactions to new data regulations highly differ from country to country: In Germany for example habits did not really change while in France and the UK marketing decision makers decide to purge these tracking methods.
|Chart of the week: By 2021 more than one third of the globe will be on social media
||Social media is a phenomenon that has first been open to the masses since the launch of platforms like Myspace in the early 2000s. Since then social networks offered a playground for billions of people to share, exchange and discuss content and ideas.
As the big players in the IT scene manage to set foot in even more remote regions of our planet, they accelerate our world’s development to a global village by bringing access to social networks.
Currently there are more than an estimated 2.62 billion people connected via different social networks, by 2021 the number will rise to over three billion, resembling over one third of the global population.
|Chart of the week: Social media users notice spam increase
||With ongoing discussions about social media’s role in the spread of fake news and hate speech, user awareness about the responsibility of tech giants to manage these problems also rise.
Even though Facebook and Twitter recently introduced steps to keep their platforms clean, 47 per cent of respondents of a survey conducted by Hubspot perceived their social media feeds to be more spam-loaded in recent months.
This might be due to Facebook’s definition of spam which reads a bit vaguely and does not include for instance fake news. However, 79 per cent of all internet users polled agree that fake news counts as spam.
|Chart of the week: Instagram, not Snapchat, is the platform of the hour
||Every couple of years a new platform comes around and once it reaches a certain degree of popularity, marketers, advertisers and publishers have no choice but to adapt to the new reality.
While the rise of Facebook certainly was the most seismic shift the media landscape has seen in the past decade, other platforms have also grown into indispensable tools for brands and publishers.
For large parts of the past two years, it seemed like Snapchat would be the next platform that no one could afford to ignore. Having quickly gained popularity it only seemed like a matter of time before it would break through to the mainstream and compete with the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. However, over the past 12 months Snapchat’s growth has slowed significantly and many people are beginning to ask whether the once innovative social media app was nothing more than a passing fad.
|Chart of the week: YouTube is US teen's number one online platform
||Facebook is no longer part of the holy trinity of online platforms used amongst US teens as a study from the Pew Research Center shows.
Superseded by YouTube, the social media colossus was kicked from the podium in the period between early 2015 and spring 2018. With market penetration of 85 per cent amongst US youngsters and 32 per cent of the respondents stating that it is their most used online platform, YouTube evolved into the most important online platform of the Generation Z.
In comparison to the 2015 version of the survey, Facebook lost 20 per cent of its teenage userbase and currently ranks fourth just below Snapchat and Instagram. Even though its third in the share of general teenage usage, Snapchat has the highest share of the respondents who claim to use the multimedia messaging app most frequently.
|Chart of the week: The UK's top websites
||It's no surprise that Google affiliated webpages have been visited by nearly 100 per cent of all Brits with an online connection. But what other sites do they surf in the UK?
Websites of the Wikimedia Foundation only seem to be known by every second British citizen. The most visited native British sites are BBC related webpages, some 86 per cent have visited one of their internet presences.
|Chart of the week: The price tag attached to data breaches
||A recent poll showed that of major US internet companies, Twitter is the least trusted when it comes to keeping data secure. Of course, no company has a fail-safe method of data protection and the consequences of a leak can be severe.
As well as the negative effect on public image and reputation, the infographic below shows the average monetary cost of a data breach.
As reported by IBM Security and the Ponemon Institute, the costs are the highest in the US with the average incident coming with a price tag of US$7.91 million. Although one may assume that such leaks are always caused by criminal activity, 25 per cent of the cases examined were actually due to human error.