A big takeaway: Most news sites are getting more traffic coming from mobile, but those readers don’t stick around as long as those on desktop. And the big platforms continue to dominate the online ad market.
“While new relationships have been struck between news organisations and tech companies like Facebook, the tech companies still control more of the arrangement and reap most of the financial benefit,” stated the report.
There were a few bright spots: Local news is picking up some new audiences, and some digital news outlets are doing good work. Here’s the full report.
It’s a mobile, mobile, mobile world
Thirty-nine of the top 50 news sites started 2015 with more traffic on mobile than on desktop, among them Yahoo-ABC News, CNN and the Huffington Post. (Notable exceptions include MSN, the BBC and CNET.)
Along with the rise of mobile, people increasingly are getting their news from Facebook, where what users see is driven by their friends (and, to an extent, the Facebook algorithm), which means that “gaining a foothold there may be even more elusive,” worried Pew. The problem, of course, is that Facebook regularly tweaks its algorithm, to the potential detriment of publishers.
Also, mobile and socially driven visitors are less attractive to advertisers (and therefore publishers) because their visits tend to be shorter than desktop ones, according to comScore and Pew.
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