In yet another sign of the emerging dominance of digital media, the percentage of American adults who often get their news from online sources has increased from 38 percent in 2016 to 43 percent in August. Over this same period, the percentage of adults who often get their news from television has decreased from 57 percent to 50 percent. In approximately 18 months, the usage gap between television and online news sources has dropped from 19 percentage points to 7 points – a tectonic shift in that span of time.
This shift is accelerating among local news consumers, as well as older Americans – two groups traditionally wedded to local television. In August, 37 percent of Americans received local news via television versus 46 percent in early 2016.
Among adults over the age of 65, there was a 10 percentage-point increase in those getting their news online (20 percent in early 2016 vs. 30 percent in 2017).
These shifts in consumption mean a smaller audience for television news in general and, in particular, for local television news, which has served as a foundational component of advertising for decades. Brands and companies looking to reach their audience will increasingly need a comprehensive digital solution, in addition to television advertising, to make inroads in the local marketplace.
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