An increased usage of smartphones for accessing online news has raised serious doubts on the future of news organizations says a study done by Reuters Institute for the study of Journalism (RISJ). Though more people are utilizing smartphones for searching online news, not many amongst them are turning to the front page of a news website for news. Instead, most people are finding news stories through search engines and social media platforms such as Facebook, Apple and Google.

The report says that with so many users accessing news stories from third-party sources, ad business revenue for digital news makers is on the downhill and advertisers don’t see conventional news pages as a profitable source for placing ads.

Another primary reason seen for diversion is that people don’t like to read content with sponsored ads popping now and then.

Reuters Institute Director of Research Rasmus Kleis Nielsen said,

“Our research documents that most people like news and use news, but they don’t want to pay for it, don’t want to see advertising around it, and don’t want to see it mixed up with sponsored content. This means sustainable business models remain elusive even for those who succeed in building an audience.”

Increased dominance of Facebook

Facebook remains the most popular of all the social platforms and effective in terms of online news distribution. The report says that almost 41% of the users  explore Facebook to find, read, watch, share, or comment on the news each week, more than twice the usage of its nearest rival and up six percentage points on last year.

Other social platforms like WhatsApp, Instagram, and Snapchat continues to grow and have already become a likeable source to circulate news.

Will social media kill news organizations business

The report, based on research conducted in 12 countries, brings out some worrying facts for News Organizations. Few of them are listed below:

  1. Continued fall in the sales of printed newspaper.
  2. Difficulty in monetizing smartphone content as consumers show resistance to any format that interrupts the reading experience. Also, there is negative sentiment towards a news brands that show sponsored content.
  3. Regular use of ad blockers (47% in the US and 39% in the UK).
  4. Lesser people are watching scheduled TV programs and bulletins.
  5. A significant increase in the consumption of online news video that can be easily displayed on social media.

So, are we seeing the slow death of conventional news sources? Can social media be trusted for providing authentic news as well?  We will keep you updated on the latest developments. Watch this space for more updates.

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