Steven Gradidge. Hi :)

Internet Surpasses Television As Main News Source for Young Adults

Posted on: February 27, 2011

To put the post into perspective firstly I’d like to give you a quick snapshot of why a particular story took my interest.

I’ve just recently graduated with a degree in Media, Practice and Theory. During those three years, I experienced first hand the dizzying pace of Facebook’s growth as an information sharing and communication tool. It was always a common conversation in seminars and lectures and in retrospect, rightfully so. Since Mashable posted the study detailing that the Internet has now surpassed television as the main news source for young adults, it took me back to those days in a seminar room and I started pondering what it would mean for us all.

What does this mean as a society if we are self-sourcing aggregated news? What does this mean for the seemingly doomed news industry? Where do the even smaller sources of news media (radio and newspaper) stand with this demographic bombshell?

One thing which is important is that the study picks up on the fact that during the two studies (2007-1010), the social networks saw exponential growth. This growth has seen the likes of Facebook being valued at sums of as much as $50 billion! Crazy talk considering Facebook are still struggling to really monetize their existing 500 million user base (and not to mention growing pressure from the SEC to go public). With some research (where else but online) I discovered that Tesco is also valued at $50 billion. Tesco; the fourth largest retailer in the world offering groceries, clothing, electronics, financial services, telecoms, insurance, music downloads, internet services and software with a revenue of over £62 billion.

I’d like to know: who could write the bigger cheque: Tesco or Facebook?

Here are some stats pulled from the study:

In 2010, 65% of people younger than 30 cited the Internet as their go-to source for news, nearly doubling from 34% in 2007.

48% of those ages 30 to 59 cite the Internet as their main news source, up from 32% in 2007, while television went down from 71% to 63%.

Tweet counts have increased from 5,000 daily in 2007 to 90 million daily in 2010.

Facebook went from 30 million users in 2007 to more than 500 million users today.

The amount of people 65 and older who get their news from the Internet has risen from 5% to 14%, but television remains the chief source for 79% of respondents.

The reality of the report highlights that the new web generation are spending more and more of their time online – whether it be more communication, work or education and businesses need to adapt. Those top spots on Google have just become all that more valuable!

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