Newspaper websites (59.9%) are now more popular as a news source for Irish readers than their hard copy equivalents (57.4 %) according to a new BBC study. Despite the popularity of news websites, TV is the main source of news at 63% with breaking news and sports the main drivers of content consumption for respondents.
Online platforms are the most frequently consumed media however, with 54% of respondents using smartphone apps a couple of times a day and 42% checking newspaper and TV websites regularly. In comparison only 33% of TV viewers and 11% of newspaper readers consume news more than once a day.
In terms of location, 99% of people read newspapers at home and 50% at work whereas radio listening peaks at 45% when travelling. The smartphone is the device most used at all occasions in the day.
“Today’s results are an indication that news consumption in Ireland is in robust health, and that consumers appreciate the traditional print outlets for news as well as the new digital platforms,” said Isla McLeod, digital sales director of EMEA for BBC Worldwide. “These are welcome results for advertisers looking to reach this highly desirable audience.”
Other findings show that 83% of respondents own a laptop, 64% a smartphone, 50% a games console, 21% a tablet computer and 86% have broadband internet access. 56% regularly consume news through online video sources.
RTE.ie is top website
The most popular online website for news is RTE.ie (74%) followed by BBC.co.uk (53.5%), iristhtimes.com (41.4%) and independent.ie (34.9%). 47% of those surveyed use RTE.ie for sports news, making it the most popular source. BBC Sport is next (38%) followed by Sky News (21%) and The Irish Times (18%).
Kevin Foley, commercial director at Adforce.ie, the BBC’s advertising sales representative in Ireland, said the survey showed how Irish people are migrating online for news, and highlighted the need for advertisers to adapt to the new environment. “In order for them [online platforms] to thrive and survive it’s crucial that content and advertising on these platforms evolves to reflect this behavioural change.”
The survey polled 828 people throughout Ireland and was conducted in January and February 2012.