According to new research, social media is now young people’s main source of news, so could it replace the television completely? Let’s discuss.
Social Media: The Number One Source of News
Research by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism has found that 28% of young people aged 18 to 24 deem social media as their main news source; this is 4% more than those who cited TV was their main news outlet.
The study also found that 51% with internet access use social media as a news source.
So, What Are the Networks Doing About it?
In a bid to capitalise on this success a number of social networks are planning their own news shows and programming.
Snapchat is reportedly working on original video programming on everything from breaking news to reality shows. The company’s parent organisation has been recruiting development managers for ‘original shows’ which many believe to be a sign of things to come.
Back in 2015, Snapchat built a content team run by a former Fix exec and launched its own music channel, Under the Ghost, however this didn’t last long. Then this August Snapchat announced it would be working with MBC to build and launch snap-friendly episodes of hit shows like The Voice and Saturday Night live.
But what about networks that are solely focused around video content?
Research has found that the average viewing session on YouTube is now 50% higher than last year, at more than 40 minutes. Therefore, the network is continuing to evolve and move away from its short-form video content that it first became popular for.
“We’re now starting to see the shift from bitesized content. So YouTube is not the platform for 30 second or two minute videos. People are coming on there and replacing their TV session with YouTube,” said Ben Speas, YouTube Executive, who has stated that 60% of YouTube views come from mobile devices.
Despite this, Ben Speas has also publicly said that TV is “far from dead” and “the big screen is still the centre of the home”.
He has also said: “The viewership patterns have changed and they’re starting to complement each other. I think TV just has to be smart with how it connects with the broader audience in order to fulfil that loop.”
Then there is good old Facebook.
Andy Pemberton, Director at Furthr, wrote in Campaign recently that “Facebook Live is a nail in the coffin of broadcast TV” especially when it comes to reactive news content. However, the Co-founder and Chief Executive of Adjust Your Set, believes that Facebook Live will not wipe out broadcasters. He said:
“Facebook Live is more likely to compete with Snapchat and YouTube in the pure news arena for attention and, if they start crossing over to commission their own shows, then they will start to compete with the likes of Netflix and Amazon,”
Social media may now be the main source of young people’s news, but we don’t believe it will ever completely take over for older generations – however many of them are now online. Short play programming will likely be a success, but hour long episodes are unlikely to take off.
What do you think? Tweet us your thoughts @Figaro_Digital.