Online news videos are here to stay but news podcasts have a long way to go
July 2nd, 2024, Bhavika Bansal

Online news videos are here to stay but news podcasts have a long way to go

With disinterest in news and news avoidance higher than it has ever been in the last seven years, 2024 is an especially uncertain year for global news media. Already grappling with declining advertising revenue and growing concerns about misinformation and AI, global news business models also need to adapt to changing consumer trends in online news consumption.

The growing influence of video platforms and messaging apps for news over traditional social media platforms like Facebook is signaling a ‘platform reset’ of sorts. But what does this mean for online news consumption, particularly news videos and podcasts?

The Reuters Digital News Report 2024 based on a YouGov survey covering 47 markets that together account for more than half the world’s population, delves deep into the trends defining today’s digital news landscape. Below are just a few of the key insights from this year’s report:

Learn more about the YouGov data behind the Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2024

1. Short videos are the most popular online news video segment globally

Though all forms of online news videos make up a substantial part of the global media diet, short videos are the most popular segment. Two-thirds (66%) of respondents globally say they access a short news video at least once a week, compared to 49% who watch long forms videos and 51% who watch live streams. A closer look at the weekly consumption data for short online news videos across 12 key markets reveals further nuances.

Nine out of ten respondents in Kenya (94% - the highest among all markets) say they watch a short news video online at least once a week followed by 81% of consumers in India and 77% of consumers in Mexico. Three-fifths of Americans say the same (60%) compared to fewer than half of respondents in Germany (49%), Denmark (44%) and the UK (39% - the lowest among all markets).

2. Facebook, YouTube and news websites are the most popular platforms for online news video consumption globally  

Nearly a quarter of consumers across 47 international markets say they typically use Facebook (24%) and YouTube (24%) to access news videos online, followed by 22% who use news websites or apps. However, the differences become more pronounced when we look at the data by age.

While YouTube (23%) is the most popular platform for news videos among consumers under the age of 35, those 35 and over are most likely to get their news video fix through news websites or apps (27%). Respondents under the age of 35 are significantly more likely to watch news videos on Instagram (15% vs. 6%) and TikTok (12% vs. 5%) compared to their older peers.

3. International news videos are most popular among Britons while videos on national politics are the American choice

The report also sheds light on the different news topics respondents regularly watch online. Zooming in on the UK and US reveals that international news is the top choice among Britons watching news videos online (43%) as opposed to Americans who are likeliest to watch videos relating to national politics (50%).

While a larger share of Americans watches news videos online compared to the Brits, across all news topics (except international news), the differences are most evident in the case of national politics (50% in the US vs. 38% in the UK), business and economics (25% vs. 16%), education (20% vs. 13%) and crime and security (32% vs. 25%).

4. News podcasts have registered marginal growth between 2018 and 2024

On average, podcasts consumed monthly have grown from 29% to 35% between 2018 and 2024. On the other hand, news podcasts show only marginal growth despite a big increase in supply. The average monthly consumption, across 20 selected markets, is up just 2 percentage points from 11% in 2018 to 13% in 2024.

In 2024, consumers in the US display a substantially greater affinity for news podcasts compared to their cohorts across the other 19 markets. One in five Americans (20%) say they have listened to a news podcast in the last month, compared to just 12% of respondents in Denmark, Argentina and Germany. This proportion further drops to less than a tenth among consumers in the UK, Italy and Belgium (9% for all).

Learn more about the YouGov data behind the Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2024