TV’s had a heck of a run with the news. Practically since the day Cable television was introduced, news programming has been the dominant way to learn about what’s happening. But now that young hotshot the internet is about to supplant television from the throne.
Already the internet has passed Newspapers and radio for news, though it might shock you that it happened as late as 2009. The numbers as they stand right now are 55% rely on TV for news, 39% do it digitally, 33% listen to the radio and 29% still read newspapers. But in 2008, the numbers were quite different. 57% watched TV, 35% read newspapers, 34% listened to the radio, and 29% used online sources. Those trends back a ways, and it seems likely the trend is likely to continue. At this rate, the internet should bypass TV as the primary news source as early as 2021.
Of course, the thing to remember is that just because TV is being replaced, it doesn’t mean it is going away. Television can be watched at the same time as you use the internet, and 1/3 of those polled by Pew reported watching TV the day before.
Right now advertising money is still on cable news. Advertisers still focus largely on it, as they have for decades. But as the internet sucks up more and more of our attention, advertisers will realize that things are about to change. I know that I, whenever a commercial comes on, just pick up my laptop and start browsing.
Pew has put out a behemoth of a report which you can dig through, and we could do several other reports on it. If you happen to be the kind of person who loves stats, you’ll love this post.