Frequency of reading news on social media platforms

Sep 8, 2020

Q. How frequently do you use technology platforms like Google and Facebook to search for, and read news articles?

  Total Age Group
  18-34 35-54 55+
At least daily 52% 46% 64% 46%
At least once a week 22% 26% 20% 21%
At least once a month 8% 16% 5% 4%
Less frequently than one a month 6% 5% 4% 9%
Never 11% 6% 7% 19%
Base (n) 1,076 326 365 385
  • Half of adult Australians use social media platforms like Facebook and Google to search and read news on a daily basis (52%). A further 22% use social media weekly to access news.
  • People aged 35-54 are the heaviest consumers of news through social media, with 64% using a platform on a daily basis.

Google agreement statements

Sep 8, 2020

Q. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is drafting code of conduct legislation to force technology platforms, like Google and Facebook, to pay media organisations for the news content they distribute.

In response Facebook has threatened to stop its users sharing news and Google has warned its free web search is at risk.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements?

  TOTAL: Agree TOTAL: Disagree Strongly agree Somewhat agree Neither agree, nor disagree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree
A strong media is essential to Australian democracy and the government is right to ask Google and Facebook to pay for news 49% 22% 23% 26% 29% 13% 9%
It is not up to Facebook and Google to support media companies 38% 26% 15% 23% 36% 15% 12%
Big tech companies like Google and Facebook should support Australian media rather than bullying the government 54% 17% 26% 28% 29% 11% 6%
Big technology companies like Google and Facebook have too much power and its time they were pulled into line 51% 19% 23% 27% 30% 12% 7%
If Facebook stopped offering news on its platform, I would use it less often 29% 35% 12% 18% 35% 19% 16%

 

  Total Age Group Frequency of news consumption on social media
TOTAL: AGREEMENT 18-34 35-54 55+ At least daily At least once a week Less than once a week Never
A strong media is essential to Australian democracy and the government is right to ask Google and Facebook to pay for news 49% 36% 49% 60% 51% 48% 42% 49%
It is not up to Facebook and Google to support media companies 38% 45% 39% 32% 42% 38% 31% 27%
Big tech companies like Google and Facebook should support Australian media rather than bullying the government 54% 38% 54% 66% 55% 55% 43% 60%
Big technology companies like Google and Facebook have too much power and its time they were pulled into line 51% 36% 53% 61% 51% 49% 43% 61%
If Facebook stopped offering news on its platform, I would use it less often 29% 35% 33% 21% 34% 30% 22% 16%
Base (n) 1,076 326 365 385 570 239 149 118

 

  Total Age Group Frequency of news consumption on social media
TOTAL: DISAGREEMENT 18-34 35-54 55+ At least daily At least once a week Less than once a week Never
A strong media is essential to Australian democracy and the government is right to ask Google and Facebook to pay for news 22% 30% 20% 17% 23% 21% 28% 15%
It is not up to Facebook and Google to support media companies 26% 22% 24% 33% 27% 23% 26% 30%
Big tech companies like Google and Facebook should support Australian media rather than bullying the government 17% 25% 16% 12% 20% 17% 17% 10%
Big technology companies like Google and Facebook have too much power and its time they were pulled into line 19% 27% 18% 14% 22% 16% 19% 11%
If Facebook stopped offering news on its platform, I would use it less often 35% 31% 34% 40% 35% 36% 31% 42%
Base (n) 1,076 326 365 385 570 239 149 118
  •  Around half of people agree that big technology companies like Google and Facebook have too much power (51%) and they should support Australian media rather than bullying the government (54%).
  • People aged 18-34 were more sympathetic to social media platforms and had the lowest agreement that government is right to ask Google and Facebook to pay for news (36%), they have too much power (36%).
  • 34% of daily social media users agree they would use the platform less frequently if it stopped offering news content.

Future usage of online news

Sep 8, 2020

Q. If the legislation is introduced and news content was removed from Facebook and Google, how likely would you do the following to search and read news articles?

  TOTAL: Likely TOTAL: Unlikely Very likely Quite likely Not that likely Not at all likely
Go directly to news websites to read content 75% 25% 37% 38% 15% 10%
Continue to use Google and Facebook and read less news 69% 31% 26% 43% 19% 12%
Use alternative platforms to Facebook and Google to find and read news articles (such as Twitter, LinkedIn or Reddit) 53% 47% 22% 31% 24% 22%
Use the Apple News aggregator 37% 63% 14% 22% 27% 36%

 

  Total Age Group Frequency of news consumption on social media
TOTAL: LIKELY 18-34 35-54 55+ At least daily At least once a week Less than once a week Never
Go directly to news websites to read content 75% 70% 81% 73% 84% 77% 62% 46%
Continue to use Google and Facebook and read less news 69% 67% 76% 63% 77% 72% 60% 39%
Use alternative platforms to Facebook and Google to find and read news articles (such as Twitter, LinkedIn or Reddit) 53% 61% 64% 37% 64% 50% 42% 25%
Use the Apple News aggregator 37% 42% 49% 20% 42% 42% 29% 11%
Base (n) 1,076 326 365 385 570 239 149 118
  • The majority of people would use alternative sources such as direct content (75%), other social media platforms (53%) or Apple news (37%) if social media platforms stopped offering free news contents as part of their service.
  • However, 77% of daily Facebook and Google users said they are likely to continue to use the platforms, but read less news.

Reading Newspapers

Jul 2, 2012

Q. How often do you read newspapers (in print, not online)?

 

Total

Aged 18-34

Aged 35-54

Aged 55+

Visit news websites daily

Visit news websites a few times a week

Visit news websites about once a week

Visit news websites less often

Never visit news websites

Daily

24%

15%

25%

34%

34%

20%

19%

14%

19%

A few times a week

23%

24%

25%

18%

22%

31%

14%

24%

14%

About once a week

22%

20%

22%

24%

19%

28%

37%

15%

14%

Less often

22%

30%

19%

16%

19%

15%

24%

39%

17%

Never

9%

11%

9%

8%

6%

6%

6%

7%

35%

24% said they read newspapers daily and 69% read at least once a week.

Older respondents read newspapers more frequently – 34% of those aged 55+ read daily. 28% of those on higher incomes ($1,600+ pw) read daily compared to 18% of those earning under $600 pw.

Those who visit news websites frequently also read newspapers more frequently – 34% of those visiting news websites daily also read newspapers daily.

Pay to Access News Websites

Jun 25, 2012

Q. Some newspapers in Australia now require readers to take out a subscription to view all their articles online. This means, while some news and opinion articles are free, readers will have to pay to access all content. How likely would you be to pay a subscription to access news websites?

 

Total

7 Nov 11

Total

Aged

18-34

Aged

35-54

Aged 55+

Read The Aust

Read SMH

Read Tele

Read The Age

Read Herald Sun

Read Courier mail

Total likely

9%

13%

22%

11%

6%

25%

28%

18%

22%

10%

18%

Total not likely

88%

82%

71%

85%

93%

72%

69%

79%

76%

88%

81%

Very likely

2%

3%

5%

3%

1%

12%

7%

6%

5%

4%

5%

Somewhat likely

7%

10%

17%

8%

5%

13%

21%

12%

17%

6%

13%

Not very likely

18%

17%

16%

18%

17%

19%

18%

19%

21%

19%

13%

Not at all likely

70%

65%

55%

67%

76%

53%

51%

60%

55%

69%

68%

Don’t know

4%

5%

7%

5%

*

3%

3%

4%

2%

2%

2%

13% of respondents said they would be very or somewhat likely to pay to access news websites – up from 9% recorded in November last year.

Younger respondents were more likely to be willing to pay for access to news websites – 22% of those aged under 35.

Current readers most likely to pay for access were readers of the SMH (28%), The Australian (25%) and The Age (22%).

Only 10% of HeraldSun readers said they would be likely to pay for access.

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