Americans watched 11.2 billion more minutes of news each week across national and local TV, radio and digital platforms in 2016 than they did in 2015, according to Nielsen’s Total Audience Report for fourth quarter 2016. And they are viewing and listening to even more news so far in 2017, which is in particular, driving more viewership on the nightly cable news networks. Adults 18 years and older spent more than 73.5 billion minutes consuming news during the average week in 2016, up 18% from the prior year. And most of that increase came from the cable news networks. National cable news jumped to 27.1 billion minutes per week watched, up from 18.8 billion minutes. National broadcast news minutes viewed rose to 14.3 billion from 13.6 billion. The national cable news networks’ share of news consumption rose to 8.5% from 6%. Viewers 18-34 increased their time viewing cable news per week from 1 hour and 42 minutes on average to 2 hours 36 minutes. Some 40% of cable news viewers earn $75,000 or more per year.
WHY THIS MATTERS: Advertisers follow eyeballs and the eyeballs have been clearly moving to cable news, particularly in primetime. So that’s a good thing for both the cable news networks and marketers. And also for the broadcast network nightly news half hours and their Sunday morning news magazines. While most of the news audience on both cable and the broadcast networks are 50-plus, there are still more millennials tuning in to news coverage and considering how elusive they are to reach, the news networks are a place where marketers can tap into them.
Source: Media Buyer & Planner Today, April 3, 2017
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