There’s no downplaying the monumental influence the news has on our lives, but that influence often gets stereotyped as one that’s geared toward older, white adults. While that may have been the case at some point, more and more, we see growth from younger, more diverse news viewers. In fact, the most growth in viewership is coming from Asian, Hispanic, and Black American viewers.
Today’s TV news viewers also buck the stereotype of only being Boomers or members of the Greatest
Generation. While it is true that consumers 55 and older watch the most news, younger generations
have steadily increased their news consumption over the past two years, with consumers 18-34
growing their total TV news consumption by 134% between 2019 and 2020. And viewers 25-54 now
spend four hours and 46 minutes each week watching TV—up about an hour-and-a-half from just two
years ago. What’s more, local news is now the youngest skewing TV news medium, with almost 30% of
local news viewers ranging between the ages of 18 and 49.
Given the unrest and uncertainty in the world, there’s no doubt that news consumption will remain a
staple in the months and the year to come. And as much of the country’s workforce continues to work
from home, the importance of local news will remain, if not increase, in the long term.
This has implications for stations that carry local news in all markets. For example, Nielsen’s recent
Remote Workers Consumer Survey found that 42% of Americans would consider moving to a new
location if their employer gave them the ability to work from anywhere.
52% OF EMPLOYEES WHO BEGAN WORKING REMOTELY DUE TO COVID-19 SAY THEY
WANT THE OPTION TO CONTINUE WORKING FROM HOME TO SOME DEGREE AND 25%
WANT TO WORK REMOTELY EXCLUSIVELY GOING FORWARD
Stories about a mass urban exodus were rampant during the early days of the lockdown period, yet research from Bloomberg finds that there’s little data to support the dramatic claims. Moving, much like other large endeavors, isn’t easy during a pandemic, but there are some early indicators of new geographic preferences. United Van Lines, for example, looked at moves between March and August and found Connecticut to be a top inbound state for re-location. Portside Real Estate in Maine, another example, is reporting that more than half of home purchases are being made by people coming from out of state. These shifts present media organizations—and advertisers—with potential new audiences to engage with, and based on recent trends, local news is a top focus for them. Among work-from homers, the news is the most consumed content, and local news is the most consumed type of news content.