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'I saw the news on Facebook': Noticing news brands in distributed environments

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Do people remember the news brand when they visit a story via a social media or search engines? By employing a tracking study and a survey we find that less than half could remember the name of the news brand when visiting a story via a sideways access.

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'I saw the news on Facebook': Noticing news brands in distributed environments

  1. 1. “I SAW THE NEWS ON FACEBOOK” Noticing news brands in distributed environments Nic Newman, Research Associate Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism NEWSREWIRED, 19th July @nicnewman
  2. 2. An increasingly distributed environment
  3. 3. Background and methodology 3 “IT’S THEIR JOB … TO REPORT THE FACTS” 1. Tracked actual news-browsing behaviour of UK desktop users from YouGov’s PULSE panel from 13 March to 10 April 2017. 2. Observed their web journeys leading up to reading a specific news story on any of the most prominent UK news websites (BBC; BuzzFeed; Channel 4; Daily Mail; Huffington Post; Mirror; Sky News; Daily Telegraph; Sun; The Times; Yahoo; Independent; ITV; The Lad Bible; Breitbart; The Canary; Metro; Daily Express; London Evening Standard; Guardian; MSN) 3. Surveyed a proportion of those who had read news stories and asked them questions about what they remembered about the brand and the path as well as wider news habits 4. Coded stories for story type, story length to draw out further insights
  4. 4. Limitations of this study 4 “IT’S THEIR JOB … TO REPORT THE FACTS” 1. Desktop only – mobile behaviours might be different 2. Not tracking attribution within Facebook, Google for those consuming content there (Instant Articles, AMP etc). Only when there is a click to one of the named websites 3. Only look at top 20 news brands in the UK – not the long tail But goes beyond previous survey based studies (Pew Research, Reuters Institute) based on recall. Here we can look at brand level and subject level differences match to content itself Some proprietary work (eg BBC) looking at attribution within Facebook
  5. 5. Headline finding 5 “IT’S THEIR JOB … TO REPORT THE FACTS” Q2. You recently viewed a story with the headline X. On which of the following news websites did you read this story? If you read it on more than one, please select all that apply. Showing share of correct brand attributions. Base: Direct 1,098/ Search 1,022/ Social 1,008 (Facebook 795, Twitter 194) People remember the brand less than half the time when coming from search or social 2X difference
  6. 6. Loyalty makes a difference 6 “IT’S THEIR JOB … TO REPORT THE FACTS”Q2.. On which of the following news websites did you read this story? Q6. Which would you say is your MAIN source of news online? Base: Direct 1,098/ Search 1,022/ Social 1,008. Those who were exposed to a news story of their main source of news: Direct 686/ Search 129/ Social 208. If you already had a strong relationship (e.g. say BBC or Mail was your main brand) you are much more likely to remember the brand when coming from search or social +35 +33 +11 Loyalty effect
  7. 7. Attribution by brand (selected) 7 “IT’S THEIR JOB … TO REPORT THE FACTS” Q2. On which of the following news websites did you read this story? Base: BBC Direct 595 /BBC Search 101 / BBC Social 170; Guardian Direct 75 /Guardian Search 181 / Guardian Social 153; Mail Direct 121 /Mail Search 138 / Mail Social 58 Direct attribution is the same, but BBC and Guardian do much better in search and social media than the Mail Online
  8. 8. Correct attribution by brand - search 8 “IT’S THEIR JOB … TO REPORT THE FACTS” 3X difference Q2. On which of the following news websites did you read this story? Base: BBC 101, Guardian 181, Telegraph 139, Mail 138, Metro 52, Sun 90, Mirror 86, Express 61, Independent 65 61% 19% Some brands have much higher recognition than others
  9. 9. Correct attribution - social 9 2.2X difference Q2. On which of the following news websites did you read this story? Base: BBC 170, BuzzFeed 62, Guardian 153, Mail 58, Metro 60, Sun 64, Mirror 55, Independent 102 Some brands have much higher recognition than others 68% 29%
  10. 10. Branding matters 10 “IT’S THEIR JOB … TO REPORT THE FACTS” 35% recognition in social 69% recognition in social Extra branding on assets in social media can make a difference
  11. 11. Branding matters 11 “IT’S THEIR JOB … TO REPORT THE FACTS” 68% recognition in social Tone of voice and bespoke approach to platform may also be a factor
  12. 12. The more you read makes a difference … 12 “IT’S THEIR JOB … TO REPORT THE FACTS” Q2. On which of the following news websites did you read this story? Q3. How much of the news story did you read? Base: Read all of it, Direct 572, Search 499, Social 557; Read half of it, Direct 309, Search 468, Social 253; Just the headline/a few lines, Direct 211, Search 267, Social 191
  13. 13. Impact of age .. 13 “IT’S THEIR JOB … TO REPORT THE FACTS” Q2. On which of the following news websites did you read this story? Q3. How much of the news story did you read? Base: Read all of it, Direct 572, Search 499, Social 557; Read half of it, Direct 309, Search 468, Social 253; Just the headline/a few lines, Direct 211, Search 267, Social 191 Young people in social media more likely to attribute correctly
  14. 14. Topic makes a difference 14 People notice serious news more often than lighter topics Q2.. On which of the following news websites did you read this story? Base: Political news 223, International news 101, Economic/Business news 86, Entertainment /Celebrity news 84,Lifestyle news 79, Sports news 52, Crime news 178, Weird news 61.
  15. 15. Formats make a difference … 15 Distinctive content gets remembered more Q2.. On which of the following news websites did you read this story? Base: Political news 223, International news 101, Economic/Business news 86, Entertainment /Celebrity news 84,Lifestyle news 79, Sports news 52, Crime news 178, Weird news 61.
  16. 16. Recap of findings …. • News brands will struggle to get recognition off site unless they have a strong direct relationship already or unless they have distinctive and memorable content. • Bigger, popular, trusted brands are in a much stronger position – virtuous circle • Branding and tone does help some brands stand out – do we need to think more about user experience in distributed environments? • The issue of branding and recognition should be a key issue in the negotiations between publishers and platforms More information at digitalnewsreport.org/publications
  17. 17. More information at digitalnewsreport.org/publications @risj_oxford

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