The UK has the lowest number of subscribers to online editorial content with just 8% of Brits currently paying for subscriptions, compared to 14% of US consumers and 38% of Norwegians.

That’s according to research conducted by AudienceProject into global news consumption. The market research company polled more than 14,000 respondents across its Nordic, German, UK and US panels in a series of online surveys in Q4 2019.

This found that men are more likely to pay for subscriptions than women (10% versus 6%) and the most popular online editorial content to pay for is news (66%). Almost half of those who pay also subscribe to e-papers and e-zines (48%), and features and long-reads (42%).

When examining how Brits consume news more generally, the survey found that most (40%) read news on online news sites, while one quarter (24%) watch it on TV, 14% use social media and 14% listen to it on the radio. Just 5% of UK consumers said printed newspapers are their main source of news.

But trust remains an issue when it comes to online news: 37% of Brits said they have less or much less trust in online news over the last year compared to only 5% who have more or much more trust.

AudienceProject posited that this may be why traditional media companies are the preferred choice for online news, with in the top spot, followed by the Guardian and Sky News.

That said, social media sites Twitter and Facebook also made it into the top 10, in ninth and tenth place respectively.

Social media and chat sites are where UK consumers spend the most time online (46%), although news websites are a close second (45%), followed by mail (39%).

Asked which website they could not do without, Google ranked highest at 30%, followed by (28%) and Amazon (23%). In a similar 2017 survey, Facebook was level pegging with Google at 30% but in two years has dropped to 19%.

“We see a general trend towards a reality where more and more people are consuming their news online,” said Rune Werliin, Chief Product Officer, AudienceProject.

“In the UK, it is still the traditional media companies who are behind the most preferred online news sites,” he noted. “Coupled with a general move towards first-party data, the publishers can take advantage of this position by leveraging their audience data to make unique propositions for advertisers and agencies.”

Sourced from AudienceProject