Media likes, dislikes vary by age

Despite the explosive growth of new media in recent years, television and newspapers remain the primary sources of news across all age groups globally, according to a survey by KPMG International.

Over 44 per cent of respondents, cited television as their primary news source, followed by newspapers with 28 per cent; 14 percent of respondents indicated the radio as their preferred news source and only 13 per cent of all respondents preferred the internet, states a press release.

However, the survey highlighted big variations across age groups. For example, Generation Y – the under 25s- have the lowest news consumption via TV, with 37 per cent choosing this as their primary news source.

The survey of 3,000 people, aged from 18 to 65-plus, from the UK, the US, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands, forms part of a new KPMG International report titled The Impact of Digitalization – a generation apart, which explores how different generations across the world are using new media and technology.

Sean Collins, global head of media and telecoms practice, comments: ‘While traditional media remains popular across the age groups, Generation Y is increasingly looking to the internet as a source of news and social interaction. Media companies wishing to stay competitive need to consider experimenting with new business models alongside their existing ones.

The core audience for newspapers is now the over 35s; on average 32 per cent of respondents who are 35 and over use newspapers as their primary news source, with only seven per cent preferring the internet.

In contrast, Generation Y show the highest preference for news on the internet, with over 30 per cent sourcing news this way. This trend continues in to the 25-34 age bracket, with one in four favouring the internet over newspapers. Only 11 percent of those aged from 35-54 use the internet for news and this drops to two per cent for those over the age of 55.

The survey also highlighted some interesting country variations. In the U.S., only five per cent of Generation Y uses the internet as their preferred news source, but the same group has the highest usage of social networking sites and metaverses, such as My Space and Second Life, with 52 per cent participating.

‘It is interesting that in the U.S., Generation Y are using their computers as a form of social interaction, but are not interested in reading the news online, this in itself presents challenges for media companies, around how to interest young people in consuming news related content,’ said Mr. Collins.

Despite not using the internet as much as younger people, the older generations surveyed did indicate an appreciation for new digital technology; one in four of the over 65s now own either a blackberry, digital music player, digital video player or a handheld games console.

To request a copy of the report or for further information contact John Ferrari at 949-4800 or visit

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