In this section we draw on country data on brand performance along with questions asked elsewhere in the survey about the types of news sources accessed online and offline.
We can see that in some countries like Finland and Denmark, traditional newspaper brands still dominate online news. In the UK and Brazil broadcast brands take the largest share, with newspapers playing a lesser role. By contrast, in Japan, Brazil, Australia, and the US there has been far more impact from digital-born players.
How newspaper brands are managing the transition to digital
Aggregators and new digital native news companies may be gaining ground but they still produce a very small proportion of original journalism. The majority of journalists are still employed by companies that built their reputation from newspapers, which is why there is so much concern about their long-term sustainability in a digital age.
Overall we find that three-quarters of our sample (74%) across all countries access a newspaper brand each week but in most countries the audience share coming from the online part of the operation grows every year.
Some countries like Finland have seen newspapers transferring a traditional strength in print to online usage. Two-thirds of our sample (64%) use these brands in both print and online, with a total reach of 93%. This is partly because Finland, as a small country, has been less disrupted by outside forces – protected by language and culture. But the position of newspapers in Australia, the United States, and Japan is very different.
Broadcasters online – a mixed picture
Across our sample we see that the vast majority (89%) are using a broadcaster brand via TV, radio, website, or app to access the news. But for these public service or commercial channels the main focus – and the main audience – remains with television and radio.
Audience levels and business models around broadcast news have not been disrupted to the same extent as print. Indeed for most, online news has been an opportunity to extend services and overall reach by competing head to head with newspapers around text news.
Broadcaster reach by country – TV and radio vs online
The success of TV brands online has partly depended on the extent to which they have been able to compete directly with newspapers.
In Brazil, commercial Globo has invested heavily in its online services and is the largest and most successful brand at 25% share online. Public broadcasters in Finland, Denmark, and the UK have faced little restriction on their ability to leverage their considerable investments in journalism online. By contrast NHK in Japan, RAI in Italy, and public broadcasters in Germany and France have faced financial, political, or organisational constraints.
In all cases, the impact of greater competition online means that even the most successful broadcasters end up looking much smaller online. Here are a few examples.
Combined with data showing that online users continue to regularly access TV news (75%), radio news (37%), and print (41%), this shows that online is not replacing traditional media but is mainly being used as an additional layer extending choice and convenience.