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TODD SMITH: Younger adults prefer reading news via video



When it comes to technology’s influence on America’s young adults, reading is not dead – at least not the news.

When asked whether one prefers to read, watch or listen to their news, younger adults are far more likely than older ones to opt for text, and most of that reading takes place on the web.

Overall, more Americans prefer to watch their news (46 percent) than to read it (35 percent) or listen to it (17 percent), a Pew Research Center survey found earlier this year.

But that varies dramatically by age. Those ages 50 and older are more likely to prefer watching news over any other method: About half (52 percent) of 50- to 64-year-olds and 58 percent of those 65 and older would rather watch the news, while roughly three-in-ten (29 percent and 27 percent, respectively) prefer to read it. Among those under 50, on the other hand, roughly equal portions – about four-in-ten of those ages 18-29 and ages 30-49 – opt to read their news as opt to watch it.

Most of that reading among younger adults is through digital text rather than print. About eight-in-ten (81 percent) of 18- to 29-year-olds who prefer to read their news also prefer to get their news online; just 10 percent choose a print newspaper.

The breakdown among 30- to 49-year-olds is similar. News readers who are ages 50-64, on the other hand, are more evenly split between a preference for the web (41 percent) and print paper (40 percent), while those 65 and older mostly still turn to the print paper (63 percent).

There is also evidence that younger adults who prefer to watch their news are beginning to make the transition to doing so on a computer rather than a television. While 57 percent of 18- to 29-year-old news watchers prefer to get their news via TV, 37 percent cite the web as their platform of choice. That is far more than any other age group, including double the percentage of 30- to 49-year-old news watchers.

While news listening garners a smaller fan base overall, 18- to 29-year-olds who prefer this method of news again show signs of digital migration: Three-in-ten of these news listeners prefer the web for their news, at least twice that of older news listeners.

To be sure, younger adults consistently demonstrate less interest in the news overall. But research also reveals that, in the digital realm, they often get news at equal or higher rates than older Americans, whether intentionally or not.

Samsung kills Galaxy Note 7, tries to revive its reputation

With each day that Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 problems remain in the headlines, the damage to Samsung’s brand and long-term business prospects grows.

Every day, flights are taking off with what amounts to an anti-Samsung commercial, warning people not to use or plug in their device. At stores and airports, where there used to be scores of ads touting the Samsung brand, there are now dire signs warning of a mass recall. The Note 7’s lithium-ion batteries have been found to spontaneously burst into flame.

Having to scrap the Galaxy Note 7 will be extremely costly for the global tech giant both on its bottom line and reputation. The Note is one of two main flagship phones for the company and its newest product heading into the all-important holiday selling season. We’re talking at least a couple billion dollars in lost profits and some $10 billion in revenue, plus the cost of the recall, says Jackdaw Research analyst Jan Dawson.

But, having failed to quickly restore confidence and facing a potential second recall, the Note 7 is likely done. Production has been halted on all versions of the Note 7, and the company can only hope it will RIP.

Samsung needs to quickly pivot its attention from trying to resuscitate this phone to salvaging its company’s reputation.

While Samsung moved decisively to halt sales of the original Note 7 on Sept. 2, the company’s muddled response to issues with the replacement phones exacerbated its problems.

And here’s why the situation for Samsung is particularly troublesome: It’s far from the only game in town when it comes to Android devices.

If Apple were to have an issue, for example, and had to recall a phone, it would still be the only place to get an iPhone. So if you wanted to get an iPhone the following year, you’d still have to go with Apple’s model.

Not so with Samsung and its phones. It may be the largest provider of Android phones, but there is no shortage of other companies eager to take its place.

LG, HTC and Sony all compete at the high end of the phone market, as does Google now with its well-timed and just-introduced Pixel.

What has helped Samsung achieve name recognition has been its hardware designs and the billions it has spent in advertising to help build its brand over the last few years.

The Note, in particular, had been a strong point for Samsung, helping it stand out thanks to its large screen and built-in S-Pen stylus. The company boasted that Note users were the company’s most loyal, while analysts say they were also the most profitable thanks to the strong margins on the big-screen phone.

Social ad spending surpasses TV ad buys

New research shows that for the first time, digital and social media ad spending has surpassed that of TV. Marketers everywhere are revisiting their strategies, leading to big changes in ad spend.

A recent study released by eMarketer shows digital ad spending in 2016, a result that went against the predictions they released in March. Their initial estimate was that TV would remain on top until 2017, when digital would edge it out.

The figures in this recent report, however, show 2016 TV ad spending will be $71.29 billion with digital coming in at $72.09 billion. Digital accounts for 36.8 percent of total media ad spending and TV is 36.4 percent.

It’s no surprise that digital ad spending has grown so much, given the sharp rise in social, mobile, and video. As a whole, social ad spend comes in at $15.36 billion or 21.3 percent of the total digital ad spend, up from 18.2 percent last year.

But this is the year of mobile, as ad spending on mobile is expected to rise 45 percent to nearly $46 billion. In fact, in its latest quarterly report, social media juggernaut Facebook announced that 84 percent ($5.24 billion) of their advertising revenue for Q2 2016 was from mobile ads. It only stands to reason because of the 267 million Internet users in the U.S., nearly 79 percent of them access the Internet and social networks regularly via a mobile device. That number is expected to rise to 86 percent by 2020.

Nobel Mic | Bob Dylan first singer to win literature award

Bob Dylan, the poet laureate of the rock era, was the first musician to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, an honor that elevates him into the company of T. S. Eliot, Toni Morrison and Samuel Beckett.

Dylan, 75, whose selection last week was perhaps the most radical choice in a history stretching back to 1901. In choosing a popular musician for the literary world’s highest honor, the Swedish Academy, which awards the prize, dramatically redefined the boundaries of literature, giving song lyrics the same artistic value as poetry or novels.

As the writer of classic folk and protest songs like “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “The Times They Are a-Changin’,” as well as Top 10 hits including “Like a Rolling Stone.” Dylan is a superb Nobel winner. The first American to win the prize since 1993, he is studied by Oxford dons and beloved by presidents.

Dylan’s music and lyrics spoke to a generation during the tumultuous 1960s and helped galvanize the civil rights movement. His influence continues to permeate through rock, pop and folk music today. For this historic and impressive milestone, Dylan rolls along with a Golden Nobel Mic!

Each week, The Spin Cycle will bestow a Golden Mic Award to the person, group or company in the court of public opinion that best exemplifies the tenets of solid PR, marketing and advertising – and those who don’t. Stay tuned – and step-up to the mic! And remember … Amplify Your Brand!

» Todd Smith is president and chief communications officer of Deane, Smith & Partners, a full-service branding, PR, marketing and advertising firm with offices in Jackson. The firm — based in Nashville, Tenn. — is also affiliated with Mad Genius. Contact him at todd@deanesmithpartners.com, and follow him @spinsurgeon.


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