Pew: Digital News Sites More Likely to Have Email Newsletters Than Apps

A Pew analysis of large digital news outlets suggests that most find email newsletters and social media presences essential—but apps, on the other hand, are less common.

If you’re running a digital news outlet these days, you might want to put a little extra attention on your newsletter, rather than your app.

That’s according to a new fact sheet from the Pew Research Center, which notes that more adults than ever get their news online (93 percent), and that nearly all of the news outlets that are most effective at distributing that information online have an email newsletter.

In addition, the fact sheet reveals that almost all digital news outlets with more than 10 million monthly unique visitors have a Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube account, while 97 percent have a newsletter.

In contrast, apps tend to be less of a focus for the 36 outlets highlighted, with the percentage of outlets having an app staying around 61 percent between 2016 and 2017.(Though, notably, more outlets have both Android and iOS apps in 2017 than in the prior year.) These outlets were more likely to have dedicated podcasts (75 percent) than apps.

The report, which analyzed household names like BuzzFeed, Quartz, and, found that these sites saw an average 12 percent increase in traffic between 2015 and 2016 (with each site averaging 22.5 million unique visitors each month), during a period where digital advertising as a whole had increased from $60 billion to $72 billion.

The data sheet was part of a series of fact sheets Pew has released on different aspects of the news industry, including local broadcasts, newspapers, podcasts, and cable news. Released on a staggered schedule, the sheets replaced the firm’s long-running State of the News Media report.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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