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The Nielsen Total Audience Report: Q4 2016

1 minute read | April 2017

News headlines were non-stop throughout 2016. The unrelenting flood of stories included not just the Presidential election but also Syria, refugees, Brexit, Zika, terror attacks, celebrity deaths, and tense relations between police and communities.

Americans responded by watching, listening to and reading more news – a lot more news. Our tally of increased usage across national and local TV, radio and digital sources shows a 2016 increase of 11.3 billion minutes of news consumption per week, compared to 2015.

In this edition of the Nielsen Total Audience Report, we examine this phenomenal increase in news. We look at which sources showed the greatest increase, whether the increases were due to an increase in consumers (reach) or more time spent with news per person. We show the profile of these news consumers by age and race/ethnicity. We look at news consumption in 2016 compared to 2012, the last U.S. Presidential election year.

News Consumption Among Adults 18+

Adults 18+ spent over 72.5 billion minutes consuming news in the average week in 2016. This is an 18% increase from the prior year with most of the increase coming from national cable news networks.

Using our panel methodology for national TV, local TV in LPM markets, radio in PPM markets, and digital, we can analyze the news consumer and how usage varies by source and demographic.

Using our panel methodology for TV, radio, and digital, we can analyze the profile and behavior of working moms and stay-at-home moms.

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