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Why A Quarter of All US Adults Now Get Their News from YouTube

The places people get the news from matters. When YouTube first launched, not many anticipated how much it would grow. Today people watch many hours of video content on YouTube each year. It seems there’s always something new or exciting to watch on the most popular video platform online. And now YouTube is growing as a preferred source for world news. This article looks at data from new research concerning the matter, contributed by Revelio Labs, a workforce intelligence software.

YouTube As a News Source

As per recent research by the Pew Research Center, roughly 26 percent (around a quarter) of US adults watch news content on YouTube. And 13 percent of those people consider YouTube a crucial way of getting news information.

The same research also found that mainstream or established news outlets no longer control all the news US residents watch. Only 23 percent (one-in-five users) consume news from media channels affiliated with mainstream news organizations. The same percentage of people (23 percent) report getting news from independent providers.

Additionally, the Pew Research Center found that established news organizations only controlled 49 percent of all the most popular news channels on YouTube. Independent creators controlled 42 percent of popular channels.

Why YouTube for News?

While YouTube news consumers enjoy using the platform, a third of them are concerned about misinformation, as per the study. Also, independent news channels are more likely to cover QAnon conspiracy theories than established news outlets. Videos with a negative tone were also twice as likely to be produced by independent news organizations (37 percent of videos) than established ones (17 percent).

So, why are people using YouTube for news? For the answer, the Pew Research Center asked respondents to explain YouTube’s appeal as a source of news.

The majority reported that YouTube news videos help better comprehend current events, and 73 percent expect the information to be accurate. Users also noted that access to news outside mainstream organizations, the variety of available sources, and alternate opinions as chief reasons for using YouTube.

Furthermore, worth noting is that of those who watch the news on YouTube, 51 percent go there for opinions and commentary, and 48 percent seek objective reporting.

The YouTube News Consumption Trend May Grow

Personality-driven and opinionated commentary has always thrived on YouTube for as long as it’s been on the Internet. These kinds of videos are often able to make complex topics clearer and easier to understand. The research by the Pew Research Center illustrates the pull or influence independent news YouTubers have on the platform – people still go to the video-sharing site to find Independent voices.

While YouTube news consumers recognize problems with getting information from the platform, most do not consider the issues alarming. Additionally, more people will likely begin to use YouTube as a source for news. The platform is accessible on virtually any device.

According to Google, watch time on TV screens increased by 80 percent year-over-year during the pandemic. So established news organizations are probably in big trouble.

“There are tremendous uncertainties to companies as COVID-19 continues to affect society” – Revelio Labs, workforce intelligence software.

People are seeking alternate news sources, and social media platforms are convenient.