As mentioned in our 2020 annual update, online traffic jumped 18% in 2020. As more jump online for their information and entertainment, the number of readers of “print” news continues to drastically decrease while online consumption of digital (online news) continues to rise.

In 2013, it was reported that 63% of news consumers got their info via print. In April, 2020, that percentage of print readers has gone down to 26%. (Pew Research). Conversely, today, 69% of news consumers get their info from a combination of websites and apps along with social media. (Pew Research).

Our own multimedia website experienced a 361% increase in traffic (3.9 Million page views in 2020 vs. 1.08 Million page views in 2019) and has maintained that trend throughout first quarter 2021 with a total of 532,529 page views from Jan 01,2021 – Feb 14, 2021 (or avg. of 11,576 page views per day equalling 4.2 Million currently projected for 2021). We guess it’s appropriate to now say, “Welcome to the new world of digital news and information distribution.”

Of course, this is a good thing for local businesses and hyper-local advertising. Data already suggests that the way of digital news and info is by way of local platforms which have a high connection to “community”. Also of note, the percentage of people who gain their local news through television is nearly the same for online websites, apps, social media and podcasts. (41% versus 37% respectively).

Chart showing that nearly the same share of Americans prefer to get local news online as from the television set.

Of note, radio appears to be getting hammered. We went into detail on podcasts in our 2020 annual update. Radio’s woes include streaming platforms (podcasts) and distribution platforms like Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and the like. People are beginning to curate their own entertainment on these platforms, mixing their favorite music playlists with their favorite talk shows and audible books. Radio can’t keep up and maybe has already lost the battle.

What this simply means is that the democratization of media continues to fall squarely in the hands of the individual, and community. Talking Glass Media (TGM) is a perfect example of this notion. TGM owns and operates the region’s leading good news website, Prescott Valley’s newest quarterly print publication TG Magazine and the region’s newest streaming platform, CAST11 so now our communities can listen to their news updates while eavesdropping on local conversations of interest. Power to our people!