Online news trends: Consumers seek trusted titles in ‘post-truth’ world

May 16, 2018 | Content marketing, Regulation

Over the last year social media has taken a battering with fake news, data scandals and brand safety concerns causing many to question social platforms.

New research from Teads shows that due the rise in fake news means that over 75% of consumers are more likely to seek out news sources they trust. Social media is considered to be one of the least trusted media types to consume with 26% of consumers believing it to be fake and 28% suggesting it to be sensationalised.

The data also shows news continues to play a vital role in consumers lives, with the majority of consumers reading the news one to five times per day, leveraging mostly from online and TV news sources. This emphasises the power of quality journalism and why it is so important for advertisers to partner with quality publishers.

Key findings:

  • Due to fake news, over 75 percent of consumers are more likely to seek out news sources they trust
  • 26 percent of consumers associate the word “fake” with social media
  • Only 11% of consumers trust advertising/branded content on social platforms

Three quarters of respondents said the rise in fake news has made them more likely to seek out quality, trustworthy news sites.

The majority of consumers around the globe read the news one to five times per day, with the majority of Brits reading the papers in the morning, either in print or online, and tuning into news on TV in the evenings. UK men are bigger news junkies than women, as they check news 29 times per week versus 21 times for women.

The study also reveals over half of Brits (51%) prefer to read their news on a mobile device, and, surprisingly those aged 35-44 are more likely to consume online news than any other age group.

When asked how much attention they’re paying to news across different mediums, online and TV emerged as the strongest, with 60% globally strongly paying attention to news online and 52% strongly paying attention to news on TV.

Social media, however, is considered to be one of the least trusted media types to consume news and advertising/branded content. Although 62% of consumers actively read the news on social media, only 11% trust advertising/brand content on these platforms. Globally, consumers believe social media to be sensationalised (28%) and fake (26%).

The findings also highlight how well people remember advertising on different platforms. On a global level, consumers remember and trust advertising from TV more than any other medium. Yet, when looking at the youth audience (16-24 years olds), online emerged as the top medium for which they trust and remember advertising.

Quality is crucial when it comes to advertising, with over 45% citing this as the biggest component impacting how well they remember ads.

Many of Teads’ top publishers have lent their support to the research, including Trinity Mirror, Condé Nast Britain, Mail Online, Reuters and ESI Media, all of whom firmly believe in the importance of delivering quality, trustworthy editorial and news content to readers and creating premium environments for advertisers.

Emily Brewer, Head of UK Publishing at Teads said, “This research shows that consumers are valuing news more than ever. Quality journalism is a crucial part of the free web and we are proud to be collaborating with many publishers contributing to this in the UK. We know that sustaining innovative and non-intrusive ad experiences is key to supporting publishers, and with our combined reach, we are able to be stronger than the sum of our parts.”

“Now more than ever, our readers rely on us to deliver quality reporting from trusted sources,” said Scott Deutrom, Chief Digital Revenue Officer at ESI Media. “At the same time, like many publishers, we rely on the revenue we receive from advertising and are happy to see this study reinforce that consumers value news content and ultimately, trust the advertising they see within this type of content.”


Teads commissioned independent market research company, Censuswide, to survey 16,000 consumers in February 2018. The respondents were polled from top markets across the globe who actively consume the news. Unless otherwise stated, all statistics referenced relate to this survey.