Chart of the Week: Tracking the News: Reader Demographics

At last week’s Mobile World Conference in Barcelona, talk swirled around many of the usual telecoms-related topics: the future of 5G, Samsung’s latest series of smartphones, and the impact of GDPR on a global level. But the continued consolidation of news, media, and technology companies was also on many minds. Oath, the product of the super-merger between Yahoo and AOL, was well-represented at the conference, as they continue to consolidate and unify their dozens of brands (including the Huffington Post, TechCrunch, and Yahoo Sports) under a new identity. And Facebook, was also a major presence at the show, despite (or perhaps due to) the recent shakeups in its news feed algorithm, and the way it works with high-profile third-party content providers, such as the New York Times and Buzzfeed. With all this focus on the news media, which outlets attract the most diverse audience base, and which stand to carve a distinctive audience niche in this increasingly crowded landscape?

Which news outlets attract the most diverse audience base?

Verto Analytics looked at the audience profiles of some of the leading news properties, based on the rankings in our latest Verto Index: Huffington Post, CNN, Buzzfeed, and Fox News. According to Verto Watch data, each news property showed distinctive audience demographics based on audience age and gender (among U.S. adults, ages 18 and above). Compared to the U.S. population, the Huffington Post has one of the most representative audiences; we weighted each news property’s demographics against the general American population. In the Huffington Post’s case, the distribution of their audience across genders matches the population of the U.S. (for an index of 100), whereas Buzzfeed’s audience is heavily skewed towards women, with a base that is nearly 70% female (an index of 133). The age distribution of Huffington Post’s audience is also generally in line with that of the U.S.; only those between the ages of 35-44 are heavily overrepresented (with an index of 127).

There are much greater skews among the audiences of other news outlets, especially Fox News: while the gender distribution of Fox’s audience is roughly in line with that of the U.S. population, its audience is skewed heavily towards older Americans: 45% of its audience is aged 55 or above, an index of 127. And younger audiences are heavily underrepresented among Fox’s user base, especially those between the ages of 18-24, who comprise less than 6% of Fox’s audience (and an index of just 51). Meanwhile, Buzzfeed’s audience is skewed heavily towards women (as previously mentioned) as well as younger audiences: almost 20% of its audience is between the ages of 18-24, an index of 161, and a quarter of its audience is between the ages of 25-34, an index of 133.

This Chart of the Week was created using Verto Watch. Interested in the latest insights on audiences profiles and digital properties? Sign up for our newsletter.