SnapStream Blog

Who Really Watches the News?

April 29 2021 by Sarah Eck



Audience measurement and attribution is tougher than ever, with neither surveys nor browser data telling the full story. Fortunately, the Pew Research Center embarked upon a year-long study to better understand news consumption habits, technology usage, and how research methodologies are trying to keep up.

With the rise of digital media and the diversification of channels used by traditional news sources, not only do researchers have a tougher time measuring readership/viewership, but even audiences themselves are confused. While the Measuring News Consumption in a Digital Era study in its entirety covers ways to improve news attribution surveys and data-gathering, this blog will focus on the findings related to who is watching the news, how they're watching it, and their overall understanding of the news media landscape.


News Consumption is Relatively High,About a quarter of Americans could not correctly identify any original reporting sources Media Literacy is Low

While most Americans claim to consume news on a regular or semi-regular basis, confusion exists around how news organizations actually work. 

According to the study, a little over half of respondents are at least fairly confident they can distinguish between news organizations that do their own reporting versus those that do not. 

When asked about specific outlets, including news aggregators like Google News and Apple News, more than two-thirds of respondents either thought these outlets did original reporting or weren't sure. 



Paying for News is Uncommon and Not Well Understood

Most Americans say they have not paid for news in past year… but when asked more specifically, some who initially said no indicate their household had subscribed or donated

What connotes 'paying for news' has changed drastically over the past decade. Historically, directly paying for news meant subscribing to a publication or purchasing one at the newsstand. With the rise of cable and the internet, more indirect forms emerged. 

Today, Americans get news from a vast set of sources but tend to think of buying access to news in specific terms. When broadly asked if they'd paid for news in the past year, 83% of respondents said they had not. 

However, when researchers asked respondents more specific questions as to whether they had subscribed to print or online news, or donated to a public broadcaster, the data shifted. Of the initial respondents who said they hadn't paid for news in the past year, 19% claimed to subscribe to print or online news when asked in those specific terms.

Overall, the vast majority of Americans are not directly paying to access news sources via subscription or donation, which puts greater pressure on news outlets to secure ad revenue, indirect revenue via licensing, and reimagine their financial models.

Streaming Services and Digital Devices Not Seen as News Sources

Audiences are broadly familiar with streaming devices and services, but a relatively small portion turn to these sources for news content. Less than 20% of study respondents said they get news at least sometimes from streaming devices or services, including Roku, Firestick, Netflix, and Hulu. These same respondents also responded as getting news from TV and digital devices. At the same time 85% of total survey respondents said they get news from mobile devices or PCs. 

Something doesn't quite add up, right?

The real answers emerged in the cognitive interviews with survey respondents. It turns out,  rather than seeing streaming devices or services as news sources, audiences think of them as tools that enable them to access a variety of content - entertainment, information, and possibly news - whenever they want. Put more simply, many respondents think of streaming services as either TV or internet content.

What’s New in SnapStream 9.6

December 23 2020 by Monty Mitra

We’re excited to announce SnapStream 9.6, which adds support for recording audio-only streams and includes more than 80 bug fixes and stability improvements delivering increased uptime and a smoother experience.

Learn more about recording and clipping audio-only streams in this video:

We are also extending the streams free trial so you can record streams for free longer (for all customers on 9.5 or 9.6).


Schedule Upgrade to 9.6

These newest features are available as a software upgrade to your SnapStream. Want to start using them? Have your administrator schedule an upgrade.

SnapStream’s support team will perform the upgrade via a remote session that usually takes an hour.


What’s New in SnapStream 9.5

October 07 2020 by Monty Mitra

We’re excited to roll out our newest SnapStream 9.5 release, which is focused on enhanced streams support with live transcription and Slack integration. At a high level, SnapStream 9.5 allows you to:

  • Easily add streams and create specific events to record
  • View and search live transcriptions from the added streams
  • Share a clip directly to Slack
  • Geo-lock posts to Twitter and Facebook

9.5 features

Streams & Events (With Live Transcription)

(Note: Only available as a part of SnapStream Cloud.)

One of our long-term focuses is helping our customers to expand their content sources within SnapStream. SnapStream 9.5 is the first step in that process by letting you directly add and manage your own RTMP or HLS streams. This can be great if you want to:

  • Record and clip specific events, such as a press conference
  • Easily add press pool feeds and other live and breaking news feeds, such as CNN Newsource, AP Video Hub or Reuters Video
  • Record and clip your Zoom events, meetings and webinars
  • Add, record, and search a 24/7 news stream channel, such as CBSN or YouTube Live channels

channel logos 2


Many of our customers want to quickly grab a stream to record and clip a specific event, such as a press briefing or an event that may not be available on national news broadcasts. So we also added the ability to create scheduled events for your streams as well. If you want to record an event happening next Tuesday from 2PM to 3PM, you can schedule it on any stream you setup in SnapStream.


Live Transcription

Our Streams & Events feature now enables Live Transcription. Since not all streams carry caption information, SnapStream can create those transcripts in real-time. Not only does this allow your event to be searchable later, but it makes real-time live clipping easier. SnapStream includes this transcript data when you publish clips to social media so your clips show captions when they auto-play as a user scrolls through Twitter or Facebook. 

When you upgrade to 9.5, you get 30 days to test out Streams & Events completely free. Add as many streams as you want and record as many events as you need. We also provide 10 hours of free live transcription per month.

Streams and EventsLearn more about Streams & Events


Zoom thumbnail

Recording a Zoom call in SnapStream only takes a few clicks


HLS Thumbnail

OTT channels like CBSN can now be added to SnapStream for clipping


Clip to Slack

One of the things we heard from a lot of customers is that they’d love to be able to share clips in Slack. Many of you create clips in SnapStream and collaborate with them with other members of your team to decide if and how to use them. Maybe a few of you want to decide if that’s the right clip to post to social media or to your website. Plus, just about every team is on Slack so it just makes sense to share clips directly there!

Clip to Slack

Geolock social media posts

Many of our customers need to ensure that their posts are only displayed in specific countries or excluded in specific countries. SnapStream 9.5 now supports geolocking posts to Twitter and Facebook. You can select specific countries where to show the posts or where to exclude the posts.



Speed enhancements & more

We’ve also made performance upgrades to our SnapStream Cloud product. Cloud customers, particularly those with a larger number of users, should notice faster speeds when publishing clips to social media. SnapStream 9.5 has many other bug fixes and improvements. Read the full release notes.


Schedule Upgrade to 9.5

These newest features are available as a software upgrade to your SnapStream. Want to start using them? Have your administrator schedule an upgrade.

SnapStream’s support team will perform the upgrade via a remote session that usually takes an hour.


What is SnapStream? There's an unlimited amount of video content out there: 24/7 news channels, breaking news events, sports, talk shows, awards galas, entertainment shows, and so much more.

SnapStream makes a real-time news and media search engine that makes it fast and easy to find the video moments that support our customers telling great stories.

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