In Brief: News-Consumption Habits; New Year’s Resolutions

January 3, 2019


Pew Study Finds Americans Still Prefer Watching to Reading the News

A new survey from Pew Research Center revealed that Americans prefer to watch the news rather than read it by a ratio of 47 to 34 percent, marking only a minimal change from 2016’s study, which tallied 46 percent of respondents as news-watchers to 35 percent as news-readers.

Within the subset of news-watching respondents, 75 percent still favor television as their medium of choice. However, the survey suggests this strong majority may not last thanks to the internet. While in 2016 only 12 percent of news-watchers favored online content, now 20 percent report this preference. Overall, 34 percent of Americans now obtain their news from the web, marking a 6 percent increase from 2016.

The survey also reflected the country’s declining dependence on print media. Only 7 percent of respondents, compared with 2016’s 11 percent, say they rely on newspapers to stay connected to current events, while 63 percent of all news-readers prefer digital media to print.

Why Spotify and Pandora Are Getting Into Podcasting

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Spotify and Pandora are working to expand beyond music streaming into podcasting, an immensely popular but not yet all that lucrative medium.

A study by Edison Research shows that 26 percent of Americans — around 73 million people — listen to podcasts every month. However, ad revenue from podcasts in the U.S. are expected to reach only $402 million in 2018, a low number when compared with broadcast radio’s $14 billion.

Despite the revenue issues, a foray into podcasting for Spotify (which already carries 150,000 podcasts) and Pandora makes sense for two reasons. First, music is the most popular genre of podcast, according to Nielsen. Second, the key to more revenue aligns with what Spotify and Pandora already excel at: personalized recommendations for users.

“When you contrast it to music discovery, it’s like it’s in the Stone Age,” Pandora Media Inc. Chief Executive Roger Lynch told the Journal. “We think we can expand our audience by bringing people in to listen to a certain podcast and keeping them on the platform with the music we have.”

How Leaders Can Unify a Disengaged Workforce

According to Gallup’s “State of the Global Workplace” study, 85 percent of employees report feeling “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” at work, costing companies approximately $7 trillion in lost productivity.

While there is no simple fix for the disconnectedness of today’s workforce — which can be attributed to everything from smartphone usage to an increase in telecommuting — Dan Schawbel, partner and research director at HR advisory firm Future Workplace, writes that leaders can create a more unified office by prioritizing the needs, interests and career trajectories of individual employees.

Schawbel says that leaders should try viewing their role in the office as more of a trusted coach than a boss. He recommends they schedule semi-regular mentorship and feedback sessions with employees, stress the importance of open collaboration and own up to their shortcomings as a leader.

“Vulnerability isn’t a weakness,” he writes, in a Fortune essay. “It’s a strength that creates a safe space and allows people to have a deeper relationship with you.”

Creating a Realistic Set of New Year’s Resolutions

There are pros and cons to setting career-based New Year’s resolutions. On one hand, it’s productive to aspire to, for instance, improve the way we work and communicate around the office. However, at the same time, failing to make these changes can leave us discouraged and down on ourselves.

To create a realistic set of New Year’s resolutions, Chris Christoff, co-founder of MonsterInsights, recommends breaking big goals down into smaller, more manageable tasks. “If your goal is to have a profitable business website with tens of thousands of unique visitors a month, and you don’t even have a website, you have quite a way to go,” he writes, in a blogpost for Inc.

He also advocates for setting reasonable deadlines on goals to “allow you to establish a flow of progress” and not being afraid of reassessing your original resolutions if your situation or needs have changed.

He writes, “Even if you don’t become as successful as you’d hoped this year, you’re still one step closer to your goal than if you just make the promise, get overwhelmed and quit.”


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