Robin Neidorf Sixth Annual News Needs & Preferences Survey Shows Change in Attitudes
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By Robin Neidorf

Abstract

A shift in attitudes towards news is highlighted in FreePint's Sixth Annual News Needs & Preferences Survey. The introduction of DJX has caused a spike in the number of respondent customers of Factiva who are actively considering alternative news options. The ability to redistribute content from news suppliers throughout the organisation, a new question for this year, demonstrated the increasing importance of this function. Advanced search options and a choice of delivery formats are also essential.

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Beyond AggregationData analysis is now complete on FreePint's Sixth Annual News Needs & Preferences Survey, and the results demonstrate a few significant changes in attitudes in the market, along with continuation of some of the trends in news consumption tracked in previous years.

An overview of the characteristics of the nearly 300 respondents to the 2013 survey can be found here.

Seeking Alternatives

The 2013 survey asked respondents how likely they are to consider alternative providers to their primary provider of news content in the coming year.

Respondents could select:

  • "Very likely - actively seeking alternatives"
  • "Somewhat likely - will review when contract next comes up"
  • "Not likely - minimal reasons if any to look elsewhere".

Nearly 30% of respondents reported that they are currently reviewing alternatives and another 36% expect to when their current contract is up for renewal.

Click to view

Figure 1: How likely are you to consider alternative providers to your primary provider of news content?

Responses were filtered according to which provider the respondent named as primary for his or her organisation. Here we can see the impact of major changes to market leader Factiva.com, which have been underway since early in 2013.

Nearly 40% of respondents who report that Factiva.com is their preferred provider today are currently reviewing alternative providers, compared with only 8% of respondents who report that Nexis.com is their preferred provider. 

The group least likely to be looking at alternative providers are those who named any provider other than Factiva or Nexis as their organisation's preferred provider: 45% of this group selected "not likely" in response to this question.

Key Purchase Variables

Over the six years of this project, we have asked many of the same questions in the same way, enabling year-on-year comparisons of needs and preferences. 

One set of questions we have repeated asks respondents to rate the importance of a number of variables that influence their purchase of a premium news solution on a scale of 1 to 4, where 1 = not important and 4 = very important.

In pre-research interviews and customer meetings conducted in the summer of 2013, information managers repeatedly raised a variable we had not named in the past on this question: the ability to redistribute content from the news service provider throughout the organisation. We added this variable to the question in this year's survey.

Not surprisingly given the importance laid upon it in those pre-research interviews, that variable earned the highest average rating (3.7 on the 4.0 scale) amongst this year's survey respondents.

Click to view

Figure 2: Key purchase variables

Year-on-year results of the other top variables demonstrate some shifts in attitudes and requirements with regard to news content:

  • Advanced search features are increasing in importance; respondents need premium products to save them and their users time by homing in quickly on the most relevant results

  • The importance of delivery formats for results is also on the rise, year-on-year; respondents want more control and more options regarding what they can do with results

  • Direct cost and ease of use, though still important variables, demonstrate decreased average ratings since 2009; some of the internal pressures on budget are now easing slightly (at least compared with 2009 budgets), and information managers are thinking harder about the needs of "power users", who can tolerate more complexity in interface and user interactions.

Full Results and Briefings

The full results of this project have been published in the FreePint Report: Survey on News Needs & Preferences 2013 which is now available to those with a FreePint Subscription.

Articles in this report:

Join a free Research Briefing on 9 January, 10 a.m. Eastern/3 p.m. UK. Learn more and register now »

With a FreePint Subscription at the Organisation level, you can secure a private briefing for your team. Private briefings are an ideal way to stimulate research-based dialogue with strategists, product managers, key users and other stakeholders in your organisation. Email robin.neidorf@freepint.com for more information.


Editor's Note: Beyond Aggregation

This article is part of the FreePint Topic Series: Beyond Aggregation, which ran from October to November 2013. You can still register your interest to receive a free copy of the FreePint Report: Buyer's Guide on News Content published in early December.

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