Readers hungry to provide more content in the media

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Readers’ appetite for user generated content (UGC) is growing, according to a new study of newspaper readers in Europe. Almost a half (45%) would like to see newspapers publish more UGC, equivalent to 25 million Metro readers daily. The study of newspapers readers in Sweden, Denmark and Netherlands, was carried out by Metro via its reader panel concentrating on its partner, crowdsourcing service Scoopshot to find out how best to enhance reader engagement through UGC.

The study also found that publishing citizen photography can harness reader loyalty, with 58% of readers preferring newspapers that publish photographs taken by readers, compared to those that just use professional photography. Results from the study confirm that UGC can increase reader loyalty, as almost two thirds (60%) of readers think that UGC images enrich the content published in newspapers.

“Differentiating from the competition with unique content is a top objective for many news outlets today, especially the ones considering paywalls, so it’s interesting to see that the public prefer to read newspapers that publish unique photographs taken by the public alongside those by professionals. Over the last few years the use of citizen photography has seen a significant increase, yet our study shows that many readers would like to see publications publish even more amateur photography,” says Niko Ruokosuo, CEO of Scoopsho

The study found that 66% of readers would happily send photos to the media because they want to contribute to the telling of the news. Further to this, 65% would submit their own photos just because it’s fun to be featured in the media. However, the survey also found that the possibility of a financial reward is in fact the top driver (70%) for submitting photos to the media.

Sixty four percent of readers said initiatives by newspapers to encourage readers to send in photos of newsworthy events or take part in photography competitions made newspapers appear more modern and innovative. Over two thirds (69%) of readers said that that photography tasks or competitions set by the media are fun to take part in and an over whelming majority (73%) of readers would like the media to hold more photography tasks or competitions, illustrating that UGC can add value and increase reader loyalty.

“It’s also fascinating to see that newspapers that ask readers to send in photographs of newsworthy events are viewed as more modern and innovative. With so much competition, we’re seeing that the media are increasingly looking at how they can better engage with readers. Photography tasks and competitions can be great way for the media to strengthen loyalty and since most people now have smartphones it’s easier than ever to get readers involved,” “Differentiating from the competition with unique content is a top objective for many news outlets today, especially the ones considering paywalls, so it’s interesting to see that the public prefer to read newspapers that publish unique photographs taken by the public alongside those by professionals. Over the last few years the use of citizen photography has seen a significant increase, yet our study shows that many readers would like to see publications publish even more amateur photography,” says Ruokosuo.

The study follows a recent survey of newspaper editors by Scoopshot, which found that use of UGC is growing fast, with 80% of newspaper editors regularly using it and 76% planning to make greater use of it. Amongst editors the top reasons for using UGC were to foster greater reader engagement and loyalty (37%), and to differentiate from competitors (28%).

Says Ruokosuo: “Differentiating from the competition with unique content is a top objective for many news outlets today, especially the ones considering paywalls, so it’s interesting to see that the public prefer to read newspapers that publish unique photographs taken by the public alongside those by professionals. Over the last few years the use of citizen photography has seen a significant increase, yet our study shows that many readers would like to see publications publish even more amateur photography.”

 

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