The Persistence of the Popular in Mobile News Consumption

Jacob L. Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


As news consumption shifts from desktop to mobile devices, many journalism researchers and stakeholders wonder how this transition will impact news audience behavior. This perspective assumes that changes in where news is consumed are likely to go hand-in-hand with changes in how it is consumed. However, key aspects of media consumption tend to remain remarkably stable regardless of where that consumption takes place. Most notably, media audiences typically congregate around a small number of familiar brands, while ignoring the lesser-known options. In this study, I analyze a year’s worth of U.S.-based online news consumption data to show that the mobile platform is yet another example of how a few media firms comprise a majority of audience attention. I conclude that, when it comes to where audiences turn for news, the mobile platform is a continuation of what has come before.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-102
Number of pages16
JournalDigital Journalism
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2020


  • Audience analytics
  • mobile news
  • news audiences
  • news platforms
  • online news

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication


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