The Daily News, founded in 1919, was the first US daily newspaper printed in tabloid format. Today it is the ninth most widely circulated paper in the country and is owned by tronc, the publishing division of Tribune Company. The newspaper focuses on New York City news and sports, with intense city news coverage, celebrity gossip, classified ads, comics and a sports section. It is known for its strong pro-American, anti-communist editorial stance and is often seen in contrast to the more conservative New York Post.
In its most prestigious days the paper could hold the city’s attention with a single headline, such as its 1975 screamer “Ford to City: Drop Dead.” But even when its circulation reached more than 200,000 in 1988, it was still considerably less than its peak of the mid-20th century. By 2013 it was still one of America’s top-selling newspapers, but its use of straight news with delayed time reference (DTR) had declined from a high of 53% in 1988 to just under 50% (Table 1, below).
DTR has been falling for many years, but the decline in newspaper revenue, and particularly advertising, has accelerated this trend. This has led to a focus on cost-cutting and the introduction of new digital business models such as subscriptions.
This has also resulted in changes to how the news is presented, with an increasing emphasis on delivering ‘breaking news’ and fewer softer feature stories. In addition, the rise of social media has made it increasingly difficult for traditional news outlets to distinguish themselves from competing content.
Podcasting has become an important part of the news landscape, allowing publishers to reach large, loyal audiences outside of traditional broadcast times and spaces. Among these, daily news podcasts are a key focus. These on-demand news briefings can build habit and loyalty for audiences, while building up a valuable subscriber base for news organisations pursuing subscription business models.
Looking across six countries, this report counted 102 active daily news podcasts as of April 2019 – up from just five shows in 2017. This increase is driven by increased publisher investment in audio generally and is not solely related to the coronavirus pandemic.
While the popularity of the format pioneered by The Daily – a deep-dive, 25 minute long show aimed at smart speakers and streaming apps – has increased globally, our interviews suggest that other types of daily news podcast are also attracting audiences.
For example, the FT News Briefing from the Financial Times is a weekly podcast with a consistent audience of hundreds of thousands of listeners each day, while The Guardian’s flagship daily show is attracting hundreds of thousands too. In Europe, both public broadcasters and commercial publishers are embracing the format.