2020 News Wellness Study: 7 Consumption Stats to Pay Attention To

by Ellen Minkin in May 16th, 2020

News consumption has changed dramatically over the years. It’s moved from print to television to online and even to our phones. Consumers have the ability to be more connected than ever ... but is that always a good thing? 

At Below the Fold, we strive to empower news readers and to give them the content they need to better understand and engage with the world around them. As such, we wanted to fully understand people’s relationship with the news they consume and how it not only impacts their day-to-day lives, but also their emotions. 

We collected data from 143 adult readers on their new habits and compiled it in the Below the Fold 2020 News Wellness Study. Given the recent pandemic, we also took a deeper dive into how coronavirus news stories have impacted their own reading behavior.

The data below is split amongst three categories:

  • News Consumption’s Impact on Stress
  • COVID-19 News Consumption
  • General News Consumption Habits

With that, let’s dive in.

News Consumption’s Impact on Stress

1) 76% of people agree that news is stressful. 

We asked consumers if they agree with the following statement: News is stressful. Of the 76% that agree, 22% strongly agree, while 54% somewhat agree. And only 4% of respondents said they strongly disagree with that statement.


2) People’s stress levels seem to increase when consuming news. 

When we asked people to rate their stress levels from 1 to 10 (with 1 being the least stressful and 10 being the most stressful) throughout the day, the majority (25%) rank stress at 5 out of 10. But then, when asked to rate their stress levels when consuming news, the majority (22%) rank their stress at 8 out 10. 

COVID-19 News Consumption

3) 64% of people say their news consumption has increased since the Covid-19 pandemic.

As many people are spending more time at home in 2020 due the coronavirus, 64% of people report an increase in their news consumption habits. The other 26% of people say their news consumption has stayed the same and just 11% say their news consumption has actually decreased.


4) 65% of people check for coronavirus updates at least once a day. 

59% of people say they are checking their phone for updates on the pandemic once a day and 6% are checking for updates every hour. Another 22% of people check for pandemic-related updates whenever they receive a notification.

General News Consumption Habits 

5) 73% of people normally consume news through online articles. 

There are more available channels for news consumption than ever before. In our survey we asked people to check all that apply for their avenues of normal news consumption. 

The most common channel was online articles (73%), but social media platforms are a close second (69%). We thought this was significant to note as traditional news companies shift to different digital and social platforms. 

Meanwhile, newsletters come in third with 50% of people normally getting some form of news through email. And as we shift online and to our phones, it’s no surprise that newspapers come in last with 21%. In the middle are news apps (43%), podcasts (42%), and television news (27%). 


6) 92% of people spend up to three hours a day consuming news.

Not everyone spends the same amount of time consuming news each day. While 50% of people spend a few hours, 42% say they spend less than an hour a day consuming news. On the other end of the spectrum, 7% of people say they spend between three to six hours a day consuming news. 

7) Almost everyone cares about being informed. 

98% of people agree it is important to stay informed. And that’s why at Acciyo, we care deeply about helping people consume news with the least amount of stress. It’s especially important right now, as we deal with a worldwide health and economic crisis and in the U.S. and an election year. 

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