CEOs Still Prefer Their Online Content in Text Format, Not Multimedia

April 12, 2013

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Boomers & Older | Digital | Email | Magazines | Mobile Phone | Social Media | Youth & Gen X in 4 CEOs aged under 50 say they “mostly consume information online,” and close to 2 in 3 aged over 50 agree, per results [download page] from a survey that examines the ways in which 358 business leaders stay informed. But while their information consumption may have gone largely digital, it hasn’t migrated to newer forms of interactive content, according to the survey’s results. Asked which forms of online media they prefer, 57% indicated text, compared to 18% who cited infographics (with preference for this format skewing younger), 8% video, and 2% podcasts. 22% said they had no preference.

Notably, while most prefer text content, only 14% strongly agreed with the statement “when I consume information online, I prefer text.” That suggests that if forced to make a choice, CEOs prefer text, but they’re probably more agnostic than the initial result implies.

Other Findings:

  • Business news is the most frequently accessed content for 4 in 5 CEOs.
  • Next is market and industry news content, although this was tops for CEOs of companies with over $10 million in revenues.
  • 57% of respondents consume business information on a smartphone every day, and 35% spend as much time on a tablet as a laptop.
  • CEOs over 50 years of age are 30% more likely to find Google+ very valuable for business information than Facebook. Among CEOs under 50, twice as many find Facebook very valuable as do Google+.
  • 96% of CEOs find email newsletters to be valuable in their work, including 49% who find them “very valuable.”
  • Behind email newsletters, online trade publications are the next-most cited source of valuable information, with 58% saying they are happy to pay for useful content.
  • CEOs are also creating digital information. During the 6 months prior to the survey, 87% participated in a social network, 60% in a webcast or video, 31% wrote a blog post, and 16% were part of a podcast.

About the Data: The data is based on a survey of 358 CEOs. According to the report, “age distribution followed a classic bell curve with the mean at 50 years. Nine percent were either under 30 or over 65, 55% were 50-65, and 34% were 30-49.” 36% had 10+ years of experience and 30% had 2-5. Roughly half lead companies with less than $10 million in annual revenue.


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