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Study Reveals Growth of User Generated Content

A new WAN-IFRA study reveals growing media appetite for user generated content (UGC), which is increasingly being used as a way of encouraging reader engagement and loyalty.

The study was commissioned by crowdsourcing service Scoopshot and spoke to a range of national and regional newspaper editors. Of those polled, 80% regularly use UGC and 76% plan to make greater use of it in future. The top reason given for this use of UGC was to enhance engagement and drive reader loyalty.

Other reasons offered for using UGC included the appeal of unique content, the benefits of UGC for hyperlocal news, and the reduced cost of creating such content. However, despite 85% of editors believing that UGC enhances new reports, 81% expressed concern about its veracity, while half of editors lacked confidence in the quality of UGC.

The dominant form of UGC is photography, followed by news story tips from readers and user generated video. The study also revealed that many editors believe that UGC should not be paid for.

Petri Rahja, COO of Scoopshot, said: "Increasingly, we’re finding that building deeper engagement with readers is a top priority for editors looking to combat declining circulation figures and bolster advertising revenues. Encouraging readers to submit content and publishing this regularly is proving to be a very effective strategy for papers around the world to boost both reader engagement and loyalty." 

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