More Americans are watching morning talk shows and listening to podcasts

While your mom’s obsession with true-crime podcasts such as Serial may seem like just another fad, it’s actually part of a larger trend in the media industry, according to a report published Friday.

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The Pew Research Center’s annual State of the News Media report shows more Americans are watching Sunday morning political talk shows and listening to podcasts now than in previous years. Between 2015 and 2016, viewership of the Sunday programs rose by about 14 percent, while the number of people who listen to podcasts monthly has grown by approximately 15 percent since 2008.

Pew Research Center
Pew Research Center
Pew Research Center
Pew Research Center

And — despite the rise cord-cutters — viewership for NBC, ABC and CBS morning and evening newscasts has remained relatively stable, as has the audience for traditional radio. According to the Pew report, which included metrics compiled by Nielsen Media Research and published by the Radio Advertising Bureau, 91 percent of Americans ages 12 or older listened to AM/FM radio in any given week in 2016.

Meanwhile, there has been a substantial growth in the audience for internet radio, especially in cars. The Pew report found that in 2017, 40 percent of American cellphone users have used their devices to listen to online radio in the car using a phone. In 2010, that number was only 6 percent. At the same time, monthly listeners of online radio itself has grown by 4 percent in the past year alone.

Pew Research Center
Pew Research Center
Pew Research Center
Pew Research Center

TV and radio news executives, whose industries are facing significant disruption from digital upstarts, will likely be encouraged by this latest report. Steady and growing audiences are good selling points for major networks, especially as the rise of the Google-Facebook duopoly continues apace.

According to the Pew report, revenues for television stations have grown while radio stations have experienced relative financial stability. For NBC, ABC and CBS, advertising revenue estimates for evening news programs were up 12 percent in the first three quarters of 2016 from 2015, while the networks’ morning shows grew only about 3 percent in 2016 from 2015 in the period between January and September, according to Kantar Media.

Pew Research Center
Pew Research Center
Pew Research Center
Pew Research Center

Heavy industry minister Geete to talk to FM Jaitley on lowering GST on hybrids

Union heavy industries minister Anant Geete on Monday said he will take up the issue of lowering the 43% tax rate on hybrid vehicles under GST with finance minister Arun Jaitley.

On Sunday, Jaitley hinted that the tax rate on hybrid cars will not be reviewed, saying the industry demands were not in sync with a study conducted by tax officers.

The GST Council has fixed 43% tax (28% GST plus 15% cess) on hybrid cars, a rate that the automobile industry feels is too high for the fuel efficient vehicles.

When contacted, Geete told PTI he would take up the issue with the finance minister.

Earlier also, the heavy industries ministry had written to its finance counterpart seeking lowering of the 43% tax rate on hybrid cars.

“Our ministry has firmly sought the lowering of the tax on hybrid vehicles. The tax incentives will boost the sales of hybrid vehicles,” secretary in the department of heavy industry Girish Shankar said.

GSTA visitor look at a concept electric car system called the ZOE at the Renault stand during the Auto Shanghai 2017 show at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai, China.(AP file photo)

Addressing reporters after the GST Council meeting on Sunday, Jaitley said: “We have done a detailed study on auto industry demand and a paper has been made which will be circulated among members. And, if necessary, it would come up for discussion. The fact that is being presented (by the industry), according to the paper, is not correct”.

When contacted, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers secretary general Vishnu Mathur said it would not be possible to comment without understanding contents of the report.

Similarly, Toyota Kirloskar Motor vice-chairman Shekhar Vishwanathan said: “We would like to know the contents of the report that the finance minister is talking about. First of all we need to be clear about the definition of hybrid – vehicles that have an internal combustion engine and an electric motor.”

He further said globally, hybrids are supported by governments considering their environment-friendly properties due to lesser emission and higher fuel efficiency.

“If they withdraw the benefit to hybrid vehicles, then people will go back to conventional petrol and diesel engines till the time all the infrastructure for electric vehicles are in place, which is not expected to happen in the next ten years,” Vishwanathan added.

What the government needs to understand is that hybrids complement electric vehicles as they are part of the ecosystem.

The automakers in their demand to the GST Council had sought reduction in the tax rate on hybrid vehicles to 18 per cent, arguing that they are much more efficient and eco- friendly but require scale and volume to become economically viable.

The tax incidence on hybrid vehicles will go up to 43% from the current effective tax rate of 30.3%.

Hybrid vehicles attract excise duty of 12.5%, similar to entry-level small cars such as Tata Nano or Maruti Alto.

Heavy industry minister Geete to talk to FM Jaitley on lowering GST on hybrids

Union heavy industries minister Anant Geete on Monday said he will take up the issue of lowering the 43% tax rate on hybrid vehicles under GST with finance minister Arun Jaitley.

On Sunday, Jaitley hinted that the tax rate on hybrid cars will not be reviewed, saying the industry demands were not in sync with a study conducted by tax officers.

The GST Council has fixed 43% tax (28% GST plus 15% cess) on hybrid cars, a rate that the automobile industry feels is too high for the fuel efficient vehicles.

When contacted, Geete told PTI he would take up the issue with the finance minister.

GST

Earlier also, the heavy industries ministry had written to its finance counterpart seeking lowering of the 43% tax rate on hybrid cars.

“Our ministry has firmly sought the lowering of the tax on hybrid vehicles. The tax incentives will boost the sales of hybrid vehicles,” secretary in the department of heavy industry Girish Shankar said.

Addressing reporters after the GST Council meeting on Sunday, Jaitley said: “We have done a detailed study on auto industry demand and a paper has been made which will be circulated among members. And, if necessary, it would come up for discussion. The fact that is being presented (by the industry), according to the paper, is not correct”.

When contacted, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers secretary general Vishnu Mathur said it would not be possible to comment without understanding contents of the report.

Similarly, Toyota Kirloskar Motor vice-chairman Shekhar Vishwanathan said: “We would like to know the contents of the report that the finance minister is talking about. First of all we need to be clear about the definition of hybrid – vehicles that have an internal combustion engine and an electric motor.”

He further said globally, hybrids are supported by governments considering their environment-friendly properties due to lesser emission and higher fuel efficiency.

“If they withdraw the benefit to hybrid vehicles, then people will go back to conventional petrol and diesel engines till the time all the infrastructure for electric vehicles are in place, which is not expected to happen in the next ten years,” Vishwanathan added.

What the government needs to understand is that hybrids complement electric vehicles as they are part of the ecosystem.

The automakers in their demand to the GST Council had sought reduction in the tax rate on hybrid vehicles to 18 per cent, arguing that they are much more efficient and eco- friendly but require scale and volume to become economically viable.

The tax incidence on hybrid vehicles will go up to 43% from the current effective tax rate of 30.3%.

Hybrid vehicles attract excise duty of 12.5%, similar to entry-level small cars such as Tata Nano or Maruti Alto.