Tablets Revolutionizing News Consumption Habits

Tablets Revolutionizing News Consumption Habits

Go to your neighborhood Starbucks, and doesn’t it seem like everyone owns an Ipad.

In reality, since its introduction just over a year and half, 11% of adults already own a tablet computer of some sort.

Here are some other interesting facts and insights from a recent most detailed study of tablet use:

  • Almost 50% get news on their tablet every day and 30% say they now spend more time consuming news than they did before they purchased their tablets.
  • Fully 77% of tablet owners use their tablets every day, spending an average of 90 minutes.
  • Consuming news—which ranges from headline to long-form reading—is one of the most popular tablet activities (53% consume news on their tablet daily).
  • News consumption is almost as popular as sending email (54%), and outpaces social networking (39%), gaming (30%), reading books (17%) and watching movies and videos (13%).
  • Tablet news users say they prefer these new devices over traditional computers, print publications or television as a way to get quick news headlines and to read long-form pieces.
  • A plurality of tablet news users (40%) say they get their news mainly through a web browser.
  • Another 31% use news apps and the browser equally, while fewer, 21%, get their news primarily through apps.

This study was conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism in collaboration with The Economist Group.

Here are compelling interpretations from the study:

  • Brand is important on the tablet. Whether an app comes from “a news organization I like” is as prevalent a factor in the decision to download an app as is low cost. Liking the news organization is a major factor for 84% of those who have apps.
  • Substitution is already occurring to large degrees. Fully 90% of tablet news users now consume news on the tablet that they used to access in other ways.  The greatest substitution is occurring with news that people used to get from their desktop computer.
  • Incidental news reading is prevalent on the tablet. Nearly nine-in-ten (88%) of those who read long articles in the last seven days ended up reading articles they were not initially seeking out.
  • The browser, carried over from the desktop experience, is still the more popular means for consuming news.   While about two-thirds of tablet news users have a news app on their tablet, most tablet news users (40%) say they get their news mainly through the web browser on their device.
  • But those who do rely mainly on apps for news represent a kind of power news consumer. Close to half of this group say they now spend more time getting the news than they did before they had their tablet (43%).
  • Word of mouth is a key component of tablet news sharing. Fully 85% of those who get news on their tablets said they had talked with someone about a long article they had read there.

Well, the number may be only 11% but with these compelling facts, insights and interpretations, you know we will be seeing even higher usage numbers in the near future.

By the way, I bought a Samsung Tab this summer and love it for all the ideas presented above.

How are you using your tablet? What changes have you seen in your news consumption habits?

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