Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Tablet Revolution and News

A new study from the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism looks at the impact of tablet diffusion on the future of news (mostly from a reader perspective)
  The results of a national survey suggest that 11% of U.S. adults currently own a tablet device, and that device is not just sitting in a drawer.  77% of tablet owners report "daily" usage, and use averages 90 minutes a day.  When asked what activities they use their tablets for "at least daily", web browsing/searching was listed most (67%.), followed by email (54% and getting news (53%).  Other regular activities were social media use (39%), gaming (30%), reading books (17%) and watching movies or videos (13%).
  The study also suggests that tablet use is encouraging changes in news consumption habits . Looking at those who report using their tablets for news on a regular basis, 33% say tablet use encouraged them to go to new sources for news, and 42% report regularly reading in-depth articles and analyses, and 30% report spending more time consuming news (only 4% reported less news use).  They also reported preferring to use their tablets for news, over computer desktops, print publications, or television as sources for news.
Other major findings:
  • revenue potential for news on tablet may be limited - only 14% reported paying directly for news access
  • substitution is already occurring - tablets are replacing news from desktops (80%), print newspapers & magazines (59%) and TV (57%).
  • incidental reading is prevalent - tablet users report regularly reading or viewing news reports beyond what they were looking for.
  • Tablet news users share and talk about the news - 85% report talking with others about news stories they read on their tablets, and 41% report sharing news through email or social media
It's a pretty thorough report, and I'll likely be posting on some of the non-news findings later.  Head to the Pew site or download the report for much more detail on the attitudes and behaviors of tablet owners and regular users of tablets for news consumption.

Source -  The Tablet Revolution: How People Use Tablets and What It Means for the Future of News, Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism.
Full Report in PDF

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