With a higher level of news readership, tablet PC owners are this century’s bookworm. They like reading news, and often not with mobile apps but with the tablet’s browser.



Tablet owners are serious print and Internet news consumers

As the category of tablet owners develops, we are seeing specific usage patterns emerging as well. As Pew Research found, tablet users are more highly educated, have a higher household income and are more likely to be employed full-time, as compared with the general US adult population. Compared with many early-adopter demographics, tablet users are not young - mostly in the 30-49 year old age group. They seem to have purchased these devices in order to follow news and word-based media, as they more often follow news and prefer reading or listening over watching it than the total US population. Most tablet users access Internet news, and nearly half subscribe to print newspapers or magazines.

Apps to check headlines, browser search to read long articles

The browser is much more popular than apps as a means to access news on the tablet - forty percent mostly use the browser, 31 percent use both equally and only 21 percent get news mostly through apps. Browser access makes it much more difficult to monetize consumers on these news sites, since they have become accustomed to free access on desktop browsers. But usage patterns show content affects what means consumers choose - a fairly even split for checking headlines, but apps are less popular for reading long articles. Free or low-cost apps are much more popular - only fourteen percent of tablet news users “has paid anything for news on their tablet.” These paying consumers mostly get news daily, and enjoy news and think it worth more, than their non-paying counterparts.

Tablets do not replace other news sources

Whether they pay for content or not, tablet owners are mostly increasing their consumption of news. Not only do thirty percent of tablet users say they spend more time with news, they are not leaving other sources for their tablet - over half keep up with sources that they used before they began using a tablet PC. A fair number (thirty percent) have also discovered sources that they did not access before, some from large brands and to a lesser degree from online-only news sites.

By Ivory King