A few recent studies have shed some light on tablet and e-reader owners and how much they read news. Tablet owners continue to consume a lot of magazines and newspapers, but, predictably, many of them are ditching printed products. Here are a few more takeaways for publishers.
Tablet ownership on the rise
Both e-reader and tablet ownership is on the rise, but e-readers, interestingly, are growing faster (presumably because they are less expensive). E-reader ownership among U.S. adults doubled from 6 percent to 12 percent between November and May, according to research from the Pew Internet and American Life Project
. Now 12 percent of Americans over the age of 18 have an e-book reading device like a Kindle or Nook. About 8 percent of adults own a tablet device like an iPad, and about 3 percent of U.S. adults own both an e-reader and a tablet.
Tablets will, however, start to gain more ground, as the Online Publishers Association
predicts 23 percent of the U.S. population will own a tablet by early 2012.
The takeaway: Tablet and e-reader ownership is on the rise and publishers should be building strategies for both platforms, not just tablets.
Newspaper and magazines on tablets
Research from GfK MRI's survey
of U.S. adults found that tablet devices are popular for consuming both magazines and newspapers. About 39 percent of tablet owners have read a magazine and 41 percent have read a newspaper, respectively, on their device in the last six months. (The market research firm looked at consumption from September to April).
The takeaway: Tablets continue to be an attractive platform for consuming magazine and newspapers, particularly when compared to e-readers.
Tablet owners and print
Interestingly, GfK found in its research that tablet owners are also heavy consumers of magazines ― or, at least, more than the average American. Tablet owners are 66 percent more likely than the average U.S. adult to be heavy users of printed versions of magazines. This supports other research that iPad users consume a lot of news
, regardless of the medium.
But Forrester research
found that people who use an iPad or other tablet device consume printed newspapers and magazines less than they used to. Almost one-third of tablet owners read printed newspapers less often, Poynter reported about the research, which is available only to clients. And 23 percent of tablet owners read printed magazines less often. Interestingly, however, 8 percent of tablet owners consume more newspapers and 13 percent read more magazines. The largest segment has no difference in consumption.
: Tablets users are moving away from print products, which should come as no shock to publishers. The good news is tablet users are still showing a big appetite for content. The challenge will be keeping readers interested in paying for tablet content
as they make the transition from print.