A recent Reynolds Journalism Institute study indicates that the iPad is becoming a primary vehicle for many users to consume (read, listen to, or watch) daily local, national, and world news and that it is leading a revolution in terms of how frequently people read news as well as how much news they read on a daily or weekly basis.
The survey noted that the iPad is the preferred large media tablet on the market with news consumers surveyed with an 88% share of that market. The Kindle Fire was the top pick among small media tablets with 68% of the news consumer market. The iPhone was the overall preferred smartphone with 39% of the news consumer market.
It also noted that the iPad (and other large tablet devices) seem to be encouraging news reading among all demographics including young adults. Among young adults (18 – 24 years old), 67% read news on one or more mobile devices and averaged five hours of news reading/consumption per week. Among young adults with iPads, 84% read news on their device(s) for an average of 7.3 hours per week.
Here are some additional key data points from the study.
- Among the mobile news consumers surveyed, 40% owned large media tablets (mostly iPads). About half said it was their most frequently used mobile device for consuming news.
- Owners of Apple iPads in all age groups were much more likely to consume news provided by news organizations and to average more time doing so than those who did not own Apple iPads.
- About 60 percent of owners who favored large media tablets consider their experience consuming news on their tablets better than reading a printed newspaper. Fifty percent of owners who favored smartphones said their experience consuming news on their smartphones was better than reading a printed newspaper.
- When compared to watching television news on a TV set, 63 percent of owners who favored large media tablets said their experience on their tablets was better.
- The owners of large media tablets who were most likely to favor them for consuming news tended to be men between the ages of 35 and 54.
- Owners of large media tablets tend to spend more time-consuming news than those who don’t own them. And that they tend to use their tablets more frequently while relaxing at home after 5:00 p.m.
- Three-quarters of large media tablet owners said they used it for news most frequently at home. Less than 5 percent said they used it for news most frequently while commuting or traveling.
- Those who said they use their large media tablet most frequently for consuming news also are much more likely to subscribe to digital news products than those who said they use their smartphone most frequently for news.
- Despite the growing popularity of large media tablets, smartphones remain as the most ubiquitous and most frequently used mobile media device for consuming news, especially among those ages 18 to 34.
- About 29 percent of the mobile news consumers we surveyed owned small media tablets, such as the Amazon Kindle Fire and Samsung Galaxy Tab 7, or e-readers. Only about 13 percent of the owners said they used these mobile devices most frequently for consuming news. Less than 4 percent overall favored these devices for news.