iPad Users Show Greater Appetite for News
by Leslie Meredith, TechNewsDaily Senior Writer
March 20 2012 05:18 PM ET
Just when you thought that Americans had been reduced to scanning headlines, a new study indicates that reading news — full articles — is on the rise. And it seems that tablets deserve much of the credit.
People who own a tablet along with a computer and a smartphone — dubbed "digital mavens" — read more news, according to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center. The State of the News Media 2012 is the ninth edition of its annual report on the status of American journalism.
Pew found that rather than gravitating toward one device, a growing number of Americans are becoming "multiplatform digital news consumers." These digital mavens get news on all their devices. And they read even more if they own all three types of devices.
As of January 2012, only one in 10 Americans owned all three: a computer, smartphone and tablet . But tablet ownership in the U.S. nearly doubled to 18 percent by the end of 2011, Pew said, and that doesn't account for last week's iPad release . Apple today (March 20) confirmed that it sold more than 3 million of the devices in three days. More people with bigger appetites for news? Let's hope so.
The study also revealed that people consume news differently on a tablet than they do on their computer. They don't just read news, but use different sources to get their information and delve deeper into the stories themselves. Rather than turn to Google or another search engine, tablet users are more likely to go directly to a news organization's website or use an app — 38 percent compared with a third of computer users. Further, people visit more pages at a sitting, prefer long-form articles to snippets, and return to their favorite news sites more frequently on a tablet than on a conventional computer.
Although Americans are turning to less conventional devices to get the news, they still favor traditional news sources. For instance, long-standing news brands — newspapers, network news and cable news channels — account for 17 of the top 25 sources, Pew said.
And while there's no doubt that the Internet has grown in popularity, good ol' TV remains the top choice for news — six in 10 Americans still get most of their national and international news from television.