Newspaper readers are turning to tablets

Tablets are redefining the way people consume news and information, according to Mark Donovan, comScore SVP of mobile. A study released by Pew Research in October found that 22% of U.S. adults now own a tablet device, twice as many as a year earlier, and 23% of those who don't have a tablet, plan to get one in the next six months.

To learn more about how tablet owners use their device, comScore’s TabLens service recently conducted a study. It found that in the three-month average period ending August 2012, 37.1% of tablet owners read a newspaper on their device at least once during the month, with 11.5% of tablet owners reading newspapers almost every day. The Pew Research study found similar results in that 73% of adults who consume news on their tablet read in-depth articles at least sometimes, including 19% who do so daily.

“Tablets are now driving seven percent of total newspaper page views, which is impressive considering the relative infancy of the tablet space,” Donovan said.

The comScore study also found that newspaper audiences were 17% more likely to be male compared to an average tablet owner, with the largest share of readers falling between the ages of 25-34. The largest portion of newspaper readers have a household income of more than $100k, and Kindle Fire users were the heaviest newspaper readers.

In Pennsylvania, the statistics on adults who own a tablet and use it to read a newspaper are equally impressive.

  • In the Harrisburg-Lancaster-Lebanon-York (HLLY) DMA, 11.7%1 of adults who currently own a tablet have used it to read a newspaper in the past week.
  • In the Pittsburgh DMA, 18.9%2 of adults who currently own a tablet have used it to read a newspaper in the past week.
  • In the Philadelphia DMA, 11.3%3 of adults who currently own a tablet have used it to read a newspaper in the past week.
  • In the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton DMA, 5.4%4 of adults who currently own a tablet have used it to read a newspaper in the past week.

Source: Scarborough Research -1HLLY DMA Release 1 2012 – Oct 11 – Mar 12,2. Pittsburgh DMA Release 2 2012 – Sep 11 – Aug 12, 3 Philadelphia DMA Release 2 2012 – Aug 11 – Jul 12, 4 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton DMA Release 1 2012 – Oct 11 – Mar 12. Copyright 2012. Scarborough Research

While mobile technology allows people to consume news anywhere and any time, most people choose to receive news on these devices when they are at home. Most people continue to use a browser for news on their tablet.The use of news apps on mobile devices, which many publishers hoped would be a way to charge for content, remains subject to further experimentation.