Mobile news gains across generations

2012-12-11 13:01
(Wong Maye-E, AP)

(Wong Maye-E, AP)

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Washington – Americans of all ages are increasingly using mobile devices for news, with many boosting their media consumption rather than just shifting from print sources, a survey showed.

The Pew Research Center study, in collaboration with The Economist Group, found that around a third of Americans with tablets or smartphones use them for news on a daily basis.

The survey found 33% of tablet owners in the 18-29 age group got news on their device daily, as did 38% of those aged 30-49, along with 43% of those in the 50-64 age group and 32% of those over 65.

Similar percentages of smart phone owners use their devices to check daily for news.

The report said younger people “are much lighter news consumers generally” and “have largely abandoned the print news product”.

Print-like experience

“At the same time, nearly half (49%) of those with lower education levels say tablets are adding to their overall news consumption rather than just replacing news they used to get in other ways,” Pew said.

“That compares with 36% of college graduates who say this.”

Overall, according to the survey, 58% of mobile news consumers prefer a print-like experience, a preference that tends to hold up across age and gender.

Men are heavier mobile news consumers than women: The survey found 43% of male tablet owners consume news daily on their device versus 32% of female tablet owners.

The gap is nearly identical on smart phones, 41% to 30%.

On the tablet, men check in for news more frequently, and are more likely to read in-depth news articles and watch news videos.

Mobile news users in lower-income households are more likely to watch video on both smartphones and tablets, the survey found.

Women were more likely to get news through social media on both types of devices.

“The study provides a snapshot of the emerging differences among mobile news users,” Amy Mitchell, the study's lead author, said.

“Understanding these patterns is important for news organizations as they try to engage their audiences, and build new revenue streams to support journalism.”

The report was based on a survey conducted from 29 June to 8 August among 9 513 adults.

An earlier Pew survey found around half of US adults now owns mobile devices and a majority use them for news.

Read more on:    technology  |  mobile
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