Wick Communications

iPad doesn’t mean iPaid

In Online media on 3 Nov 2011 at 4:03 pm

The Pew Center for Excellence in Journalism has just issued a report on the prevalence and use of tablet-style computers, and there is stuff in there that should make news folks stop and take notice.

For instance, here’s something amazing: Only 18 months after they first appeared, 11 percent of U.S. households now have a tablet computer such as an iPad. About half of all tablet owners read news on their new devices every single day. They tend to be upscale; they are twice as likely as the general public to have a college degree and also to earn more than $75,000.

Friends, I suggest to you that these early iPad adopters are the sweet spot of our audience. What’s more, they are sophisticated types who are more likely to be captured by important, traditional journalism than by Lindsey Lohan’s latest court date.

The news from there is mixed. The report says that heavy consumers of news on tablets may well download an app from their favorite news “brand.” It does not suggest, however, that these folks want to pay for the news they get. Only 14 percent of tablet users say they have paid for news on the machines. (Interestingly, those who have paid are more likely to be male and to describe themselves as liberal, and 60 percent of these paywall-scalers make more than $100,000 annually.) …

What does the rise of the tablet mean to us? It is rapidly changing the very way in which people read. Apple sold 11 million of the suckers just in the last quarter. They are predominately used as a household appliance, shared freely among two or more users. They are light. They go anywhere. We ignore them at our own peril. Ask yourself this question: How can we best use this technology to our advantage?


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