#ASNE12 Fidler, Jenner open convention

By Brian Steffens on April 2, 2012 0 Comments Research
Key takeaways from just-completed research on mobile news consumption:      
  • No one age group dominates mobile -- evenly divided among age groups
  • More than half of respondents rely only on a cellphone (no land line)
  • More than a quarter own a tablet
  • Most of the tablet owners own a large tablet
  • And 87% of large tablet owners own an iPad
  • About a third of tablet owners use it to consume news
  • More than half own a smartphone
  • More than half of smartphone users use it to consume news
  • Of those who use a small tablet, the Amazon Kindle dominates

When you're contemplating the fate of the newspaper industry, take a look at that second bullet. How is the traditional phone company dealing with disruption? In my town, CenturyLink is selling home security systems (tied to the land phone line), Internet service over its DSL lines, and now offering something called PrismTV (TV delivered over lines). When one line of business stumbles, we need to find new lines. Check out Ken Doctor's "100 products a year" post over at Nieman Labs (after you finish reading this :-)

The bullets above are from a just-concluded national random phone survey conducted by the RJI Insight and Survey Center under the leadership of its director, Ken Fleming. Roger Fidler, RJI's director for digital programs and director of RJI's Digital Publishing Alliance, developed the research tool with Fleming and they produced this first look into the data. Roger and Ken will dive deeper into the data to share useful insights as to what the patterns they find might suggest for further development in journalism. We'll share those insights here as soon as they are available.

So where does news fit in the mobile ecosystem? Survey says: Right behind 1) interpersonal communication 2) entertainment and 3) non-news web surfing/searching. Some 63% say they use mobile devices to keep up with the news. Surprisingly, that's ahead of using mobile for social media! (58%)

Half (or more) of the respondents said consuming news on their mobile devices was more satisfying that doing so in print, on TV or via radio.

More than a quarter of respondents said they intend to buy a mobile media device in the next six months. Almost half expect to buy a large tablet. And of those, 78% expect to buy an iPad.

A third of the respondents expect to buy a smartphone in the next six months.

You can check out the presentation here .... and look for a rebroadcast of the presentation on C-SPAN.


Reprising and contrasting separate research on daily vs. weekly newspapers, the Missouri School of Journalism's Mike Jenner noted, perhaps not unsurprisingly, that larger daily newspapers are leading the way in news app development. Some 62% of dailies with circulation more than 25,000 have a mobile phone app compared to just 21% of smaller papers, and only 7% of weeklies. More than a third of the larger dailies offer a tablet product, compared to 9% of the smaller dailies.

On the flip side, smaller dailies and weeklies lead the way in charging for digital content -- nearly half. That's about twice that of dailies. And it's growing. With recent announcements from Gannett and other large news organizations, we see the dailies are now moving in that direction.

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