Tablets tend to boost news consumption on smartphones and likelihood of paying for mobile news content

2014 RJI Mobile Media Research Report 7

Smartphone owners who also have tablets are much more likely to use their smartphones for consuming news organization content than those who do not have tablets, according to the latest mobile media survey from the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI). Smartphone owners with tablets also are more likely to pay for subscriptions to mobile news content (see chart 7.8) and to use smartphone newspaper apps (see chart 7.10).

More than three-quarters (77 percent) of smartphone owners who had a tablet said they used their smartphone to consume content provided by news organizations in the week prior to participating in the survey. Less than two-thirds (62 percent) of smartphone owners without tablets said they consumed news organization content on their smartphones in the same period (see chart 7.6).

Among RJI’s other findings about smartphone owners who also used tablets:

  • Eighty-seven percent of those who used both devices versus 75 percent of those who only used a smartphone said they had used mobile media to keep up with the news (see chart 7.3).
  • The influence of tablets on mobile news consumption was greatest among smartphone owners aged 55 or older (see chart 7.3 and chart 7.6).
  • Smartphones were paired with tablets by 39 percent of mobile media users (see chart 7.2).
  • Mobile news consumers who paired their smartphone with a tablet were much more likely to have annual household incomes of $75,000 or more and to have college degrees than those who only used a smartphone or a tablet (see chart 7.5).
  • Mobile media users who paired smartphones with tablets were more likely to be newspaper subscribers than those who only used a smartphone with the exception of those who were aged 18-34 (see chart 7.11).

Coming soon: Report 8 explores the differences between newspaper subscribers and non-subscribers in their use of mobile media.

Nearly 1,200 randomly selected U.S. adults participated in RJI’s third annual Mobile Media News Consumption survey between Jan. 1 and March 31. This phone survey focused exclusively on the use of smartphones and touch-screen tablets with mobile operating systems. RJI’s previous surveys included questions about the use of e-readers and other Internet-enabled mobile devices, such as netbooks, tablet PCs, hand-held computers, and ultra-light notebooks.


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