Impact of Mobile Devices on the News Industry

A recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism with The Economist Group concluded that the move to mobile devices has major implications for the news industry. The study revealed that almost half of American adults own a smartphone or tablet computer, and most of them use these devices to access news. The report is based on a survey of 9,513 adults conducted from June-August 2012, including 4,638 mobile device owners.

Th study found that 22 percent of US adults now own a tablet device, twice as many as a year ago, and another three percent use a tablet owned by someone else in their home. The percentage of users having smartphones rose to forty-four percent from 35 percent in May 2011. Some 64 percent of tablet owners and 62 percent of smartphone owners say they use the devices for news at least weekly, close to the same percentage as for email or games.

The study revealed that about 73 per cent of Americans who view news on their tablet read in-depth articles at least sometimes. It also found that 43 percent of tablet news users are spending more time reading news articles and 31 percent are getting news from new sources they did not use before.

PEJ deputy director Amy Mitchell, said,”Even with the broadening population and wide range of competing activities, mobile owners are drawn to news on their tablet and smartphones. The evidence is also mounting that mobile devices are adding to, rather than replacing, how much news people consume.”

The study found new lower-priced tablets introduced late 2011 brought in a new crop of tablet owners. Now, 52 percent of tablet owners report owning an iPad, compared with 81 percent a year ago. And 48 percent said they own an Android-based device, including 21 percent who said they owned a Kindle Fire.

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