The percent of all smartphone and/or tablet users who indicated that they had downloaded at least one news app jumped from about 30 percent in Q1 2012 to nearly 60 percent in Q1 2013.
Among those who had used one or both mobile devices to consume news during the week prior to taking the surveys, 85 percent said they had downloaded one or more news apps in 2013; less than half (48%) of the smartphone and/or tablet news consumers surveyed in 2012 said they downloaded at least one news app.
Around half of all smartphone and large tablet news consumers surveyed in 2013 said they had downloaded one or more newspaper category apps, which made it the second most downloaded news app category after niche news apps.
Men were much more likely than women to download smartphone news apps in all categories. Tablet news apps were more likely to be downloaded by women than men in the niche news, TV news and radio news categories. Women were much less likely than men to download tablet news service apps.
Large tablet users were much more likely than smartphone users to download news apps that were produced by the newspapers they read or the TV and radio news programs they watched and listened to.
Around three-quarters of smart-phone and/or large tablet news consumers said they had actually used the news apps they downloaded in all but the radio news app category during the week prior to taking the 2013 survey.
In the radio news app category, slightly more than half of the smartphone and large tablet news consumers surveyed said they had used the apps they downloaded.
In our 2013 survey we also asked respondents who said they had used their downloaded smartphone and/or tablet news apps to rank their frequency of usage on a five-point scale with one signifying “rarely” and five signifying “very frequently.”
Our findings revealed significant differences among smartphone and large tablet news app users within and between categories.
The most striking differences were in the newspaper app category. Nearly two-thirds of the smartphone respondents said they used newspaper apps very frequently or somewhat frequently. That was the highest percentage of frequent users — smartphone and tablet — in all news app categories.
But among the tablet newspaper app users, less than half said they were frequent users. That was not only the greatest difference between smartphone and large tablet news app users in all categories; it was the only category in which frequent usage by tablet news app users was not equal to or significantly greater than it was for smartphone news app users.