At RJI, we’ve been working to improve how we share information with our readers.

Subscribe

The rapid adoption of Apple iPads and comparable large media tablets is clearly disrupting the way people engage with the digital world. Tablets also are fostering new media habits that are directly impacting news organizations worldwide. Journalists and news executives can take some encouragement from knowing that nearly all surveys, including this one, have found consuming news to be one of the most popular uses for tablets, even among owners ages 18-34.

But the surveys also reveal that owners of mobile media devices are a diverse lot. Their diversity can be seen in their access to and use of an ever-widening array of entertainment, social media and personal utility applications. All of these thousands upon thousands of products are aggressively competing with mobile news applications, which are proliferating as well, for the time, attention and money of mobile media consumers.

After devoting more than two months to mining the wealth of data gathered by this survey, we are beginning to construct more detailed profiles of mobile media consumers that news organizations should be able to apply in their development and implementation of tablet-specific strategies.

Key Insights From This Survey

  • Media consumers’ ages and the mobile devices they own are mildly predictive of what they will use their devices for and the amount of time they will spend using different categories of applications.
  • As might be expected, the percentages and average amounts of time spent with each activity varies significantly between age groups and device groupings.
  • Media consumers ages 18-34 tend to spend significantly more time using their mobile media devices for nearly all categories of applications than those in older age groups.
  • Well over half of all mobile media owners in all age groups tend to use their devices to keep up with news provided by news organizations.
  • Owners of Apple iPads in all age groups were much more likely to consume news provided by news organizations and to average more time doing so than those who did not own Apple iPads.
  • Contrary to popular belief, the results of this survey show that young adults are seriously interested in consuming news provided by news organizations. Two-thirds (67%) of media consumers ages 18-34 said they used their mobile media devices to access news provided by news organizations for an average of 5.0 hours per week. Of those who also owned Apple iPads, 84% said they accessed news provided by news organizations for an average of 7.3 hours per week.
  • Media consumers ages 55 or older were somewhat less likely than those in younger age groups to consume news using their mobile media devices. Nearly three-out-of-five (58%) respondents in this age group said they used their mobile media devices to access news provided by news organizations for an average of 4.0 hours per week.
  • The lower use of mobile media devices for consuming news by owners in the 55 or older age group may be influenced by the higher percentage of people in this age group who subscribe to printed newspapers and newsmagazines. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of the mobile device owners in this age group indicated that they are print subscribers. Only about one quarter (26%) of mobile media device owners in the 18-34 age group were subscribers to print media.
  • Social media was the third most popular category of activities after interpersonal communication and entertainment with media consumers ages 18-34. Nearly three-quarters (73%) spent an average of nearly six hours (5.9) per week using their mobile media devices for this activity.
  • Leisure reading was the third most popular activity after interpersonal communication and entertainment for media consumers ages 55 or older. Six-out-of-ten overall used their mobile media devices for leisure reading of digital books and magazines an average of 3.6 hours per week. Of those who owned a small media tablet such as the Amazon Kindle Fire, nearly 9-out-of-10 used their mobile media devices for this activity an average of 9.2 hours per week. Not surprisingly, all media consumers who owned e-readers in this age group said they used their mobile media devices primarily for leisure reading an average of 8.3 hours per week.
  • Media consumers ages 35-54 tend to use more types of mobile media devices in their daily lives than those in younger or older age groups. This age group averaged 1.9 mobile devices per user overall. Those in the 18-34 and 55 or older age groups averaged 1.7 mobile devices per user.
  • Owners of Apple iPads and other comparable large media tablets in all age groups tend to use significantly more types of mobile media devices in their daily lives than those who did not own iPads.
  • Media consumers overall are most likely to use their mobile media devices for interpersonal communication and entertainment. As percentages of actual users, both categories ranked first or second across nearly all users of the individual devices and groups of devices.

Usage overall: The following table summarizes the percentage of all mobile device owners who said they actually used their devices to engage in the following activities during the seven days prior to taking the survey. Note that a significantly higher percentage of Apple iPad owners (84%) said they used their mobile media devices to keep up with the news. The percentage was slightly lower (82%) for owners of all brands of large media tablets. The order of ranking is based on the percentages in the all mobile devices column.

ALL MOBILE DEVICE OWNERS
PERCENTAGE OF ACTUAL USERS
ACTIVITY CATEGORIES**
All Mobile Devices
Smart Phone Only
Apple iPad Plus*
Small Tablet Plus*
E-Reader Plus*
Other Mobile Plus*
Interpersonal Communication
89%
95%
93%
79%
83%
88%
Entertainment
74%
62%
86%
79%
73%
83%
Web other than for News
70%
71%
80%
63%
64%
75%
Keeping up with the News
63%
57%
84%
56%
64%
71%
Social Media and Networks
61%
53%
67%
63%
60%
73%
Leisure Reading
55%
28%
74%
85%
97%
61%
Financial Activities
49%
42%
64%
49%
50%
61%
Creating, Managing Content
42%
36%
48%
42%
41%
54%
Work Related
40%
31%
61%
42%
43%
46%
E-Commerce
35%
22%
49%
44%
43%
46%
Education
23%
14%
32%
35%
27%
33%
Other Activities
9%
10%
9%
7%
5%
11%
*Plus indicates that a majority of these device owners also used other mobile media devices.
**The specific terminology used in the survey for each category of activities can be found at the end of this report.

All mobile media device owners also were asked to estimate the number of hours they were engaged in each of the following activities during the seven days prior to taking the survey.

Average hours of usage by all actual users: The following table summarizes the average number of hours of usage per week for all mobile device owners who said they actually used their devices to engage in the following activities. The number of hours can be slightly skewed by heavy users in some categories, especially those in which the numbers and percentages of actual users were relatively low. To avoid unrealistic skewing of the results, 56 respondents who obviously overestimated the amount of time they spent with each activity were not include in these averages. Except for the smartphone only column, the estimates include usage of all mobile media devices owned by the respondents. The order of ranking is based on the average hours of usage in the all mobile devices column.

ALL ACTUAL USERS
AVERAGE HOURS PER WEEK OVERALL
ACTIVITY CATEGORIES**
All Mobile Devices
Smart Phone Only
Apple iPad Plus*
Small Tablet Plus*
E-Reader Plus*
Other Mobile Plus*
Entertainment
10.7
10.9
11.4
12.1
9.1
13.6
Interpersonal Communication
10.6
11.0
11.3
13.0
9.4
12.4
Work Related
7.9
8.1
9.9
11.1
10.7
11.5
Education
6.9
7.1
7.7
5.1
7.4
9.3
Leisure Reading
6.1
6.0
6.5
7.8
6.8
5.8
Social Media and Networks
5.9
6.1
7.1
4.6
4.4
5.4
Keeping up with the News
5.0
4.9
6.1
9.1
6.0
6.7
Web other than for News
5.0
5.2
6.0
4.9
4.1
6.7
Other Activities
4.2
4.5
4.5
5.2
5.2
4.9
Creating, Managing Content
3.7
3.8
3.9
4.5
5.0
4.5
Financial Activities
2.4
2.5
2.5
1.8
2.0
2.4
E-Commerce
1.9
1.9
1.8
2.5
2.2
2.2
*Plus indicates that a majority of these device owners also used other mobile media devices.
**The specific terminology used in the survey for each category of activities can be found at the end of this report.

Average hours of usage by all owners (users and non-users): The following table summarizes the average number of hours of usage per week overall for all mobile device owners. The average hours in this table include actual users as well as those who did not engage in these activities.

ALL USERS
AVERAGE HOURS PER WEEK OVERALL
ACTIVITY CATEGORIES**
All Mobile Devices
Smart Phone Only
Apple iPad Plus*
Small Tablet Plus*
E-Reader Plus*
Other Mobile Plus*
Interpersonal Communication
9.2
10.9
10.3
10.0
7.5
10.6
Entertainment
7.7
6.0
9.6
9.3
6.4
11.0
Social Media and Networks
3.5
3.4
4.6
2.8
2.6
3.8
Web other than for News
3.4
3.0
4.7
3.0
2.5
4.9
Leisure Reading
3.3
1.4
4.7
6.5
6.3
3.4
Keeping up with the News
3.1
2.3
5.1
4.9
3.7
4.6
Work Related
3.1
1.6
5.9
4.5
4.4
5.1
Education
1.6
0.4
2.4
1.7
1.9
2.9
Creating, Managing Content
1.5
0.8
1.8
1.8
2.0
2.3
Financial Activities
1.2
1.2
1.8
0.9
1.0
1.4
E-Commerce
0.6
0.4
0.9
1.1
0.9
0.9
Other Activities
0.4
0.3
0.4
0.4
0.3
0.5
*Plus indicates that a majority of these device owners also used other mobile media devices.
**The specific terminology used in the survey for each category of activities can be found at the end of this report.

Usage by respondents ages 18-34: Owners in this age group overall were most likely to use their mobile media devices for interpersonal communication, entertainment and social media.

The following table summarizes the percentage of all mobile device owners ages 18-34 who said they actually used their devices to engage in the following activities during the seven days prior to taking the survey. The order of ranking is based on the percentages in the all mobile devices column.

MOBILE DEVICE OWNERS AGES 18-34
PERCENTAGE OF ACTUAL USERS
ACTIVITY CATEGORIES**
All Mobile Devices
Smart Phone Only
Apple iPad Plus*
Small Tablet Plus*
E-Reader Plus*
Other Mobile Plus*
Interpersonal Communication
92%
94%
92%
96%
88%
88%
Entertainment
86%
76%
97%
91%
86%
94%
Social Media and Networks
73%
65%
80%
83%
81%
80%
Web other than for News
73%
72%
88%
78%
74%
75%
Keeping up with the News
67%
61%
84%
74%
79%
71%
Leisure Reading
54%
33%
80%
91%
98%
60%
Financial Activities
54%
48%
72%
57%
62%
60%
Creating, Managing Content
48%
40%
53%
48%
52%
56%
Work Related
38%
28%
63%
48%
52%
43%
Education
30%
18%
38%
52%
36%
36%
E-Commerce
26%
20%
38%
30%
31%
33%
Other Activities
9%
8%
13%
13%
10%
8%
*Plus indicates that a majority of these device owners also used other mobile media devices.
**The specific terminology used in the survey for each category of activities can be found at the end of this report.

Average hours of usage by all actual users ages 18-34: The following table summarizes the average number of hours of usage per week for all mobile device owners ages 18-34 who said they actually used their devices to engage in the following activities. The number of hours can be slightly skewed by heavy users in some categories, especially those in which the percentage of actual users was relatively low.

ALL ACTUAL USERS AGES 18-34
AVERAGE HOURS PER WEEK OVERALL
ACTIVITY CATEGORIES**
All Mobile Devices
Smart Phone Only
Apple iPad Plus*
Small Tablet Plus*
E-Reader Plus*
Other Mobile Plus*
Interpersonal Communication
13.3
14.3
16.3
14.7
12.4
15.0
Entertainment
12.7
11.9
15.4
11.9
12.4
16.3
Education
8.4
2.9
11.1
4.4
12.2
12.8
Social Media and Networks
8.1
8.7
10.5
5.1
6.5
6.6
Work Related
7.3
4.9
10.4
10.2
9.3
10.1
Web other than for News
6.2
4.9
8.6
7.8
4.9
9.2
Leisure Reading
6.1
6.7
7.2
4.7
5.2
5.5
Keeping up with the News
5.0
4.2
7.3
8.2
6.3
7.1
Creating, Managing Content
4.2
2.6
3.9
3.7
7.1
5.1
Other Activities
4.1
3.5
4.5
5.0
6.5
4.7
Financial Activities
2.8
3.4
2.5
2.4
1.9
2.8
E-Commerce
2.3
2.1
2.3
4.3
4.1
2.5
*Plus indicates that a majority of these device owners also used other mobile media devices.
**The specific terminology used in the survey for each category of activities can be found at the end of this report.

Average hours of usage by all owners (users and non-users): The following table summarizes the average number of hours of usage per week for all mobile device owners ages 18-34. The average hours in this table include actual users as well as those who did not engage in these activities.

ALL USERS AGES 18-34
AVERAGE HOURS PER WEEK OVERALL
ACTIVITY CATEGORIES**
All Mobile Devices
Smart Phone Only
Apple iPad Plus*
Small Tablet Plus*
E-Reader Plus*
Other Mobile Plus*
Interpersonal Communication
12.2
13.4
15.0
14.0
10.7
13.2
Entertainment
10.8
9.1
14.9
10.9
10.4
15.3
Social Media and Networks
5.9
5.7
8.4
4.2
5.2
5.3
Web other than for News
4.5
3.5
7.6
6.1
3.5
6.9
Keeping up with the News
3.4
2.5
6.2
6.0
4.8
5.1
Leisure Reading
3.3
2.2
5.8
4.3
5.0
3.3
Work Related
2.8
1.4
6.5
4.9
4.8
4.3
Education
2.5
0.5
4.2
2.3
4.3
4.6
Creating, Managing Content
2.0
1.1
2.1
1.8
3.6
2.9
Financial Activities
1.5
1.7
1.8
1.4
1.1
1.7
E-Commerce
0.6
0.4
0.9
1.3
1.2
0.8
Other Activities
0.3
0.3
0.6
0.7
0.6
0.3
*Plus indicates that a majority of these device owners also used other mobile media devices.
**The specific terminology used in the survey for each category of activities can be found at the end of this report.
 

Go to part 2

Roger Fidler  
 
Program Director for Digital Publishing (Retired)



Share

Recommended for You

Related Stories

Q4: How do owners of different mobile media media device brands differ?

2012 RJI Mobile Media Research Report
Q4: How do owners of different mobile media media device brands differ?
July 30, 2012

Q3: Which mobile devices are owners using most frequently for news?

2012 RJI Mobile Media Research Report
Q3: Which mobile devices are owners using most frequently for news?
July 9, 2012

comments powered by Disqus