Commentary

Tablets Gain Ground Among News Consumers

Tablets are becoming increasingly popular devices for catching up with the news, especially among women. The proportion of news consumers who use both a tablet and smartphone for news consumption more than doubled to 46% in the first quarter from the year-earlier period, according to a new study by the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute.

At the same time, the share of those who used a smartphone only to follow the news fell to 45% from 75% a year ago, while tablet-only users increased to 9% from 4%. The increase in people getting news on both a tablet and smartphone wasn’t merely a factor of rising device adoption. Overall, the share of survey participants who had both devices grew only from 61% to 64% in the last year.

Women are more likely to turn to tablets for news while men prefer smartphones. Of those who use a tablet only for news, nearly two-thirds (62%) are women. Conversely, 61% of smartphone-only users are men. Those figures are about the same as a year ago. But women are now about as likely as men (48% versus 52%) to use both a tablet and smartphone for news.

The findings from RJi’s Mobile Media Research Report are based on a random sampling of 1,134 U.S. adults in the first quarter 2013, and 1,001 adults a year ago.

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