Tablets killing off paper newspapers, magazines faster than expected
47 percent of Americans are expected to use tablets by the middle of 2013.
Sun, Jul 08, 2012 at 04:29 PM
By the middle of next year, we can expect to see fewer and fewer stacks of old magazines, newspapers and books, two recent studies suggest, as people opt to read on tablets, the device darling of nearly one-third of Americans.
It's not just iPads. A March 2012 survey of 2,540 people by the Online Publishers Association (OPA) found that nearly one-third owned tablets, with ownership nearly evenly split between iPads (52 percent) and Android tablets (47 percent).
Those numbers could change if the rumors about a mini iPad come true and Apple releases such a cheap tablet in time for the holidays. Android will try to shore up its half of the market with Google's $199 Nexus 7 coming later this month, coupled with a rumored new Kindle Fire that could be available in August.
Regardless of the operating system, OPA expects 47 percent of Americans to use tablets by the middle of next year — a 50 percent increase in today's usage. And the growing ranks of tablet owners are showing a preference for digital reading.
In the OPA survey, more than half of tablet users preferred to read both newspapers and magazines on their devices as opposed to paper versions. A study from Gartner showed the same preferences for digital newspapers, magazines and books. (The OPA report did not cover e-books.)
Tablets are used most frequently around the home. The living room was the most popular place where respondents read, followed by the bedroom and then the kitchen, Gartner reported.
"Weekday evenings are the most popular time to use media tablets, and this usage flattens out during the weekend as people tend to be away from home," said Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner.
Sales may keep going up because people aren't sharing their tablets with other family members. The study found that 45 percent of respondents don't share their tablet at all. Say goodbye to cozy weekend mornings handing over the Lifestyle section to your partner — you'd be better off buying them a tablet of their own to keep the peace at the breakfast table.
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