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Pew study: Mobile may be growing the online news audience

by: KDMC Contributor |

Now that half of all U.S. adults use a smartphone or tablet to connect to the internet, what does that mean for the future of news? A major new study from Pew found that one third of all U.S. adults now get news on a mobile device at least once a week. And they're not just scanning headlines.

First of all, mobile devices may be growing the mobile news market: "As many as 43% say the news they get on their tablets is adding to their overall news consumption. And almost a third, 31%, said they get news from new sources on their tablet."

Also, tablets appear to foster a more in-depth experience of news than smartphones. According to Pew, nearly three fourths of people who use a tablet to get news tablet read in-depth articles at least sometimes -- and nearly one in five do this daily. In contrast, about two-thirds of smartphone news consumers sometimes read longer stories -- and about one in ten do so regularly.

The study spotted some evolving trends in mobile news. For instance:

"The advent of the new lower-priced tablets in late 2011 brought in a new crop of tablet owners. Now, just over half, 52%, of tablet owners report owning an iPad, compared with 81% a year ago. Nearly half, 48%, now own an Android-based device; about half of them, 21%, Kindle Fires. iPad owners, however, stand out from Android owners: they use their tablet more often in general and more often for news. Android users are more likely to use social networks and follow news that comes from friends and family."

For this study, Pew surveyed 9513 U.S. adults (including 4,638 mobile device owners), from June-August 2012.