It's no surprise that tablet users are rich, educated, and like reading the news. So, why won't they pay for it?
The Pew Project on Excellence in Journalism conducted a new research study focusing on how tablet users get their news. In July when the research was done, the Apple iPad was of course responsible for the majority of those numbers. The Pew researchers also compared other tablets like the Nook Color, the Samsung Galaxy Tab, and the Motorola Xoom.
From June 30 to July 31, 5,014 U.S. adults were surveyed on landlines and cellphones. Demographically, Pew researchers found trends indicating that 46 percent of the surveyed tablet users are middle-aged anywhere from 30 to 49. Those age 65 or older only make up 7 percent of tablet users.
The first finding researchers concluded was that tablet users are more educated that the general U.S. population. 51 percent of these tablet owners have a college degree, while 28 percent of all Americans hold that degree.
These people are richer than most of us. 53 percent of the tablet owners average an annual household income of $75,000 or more, also against the 28 percent of all Americans who make that level of income.
Tablet users are also more likely to be employed. 62 percent are employed full-time, whereas 41 percent of all Americans have a 40-hour per week job.
As for the main focus of the study, the research confirms that this tablet-using population is definitely news-hungry. 53 percent of them get their news on tablets every day, and these range from headline skimmers to in-depth readers. Most of these readers report that their tablets have replaced traditional methods of obtaining news, like print and television.
Most shockingly, only a mere 14 percent say they pay for their news. Most of them responded with the same attitude even when it came to their favorite news sources. Moreover, the majority of news junkies (40 percent) said they got the news from web browsers, compared to the 21 percent that use specific news apps.
This research may leave a lot of media companies concerned over how they are going to survive in the next couple of years. Over one third of the news audience is getting their news from social networks on a tablet, so this may be one area media have to focus on more aggressively.