Are iPad Apps Killing Newspapers? Survey Says…

Are iPad apps the new newspaper killer? A new survey out today showed that print newspaper subscribers who are heavy iPad users are “very likely” to cancel their print subscriptions.
The survey by the University of Missouri’s Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute is one of the first deep dives into how people are consuming news content on the eight-month-old device and its potential impact on print readership.
RJI gathered responses from more than 1,600 iPad users online from September to November.
The survey showed that 58 percent of respondents who use the Apple tablet at least an hour a day for news are very likely to cancel their subscription in the next six months. One in 10 said they had already done so and have switched to reading digital newspapers on their iPad.
A potential positive finding for newspapers as they try to charge people for their digital content is, nine in 10 said they were likely to use newspapers’ apps to get news, rather than using a Web browser to go to the papers’ Web sites, most of which are free.
“These findings are encouraging for newspaper publishers who plan to begin charging for subscriptions on their iPad app editions early next year, but our survey also found a potential downside: iPad news apps may diminish newspaper print subscriptions in 2011,” said Roger Fidler, RJI’s program director for digital publishing.
In a separate survey released today, GfK MRI found about equal amounts of adults reading newspapers and magazines via apps or mobile devices. Four percent of adults reported reading a newspaper via an app in the past 30 days, compared with 3.7 percent of adults reading magazine content this way.