Pew: People Willing & Happy to Read News on a Tablet. Bad News for Print Newspapers

The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism issued the results of a study on how people use tablets. It focuses on the main activities performed daily on tablets. Some of the findings are slighlty but not entirely surprising. Hint: Social is not number one or two.

How People Use Tablets and What It Means for the Future of News

Here’s tablet life by the numbers according to Pew.

– 11% of people in the U.S. report having some kind of tablet computer.
– 77% of these tablet owners use it daily.

The top three daily tablet activities are:

1. 54% deal wtih email
2. 53% read news
3. 39% use social networks

Tablet owners, according to Pew, are different from the general population (the other 89%) in how often they want to get news and how they prefer to consume news. More tablet users want to see news “all the time” (68% vs. 56%). Tabletn owners also prefer reading or listening to news over watching (71% vs. 45%).

Relatively few tablet users share news on social networks (16%). Even young (18 to 29 years old) tablet users share news just slightly more (19%) than the general population of tablet users.

Tablet users are moving their news reading habits away from other sources. It may not be surprising that 79% of tablet users prefer to use that device instead of a desktop or notebook PC. However, 59% say they migrated news reading away from a newspaper while 57% read news on a tablet instead of a newspaper. One particularly piece of bad news for newspapers is that the tablet is preferred over print newspapers for long articles by a wide margin (55% vs. 22%). Even worse news is that only 14% have paid directly for news on a tablet.