Short Takes: Tablets Driving News Consumption

Publishers are still figuring out how to build and monetize tablet audiences, to varying degrees of success. News Corp’s tablet newspaper The Daily, for example, reportedly averages 120,000 users a week, less than a quarter of the audience the firm’s CEO Rupert Murdoch said it needs in order to break even. Nevertheless, tablet users claim they consume more news content than they did previously.

In a survey of 1,100 tablet users by Starcom MediaVest and the BBC, 59 percent of respondents said they access national or local news more often since acquiring one of the devices. Eighty-one percent also said having a tablet makes following the news “more interesting and enjoyable.

Respondents also called for more functionality around the content they were consuming, giving insight into areas publications like The Daily might look to improve. Eighty-five percent said they want more tablet-specific, interactive content, while 80 percent want the ability to “customize the format of news coverage for certain types of stories.” Seventy-three percent also called for content that is “automatically related” to where they are or what they’re doing, suggesting tablet users are open to the location and behaviorally targeted content.

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