Night owls read news on tablets, as mobile overtakes computer for at-home browsing

comScore
A new report from comScore shows nearly three out of five tablet owners (58 percent) consume news on their tablets at least occasionally. Twenty-two percent do so almost daily.

The report also breaks down the times of day people are most active on different devices. The patterns largely confirm conventional wisdom, but the illustration is helpful nonetheless. Smartphone and tablet browsing spike early, about 8 a.m., as people awaken. Computer traffic peaks slightly later, around 9 a.m. After that, however, the patterns diverge.

  • Computer traffic stays strong through the morning, peaks again at lunch time, and falls sharply in the evening.
  • Tablet traffic sags through the afternoon, but surges to its highest point from about 8 p.m. to midnight (notably, tablets account for more news traffic than either computers or smartphones during that period).
  • Smartphone traffic is remarkably even throughout the day. This seems to be because people carry them at all times and use them for a variety of brief tasks wherever they are.
People use computers, smartphones and tablets at different times of day.

We also learn that the iPad is a powerful Web browsing device. Despite the fact that iPhones outsold iPads 20.3 million to 9.25 million in Apple’s most recent quarter, and they have been on sale nearly three years longer, iPads account for more Web traffic than iPhones. Tablets also account for nearly 2 percent of all digital traffic in the U.S.

Newspapers are reaching larger digital audiences thanks to smartphones and tablets.

ComScore estimates how much mobile and tablet audiences add to the total audience reach at five major U.S. newspapers. Smartphones and tablets add between 7.6 percent (New York Times) and 11.2 percent (Los Angeles Times) to the audiences already reached through traditional home or work computers.

Read more of the 33-page report on comScore’s website.

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  • Anonymous

    The chart lines show that tablets have indeed overtaken computers for news reading up until about 9 a.m. and after about 8 p.m. 

  • http://twitter.com/dancow Dan Nguyen

    The headline for this story is a little misleading and lends itself to poorly worded tweets. Based on the lede, it’s not that tablets/mobile have overtaken computers – at night or during any time period – for news reading. It’s that people who have bought tablets tend to use them for what they typically bought them for: web surfing.

    Even the findings that tablet usage beats out computers at night doesn’t seem to be that interesting. It appears that employed tablet-owners don’t use tablets at work. When they get home, they use their tablets rather than sit at their desk.

  • http://twitter.com/dancow Dan Nguyen

    The headline for this story is a little misleading and lends itself to poorly worded tweets. Based on the lede, it’s not that tablets/mobile have overtaken computers – at night or during any time period – for news reading. It’s that people who have bought tablets tend to use them for what they typically bought them for: web surfing.

    Even the findings that tablet usage beats out computers at night doesn’t seem to be that interesting. It appears that employed tablet-owners don’t use tablets at work. When they get home, they use their tablets rather than sit at their desk.