News providers must serve the new 'digital omnivore'

comScore | Poynter

A new report analyzing the state of mobile devices and media for 2012 finds that consumers are rapidly adopting both smartphones and tablets, while also still using PCs. The result, comScore says, is that media companies must face "the rise of the 'digital omnivore' – consumers who now go about their days engaging seamlessly through multiple online touchpoints." Consider these newspaper website consumption patterns for a typical weekday and weekend:

News consumers turn to different devices at different days and times. Tablets peak on mornings, evenings and weekends, PCs at midday, and smartphones see steady, brief usage throughout the days.

Other notable news-related findings from the report include:

  • 1 in 4 U.S. mobile phone owners (not just smartphones) gets news on his device.
  • News organizations continue to get a strong mix of both mobile Web and mobile app audience, which varies by brand. comScore did a case study of the BBC vs. Sky sites:
  • Tablets are "rapidly reaching critical mass in the consumer marketplace. In less than two years, nearly 40 million tablets were in use among mobile subscribers in the U.S., outpacing smartphones which took 7 years to achieve the same level of adoption."

These findings are consistent with our report last October -- based on comScore data -- that night owls read news on tablets, as mobile overtakes computer for at-home browsing.

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    Jeff Sonderman

    Jeff Sonderman is the deputy director of the American Press Institute, helping to lead its use of research, tools, events, and strategic insights to advance and sustain journalism.


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