Report: Tablets Helping Improve News Consumption
NEW YORK (AP) - Mobile technology appears to be increasing the public appetite for news but it’s far from clear whether the news industry will profit from that, a study issued Monday concluded.
The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, in its annual state of the news media report, found encouraging signs within the 27 percent of Americans who say they get news on their smartphones or tablets.
These consumers are likely to seek out traditional news sites or applications, strengthening their bond with old newspaper or television news organizations. People with tablets tend to read longer articles and spend more time with news sites than they do on phones or desktop computers, said Tom Rosenstiel, Project for Excellence in Journalism director.
Many people already make it a habit to check their tablets before going to bed to see what is going to be in a newspaper the next day, he said.
Unique visits to online news sites jumped 17 percent from 2010 to 2011, similar to the increase from the year before, the report said.
"The demand for conventional journalism endures and in some ways is even growing," Rosenstiel said. "There were many people that didn’t predict that. The content is still coming from traditional news companies."
Yet technology companies, rather than news companies, are better set up to take advantage of online revenue opportunities. The report found that five companies - Microsoft, Google, Facebook, AOL and Yahoo! - generated 68 percent of digital ad revenue in 2011.
News companies are generally not as able to provide the specific consumer information that digital advertisers seek, and they certainly have not been as aggressive in this area as the technology companies, said media critic Jeff Jarvis, who writes the Buzzmachine.com blog.