Tablet Owners Read More News, Longer Articles: Report

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A new study from Pew Research claims that the more devices we use, the more news we consume. In fact, rather than splitting the time spent consuming news between, say, a smartphone and a tablet, most users who own both devices tend to double the amount of time spent reading the news.

According to the report, which was based on a survey of 9,513 U.S. adults conducted from June-August 2012, tablet owners in particular tend to read more in-depth news pieces, using their slate most in the hours before and after work.

The number of tablet owners has doubled from a study conducted in May of last year, with Pew reporting 22 percent of U.S. adults own tablets. Slap on another 3 percent of U.S. adults who regularly use a tablet owned by someone else in the home, and a quarter of adults without a tablet who plan on picking one up in the next six months.

And of course, smartphone ownership has gone from 35 percent in May 2011 to 44 percent.

More than 60 percent of those tablet owners and smartphone owners access the news from their device each week, and more than 35 percent of tablet and smartphone owners do the same every day. News consumption is the second-most popular activity on both the tablet and smartphone, bested only by email.

What’s perhaps more interesting is the fact that we consume more news for each device we own. Tablet owners spend an average of 51 minutes reading the news, whereas smartphone owners spend around 54 minutes. But people who own both a smartphone and tablet spend an average of 64 minutes on the tablet and 54 minutes on the smartphone checking in on news.

Tablet users in particular tend to read longer, more in-depth articles and 69 percent read a full article when browsing through headlines. Of those who read longer articles on tablets, 78 percent read more than one in-depth piece in a sitting and 72 percent read in-depth articles they weren’t seeking out to begin with.

Almost half (43 percent) of tablet owners say they are consuming more news after getting a tablet, and 31 percent say they look at new sources for news and spend more time reading the news.

Because of this hunger for news, we are more concerned with getting our news from trusted publications. Sixty percent of readers who consume longer articles only read them from a select group of trusted news sources, whereas only 39 percent will read long-form articles from various sources.