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Digital Publication Readership – To Be Saved by Apple News+? [TUPdate]

Magazine and newspaper writers envision a world of digitally-connected readers hanging on their every word. Despite the ubiquity of connected devices, from smartphones and PCs to tablets, that’s not currently the case. Fewer than half of online adults regularly read a magazine, newspaper, or periodical using any one of these connected devices. Also, while Apple’s customers are more active digital readers than most, Apple’s News+ service is being launched into a chilling headwind. This is based on results from our TUP/Technology User Profile survey of 14,273 adults across five countries.

Only in India and China do the majority of online adults regularly use any of their devices to read periodicals. In the US, UK, and Germany, this rate is nearer to four-tenths of online adults.

Active readers are appearing to favor convenience over multi-device accessibility. Across the countries surveyed, nearly two-thirds of active digital readers do so with whichever of their devices is their primary device.

Also, it’s not as if even active readers do their reading across multiple types of devices. Instead, the net number of active readers is close to the sum of readers using their PC, tablet, or smartphone.

No single device stands out universally as the digital publication reading favorite. PCs are a favored reading device in the US, UK, and Germany. In China and India, slightly more choose smartphones over PCs.

The image of magazine readers sprawling on their couches, kicking back with their iPads to catch up on a beautifully graphical long read, only represents a small part of the market. Tablet news-reading is only done by a few. Across the five countries surveyed, only around one in ten online adults use a tablet for such reading.

Part of this single preferred-device approach may be due to the inconsistencies between publications across platforms. While some publications design for a large-screen experience, others aim for the smaller screens of a smartphone. Yet others haven’t seemed to do much aiming or development, seemingly settling with exporting PDFs of their printed pages.

Using connected devices to read subscriptions has sagged in the last year. Across all the countries surveyed, regular readership rates have dropped. The reduction has been most pronounced in India and China, dropping from 85% of online adults to 71% in India, and 65% to 53% in China.

Service such as Apple’s recently announced Apple News + may help to change that. Making subscribing easier through a simplified app and bundled price may just raise the number of active digital readers, if not also subscription rates. Because Apple’s service was launched to only run on an iOS or MacOS devices, this a subset of the entire market. However, this subset is sizable. As of mid-2018, TUP finds that Apple has 100.3 million adults in the US actively are using an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, which is 46% of all online US adults. This rate is similar among online adults in China (50%), and lower in the UK (44%), India (35%), and Germany (23%).

Apple’s customers are above-active readers. Among Apple’s customers, there is a higher rate of actively reading digital publications than among the general population. Half (50%) of users of any Apple iOS or MacOS device (iPhone, iPad, or Mac) in the US regularly use a connected device to read digital publications. Across the UK, Germany, China, and India, the pattern is the same: more of Apple’s users are active digital readers.

Looking ahead

Services like Apple News+ will likely be good for Apple and moreover good for Apple’s customers. Since Apple’s customers are already above-average readers, we expect subscriptions to be strong. In addition to the revenue flow to Apple and publishers, it could help deepen the connection and loyalty Apple’s users have with its other offerings – services and devices alike.

On first glance, services like Apple News+ may not seem attractive to publishers. If they view their TAM as only around half to a quarter of online users (Apple’s current foot print is 50% in China, 46% in the US, 44% in the UK, 35% in India, and 23% in Germany) this might seem like a glass-half-empty approach. Were Apple enable Apple News+ to more platforms beyond iOS and MacOS, the next-largest active-reader platforms are Windows PCs and Android smartphones. While this would likely entice more publishers, it might threaten Apple’s exclusive experience within its platforms. Also, for these platforms, Apple may need to make extra efforts to fulfill its promise of subscriber privacy.

However, to the extent publishers consider such a service as bonus readership, this may entice them and others to join. Apple’s customer base continues to have a higher than average socioeconomic profile.

And, as Apple continues to roll out additional subscription services such as movies and TV, many customers will likely expand and deepen their connections and loyalty to Apple. Also, we expect more readers to return to reading as they discover the digital experience to be more enjoyable and straightforward.

About this TUPdate

The analysis in this TUPdate is based on results drawn from the most-recent wave of TUP (Technology User Profile), the 2018 edition which is TUP’s 36th continuous wave. This survey-based study details the use of technology products by a carefully-selected and weighted set of respondents drawn to represent online adults. This specific wave spanned the US, UK, Germany, India, and China. In the TUP survey, we identified the connected devices being actively used, from desktop tower PCs, to all-in-one, notebook, and convertible PC form factors, to tablets, smartphones and basic feature phones. For the four devices used most often, we asked respondents to choose from among 71 activities that they do most regularly with each device.

Resources
Current TUP subscribers may request the supporting TUP information used for this analysis or for even deeper analysis. For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

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Filed under Behaviors and Activities, Desktops, Entertainment, Information and Search, Notebooks, Smartphones, Tablets, Trends, TUP 2018, TUPdate

UK Tech Staff Smartphone Callers Skew Male

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Filed under Communication, Smartphones, TUP 2018

Apple & Samsung Lead in Multi-Device Loyalty [TUPdate]

Apple and Samsung have the highest share of their users actively using two or more of their devices.

This is based on the MetaFacts TUP (Technology User Profile) 2018 survey results. Among online adults in the US, more of Apple’s and Samsung’s users have two or more of the brand’s devices than only use one of their devices.

Although brand footprint is an important measure in its simplest form – market penetration by the percent using at least one of a given product – the multi-device measure goes deeper. It shows the extra commitment customers are willing to make towards using any particular brand or ecosystem. In a pragmatic way, it reflects the value they place on a brand.

Based on the simple brand footprint measure, Windows devices have the deepest market penetration.  Effectively three in four (74%) online Americans are using one.

In a near three-way tie for second place, HP, Apple, and Google OS products are being used by nearly half of all US online adults. While HP has a slightly deeper footprint than the other two, with 52% of online Americans using an HP PC or printer, Apple and Google (Chrome/Android) are each in the hands of 49% of online American adults.

There’s also an overlap of Apple’s and Google’s best customers, with Apple having the stronger position. One in eight (12%) of adults with two or more Google OS products also have two or more Apple devices. One in twelve (8%) of adults with two or more Apple products also have two or more Google OS devices.

Methodology

The analysis in this TUPdate is based on results drawn from the most-recent wave of TUP (Technology User Profile), the 2018 edition which is TUP’s 36th continuous wave. This survey-based study details the use of technology products by a carefully-selected and weighted set of respondents drawn to represent online adults. This recent wave spanned the US, UK, Germany, India, and China. For this TUPdate we focused on users in the US.

About this TUPdate

This TUPdate includes a complimentary brief summary of recent MetaFacts TUP (Technology User Profile) research results. These results are based on results of the MetaFacts Technology User Profile 2018 survey, its 36th consecutive wave. For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

Resources

Current TUP subscribers may request the supporting TUP information used for this analysis or for even deeper analysis.

 

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Filed under Consumer research, Market Research, Multiple Devices, Operating systems, TUP 2018

Are Tablets and Computers Being Used the Same? [TUPdate]

Is an iPad a computer? Is a Microsoft Surface a tablet? What about Chromebooks – how do they fit into user’s uses? The major tech marketers are working to shift perceptions, such as Apple’s positioning of the iPad as a computer. Even though perceptions do shift buying decisions, user innovation and inertia are a force to reckon with. Many users have already pioneered ways to use their devices. We went straight to the users to see if they’re using tablets and notebooks the same, using iPads differently from Android Tablets, and Windows Notebooks from Chromebooks. Our basic hypothesis is that perceived differences, if substantial, can be confirmed by measuring user behavior.

Top Activities for New Home Tablets

iPads are more useful – based on users doing more with them. A higher share of users of recently-acquired home-owned tablets use Apple iPads for more of the major tablet activities than users of new Windows tablets or new home Android tablets. This is based on results from the MetaFacts TUP 2018 survey, conducted among 14,273 respondents across the US, UK, Germany, India, and China.

Top activities for New Home Notebooks

In this survey, we asked respondents about 73 different activities regularly used on the connected devices they actively use, including desktops, notebooks, tablets, smartphones, basic cell phones, or game consoles. The activities span a wide range of activities, from communication and entertainment to shopping and productivity. Drilling down to those with new home tablets or notebooks, we found some interesting commonalities as well as striking differences.

Of the top activities used by the largest share of new home tablet users, a higher share of iPads users regularly conduct the majority. Where social network commenting and movie/video watching rank highest among iPad users, these users are somewhat surpassed by Android Tablet users in checking updates on sports and weather, and in downloading free apps/software. User of the newest Windows tablets aren’t strongest in any of the top activities, although they are nearest to the others in listening to music and checking personal email.

iPads, and tablets in general, are used for more passive or limited involvement activities than notebooks. These top tablet activities include listening to music, playing games, watching television, or commenting on social networks. Home notebooks, in contrast, are most widely-used for both personal and work email, online banking, and online shopping.

Unique activities

We also looked at what makes each operating system unique, both on tablets or notebooks, with respect to how users use their mobile devices. We measured uniqueness as the range between the highest and lowest percentage of users of each type of device.

This revealed several differences in tablet use. New home iPads are being used more often for fun and connection than users of new home Windows or Android tablets. Android tablets stand out for being used to read books, shop for free apps, and to use a voice assistant. [TUP subscribers can dive into the data deeper to see the relationship between OS and choice of voice assistant).

New home notebooks are also being used differently between operating systems. Apple’s notebooks are used differently than the average home Windows notebook or Chromebook – with remote PC connections, listening to streaming music, or downloading music.

New Google Chromebooks are used more than average for online banking, to watch videos/movies, to comment on blogs, and to recommend or share information about products and services.

Among these top unique activities, one is unique for new home Windows notebooks: creating personal graphics/presentations.

Looking ahead

Inertia is great for entrenched leaders and a serious barrier for new entrants. People change habits more slowly than they change devices. By focusing on the main activities users enjoy and value, To expand the market will be helped by making it easy and smooth for users to easily do their activities regardless of device type. In Apple’s case, popular activities such as watching videos or movies requires apps or browsers that seamlessly span iOS and MacOS devices.

While users define what they have by how they use it, there will continue to be confusion among some press and analysts seeking to distinguish devices. However, it’s unlikely that a new form factor category will emerge from the push to redefine and reposition platforms. Instead, users will continue to vote with their feet (or in this case, their fingers) and look for the device/OS combinations that will best help them do whatever they want or need to do.

Methodology

The analysis in this TUPdate is based on results drawn from the most-recent wave of TUP (Technology User Profile), the 2018 edition which is TUP’s 36th continuous wave. This survey-based study details the use of technology products by a carefully-selected and weighted set of respondents drawn to represent online adults. This specific wave spanned the US, UK, Germany, India, and China. From the installed base we focused in on online adults who were using either a new home tablet or notebook PC. We chose those mobile devices which had been acquired in the most recent 1.5 years, specifically during 2017 and the first half of 2018.

About this TUPdate

This TUPdate includes a complimentary brief summary of recent MetaFacts TUP (Technology User Profile) research results. These results are based on results of the MetaFacts Technology User Profile 2018 survey, its 36th consecutive wave. For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

Resources

Current TUP subscribers may request the supporting TUP information used for this analysis or for even deeper analysis.

 

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Filed under Entertainment, Graphics and Image, Information and Search, Mobile Phones, Multiple Devices, Notebooks, Operating systems, Shopping, Social Networking, Tablets, TUP 2018, TUPdate, Usage Patterns

In Home Mobile Devices, it’s Apple and Google outnumbering Microsoft (TUPdate)

While pundits puzzle and debate, consumers lead the way. Is an iPad a computer, have smartphones replaced other mobile devices, and are PCs dead? Consumers continue to find their own ways and use what they choose, defying definitions, headlines and experts. From among three dominant operating system ecosystems and three main types of mobile devices, home consumers have found their favorites.

In the US and China, Apple’s home mobile devices – smartphones, notebooks, and tablets – outnumber those using Windows or either Google Android or Chrome. In the UK, Apple and Google are effectively tied in outnumbering Windows on mobile devices. This is based on the latest results from the MetaFacts TUP (Technology User Profile) 2018 study, its 36th annual wave.

There are many ways to be mobile for the many who choose to be. Nearly all online adults use some combination of a home smartphone, home notebook, or home tablet. In the UK and Germany, only 8% and 7%, respectively, don’t use any of the three. In China, nearly one in six (16%) online adults aren’t using one of these three home-owned mobile devices.

Each country has its own preferred combination. In India, having simply a smartphone is the most prevalent combination, representing 28% of adults online in India. In other countries, this share is nearer to one in five adults.

Germany stands out for having more users concentrated on two combinations than in other countries. Almost a third (30%) of online adults in Germany use a home notebook and home smartphone, and no home tablet. Another 25% also use a home notebook and home smartphone in addition to a home tablet.

Online adults in the UK are distinguished by having a larger-than-average share (22%) using a home smartphone, home tablet and no home notebook. The US (17%) is closest to the UK with this pairing, and this combination is much less popular in Germany (11%), India (10%), and China (8%).

While smartphones are being included among the devices of mobile adults, there is no single second device – notebook or tablet – paired with the smartphone.

In Germany, the smartphone-notebook combination is being used by the largest number (55%) of online adults. The use of smartphones and tablets is smaller (36%) although still higher than among online adults in China or India.

In India and China, the highest penetration pair is for smartphones and notebooks, in the hands of 41% of online adults in China and 33% of online adults in India. The use of smartphones and tablets is somewhat less, at 31% of online adults in China and 25% of online adults in India.

Online adults in the US and UK have different preferences. The most popular pair is a smartphone and tablet, actively used by 42% of online adults in the UK and 39% in the US. And in the US, as many online adults (39%) use a smartphone and notebook pair.

In the coming year, the partially-mobile are eager to become more mobile in one way or another. Purchase plans are strong for consumers to complete the set of smartphone, tablet, and notebook.

Overall, smartphones are the strongest device of interest. Smartphone purchase plans are especially strong among those online adults that are already using a home notebook and tablet. Plans are strong, although less so, among those who are only using a home tablet.

Notebook purchase plans are also strong. They are strongest among those who are only using a home tablet. They are also strong among those who aren’t using any of these mobile devices, and for this group, notebook plans are slightly higher than their plans for a smartphone or tablet.

Purchase plans for tablets are lower than those for smartphones or notebooks. The strongest plans almost paint the picture of tablets as an entry-level mobile device, as they’re strongest among online adults who aren’t already using a smartphone, tablet, or notebook. Plans are almost as strong among those only using a notebook, although plans for tablets lag behind plans for smartphones.

For those only using a home smartphone, purchase plans are lowest for either a tablet or notebook.

Looking further ahead

Mobility means many things to consumers – freedom, ease of use, and the ability to do as they’d like, whenever and wherever they’d like.

An internet connection is a vital part of mobility. Mobile device makers have been extending the mobile connection with mobile devices having built-in LTE/cellular capabilities, especially tablets. So far, consumers haven’t fully embraced extending their cellular subscriptions. When they’re less connected, they’re staying nearer to familiar Wi-Fi connections, using a portable hotspot or tethered connection, or reaching for their smartphones.

Another aspect of true mobility is usefulness, and users enjoy some activities more on notebooks or tablets than on smartphones which generally have smaller screens or that don’t have key applications. In other analysis we profile which activities users choose for their smartphones and which they choose for their notebooks or tablets.

Above all, users are continuing to choose between the many mobile offerings and haven’t settled on a single form factor or combination of mobile devices. Mobility in whatever form will continue to reach an ever-broader number of online adults.

About this TUPdate

This TUPdate includes a complimentary brief summary of recent MetaFacts TUP (Technology User Profile) research results. These results are based on results of the MetaFacts Technology User Profile 2018 survey, its 36th consecutive wave. For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

Resources

Current TUP subscribers may request the supporting TUP information used for this analysis or for even deeper analysis.

 

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Filed under Consumer research, Market Research, Mobile Phones, Multiple Devices, Notebooks, Operating systems, Smartphones, Tablets, TUP 2018, TUPdate