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iPad news apps may diminish newspaper print subscriptions in 2011


Keeping up with news and current events is the most popular use of the Apple iPad, according to a survey conducted by the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute ( at the University of Missouri.

The findings indicate more than half of print newspaper subscribers who use their iPad at least an hour a day for news are very likely to cancel their print subscriptions within six months. However, that decision could be influenced by several factors — especially price, which was mentioned most often. Of the more than 1,600 survey participants:

° Three quarters of respondents spent at least 30 minutes a day consuming news on their iPad, nearly half said they spend an hour or more.

° iPad users are predominantly well-educated, affluent men between the ages of 35 and 64 who tend to be early adopters.

° A positive iPad reading experience is influenced by age and traditional media habits.

° Overall satisfaction and time spent with the iPad is very high.

“These findings are encouraging for newspaper publishers who plan to begin charging for subscriptions on their iPad app editions early next year, but our survey also found a potential downside: iPad news apps may diminish newspaper print subscriptions in 2011,” according to Roger Fidler, RJI’s program director for digital publishing and the research project leader.

Nine out of 10 respondents who consumed at least an hour a day worth of news on their iPad said they were either very likely (71.8%) or somewhat likely (21.2%) to use a newspaper’s application for reading news and feature stories as opposed to using a web browser to navigate the newspaper’s web site.

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