Tablet users want the news, but it must be free
Tablet computers, on more than one occasion, have been described as the possible savior of the publishing industry. However, according to an October 2011 study from the Pew Research Center, if the tablet is to save publishers from going under, it won't likely be through subscription revenue.
The research firm conducted a survey of more than 5,000 adults, 504 of whom are tablet users. Of the tablet users, 53 percent indicate that they are daily news consumers. Thirty percent say they now spend more time getting the news than ever, reading both long articles and browsing headlines with their mobile devices.
However, the study also finds that most tablet users are unwilling to pay for news content, and are increasingly getting their news from nontraditional sources, such as social media. Only 14 percent say they currently pay for news on their tablets, and just 21 percent say they'd be willing to pay.
Despite the Pew Research Center's findings, there may still be hope for publishers looking to leverage the power of tablets. The technology is growing at an unprecedented rate, and many businesses are now catering their marketing practices to the devices. If publishers can find a way to advertise effectively on tablet computers, their prospects could improve significantly.