Are Americans Becoming Addicted to Tablets?


America’s love affair with tablets is growing. 

According to a just released study commissioned by the Online Publishers Association, 12% of the U.S. population between ages 8-64 now own or use a tablet, and that number is projected to rise to 23% by early 2012, representing 54 million people.

The study — “A Portrait of Today’s Tablet User” — was commissioned by the OPA to gain fresh understanding of consumers’ usage of tablets, content preferences and implications for advertising.[more]

The researchers founds that tablets are the preferred reading device over computers and printed media for a variety of content, including weather, entertainment, news, sports and financial information.

Key findings include: 

• 87% of tablet users access content and information, the dominant activity for this device 

• 93% of tablet users have downloaded apps, the average being 20 apps 

• 26% of all apps downloaded are paid 

• 60% of tablet users are male 

• 48% of tablet users are 18-34 years old 

• 43% of tablet users have a household income in excess of $50,000 

“79% of app downloaders paid for content in the last year, which provides a great opportunity for publishers to generate new revenue streams,” said Pam Horan, President of the OPA. “The study also revealed that consumers prefer content bundling and payment options to buy content through a variety of sources including direct from publishers rather than only through app retail stores.” 

In fact, 29% of tablet users prefer to buy apps from their cable company or internet provider, while 25% prefer to buy directly from publishers, in addition to iTunes, Amazon and Google.

“The tablet also provides a rich platform for advertisers with 46% indicating that they found tablet advertising within newspaper and magazine apps to be relevant, unique and interesting,” added Horan.

The study was conducted with Frank N. Magid Associates, Inc. in a survey of 2,482 people between April 15 and April 20, 2011. 

OPA’s membership has 172.5 million unique visitors or 83% reach of the U.S. online population as of comScore Media Metrix January 2010 figures.

Click here to download a PDF of the OPA study.