New research from Advertising Age and Ipsos Observer puts some numbers to the tablet device craze. Nearly half of the consumers surveyed in this study stated that they already have or want to get a tablet device, such as an iPad, within the next 12 months.  Considering recent research by eMarketer predicts that 24 million U.S. consumers will have a tablet device by the end of 2011 (more than twice as many as 2010) and over 40 million will have one by the end of 2012, there can be no ignoring the fact that tablets are changing the way people consume content and the way they live.

With the explosive growth in tablet device ownership, content publishers are realizing that there are audiences who are willing to pay for magazine subscriptions, books, and other content in order to get convenient access via their tablet devices. IHS iSuppli reports that electronic versions of books once only available through traditional paperback or hard cover formats account for 6% of all US book publishing revenues in 2011, which is twice as much as it was last year, and is expected to grow to 13% of the market by 2014.

Magazine subscriptions are finding a new audience via tablet devices, too. When asked the format that they prefer magazines in and their purchase habits as part of the Advertising Age study, the following results were discovered:

  • 63% prefer a magazine’s iPad edition.
  • 53.8% bought an iPad edition of a magazine
  • 47.7% bought an iPad edition of a magazine that they wouldn’t otherwise buy
  • 87.7% bought the subsequent issue of that magazine’s iPad edition

Preferences for consuming content have changed in recent years and continue to evolve. Publishers need to understand their target audiences and provide the right content, in the right formats, and at the right prices to stay afloat in the future. The days of one-size-fits-all are over.

What do you think? Do you have an iPad or tablet device? Do you plan on getting one? Leave a comment and share your thoughts on content consumption via tablets.

Image: Flickr