A new report from Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism and The Economist Group reports that half of U.S. adults have a mobile connection to the web through a smartphone or tablet, and that mobile connectivity has them consuming more news and from more sources than ever before. In short, instead of turning away from traditional news sources like radio, print, and television, Americans are becoming multi-platform news customers thanks to the proliferation of mobile connectivity.

Specifically, 31% of U.S. mobile news consumers claim that since they got their tablet device, they spend more time with the news. Similarly, 31% claim they turn to new sources for news, and 43% state that they are adding to the news they consume.

According to the report, nearly one-third of U.S. adults now get news on a mobile device at least once a week. Here are some specific statistics from the report to give you an idea of how those Americans have introduced mobility into their multi-platform news consumption:

  • 22% of U.S. adults own a tablet, and 64% of tablet owners get news on their device.
  • 44% of U.S. adults own a smartphone, and 62% of smartphone owners get news on their device.
  • 50% of U.S. adults own either a tablet or a smartphone, and 66% of tablet or smartphone owners get news on their device.

Taking a closer look at tablet news consumers, 54% of of them also read news on their smartphones, 50% also read news in print, and 77% also get news on their desktop computers. In fact, 41% of mobile news consumers surveyed for this study claimed that they prefer to get news on their desktops followed by on their tablets (25%). Consuming news in print and on smartphones came in third and fourth, respectively.

While desktop ranks as the preferred device to access news among the mobile audience, the study authors point out that tablet news consumption jumps between 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. after people have left their desktops behind at the office. It’s not surprising that 73% of mobile U.S. adults who consume news on their tablets read long, in-depth articles, which is higher than 61% of smartphone news consumers that read in-depth articles. Tablet devices are used in a manner that is more conducive to reading long articles.

Finally, it’s not just the quantity of news that mobile users consume but also the amount of time they spend with the news that is changing with the shift to multi-platform news consumption. The chart below from the Pew Research Center report show how much time mobile Americans spend with the news.

economist group pew research mobile news consumption

As Emma Gardner of The Economist Group explains, “Tablets and smartphones aren’t distracting people from the news, but instead giving many of us more ways to access news. In fact, the findings show that users who read news on multiple devices spend more time with news overall. The evidence suggests that there is the opportunity for publishers to reach an even larger audience, but in order to do so, publications must be available on multiple platforms.”

Is your Authoritative Content mobile-friendly? If not, you’re missing an opportunity to grow your audience of engaged news and content consumers.

Follow the link to read the full report and view the image at its source: The Future of Mobile News: The Explosion in Mobile Audiences and a Close Look at What It Means for News