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Avoid a tablet generation gap

Jul 1, 2011 12:00 AM

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If you want to know if someone is 35 or older just sneak a peek at the bottom of their feet. Our soles are dirty and calloused from powering our Flintstone Mobiles. A Pew Research report found:

  • Millennials (AKA the 18-34 year olds) are the only generation that is more likely to own a laptop computer or netbook than a desktop: 70% own a laptop.
  • Desktop computers are the most popular with adults ages 35-65, with 69% of Gen X, 65% of younger Boomers and 64% of older Boomers owning these devices.
  • While almost half of all adults own an mp3 player such as an iPod, this device is most popular with Millennials — 74% of adults ages 18-34 own an mp3 player vs. 56% of the next oldest generation, Gen X (35-46).
  • Game consoles are significantly more popular with adults ages 18-46, with 63% owning these devices.
  • Just 5% of all adults own an e-book reader.
  • Tablet computers, such as the iPad, are most popular with American adults ages 65 and younger.

Publishers Press' Dick Ryan sees new opportunities for the magazine world. “Tablets could create larger audiences for publishers as well as all other media providers,” he writes. “You should be able to drive incremental audience growth and therefore revenues, but only if you act on a strategy that targets new readers … combined with interactive editorial and production content.”

The NCAA March Madness iPad app illustrates Ryan's point: “Did it make me a new audience member? You bet it did because I watched the Louisville and Kentucky games live from my office, and the production was, in a word, awesome. It's a free app because I was served television ads during the broadcast. I watched the game from my tablet, was exposed to ads, all from my office.”

Graph Expo (Sept. 11-14) offers an excellent opportunity to learn more about tablet strategies. Among the 32 colocated events is a new ePublishing Conference — the perfect place to avoid a tablet headache.

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