WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — Younger, college-educated men are the most engaged consumers of news, and they are now more likely than ever to get the world’s updates from a mobile device or tablet.
Men, especially young men, are heavier mobile news consumers than women. More than 40 percent of men get news daily on either their smartphone or tablet, compared with roughly 30 percent of women, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center in collaboration with The Economist Group.
On tablets specifically, men check in on the news more frequently and are more apt to read in-depth news articles and to watch news videos. Women, on the other hand, are more likely than men to use social networks as a way to get news.
Level of education is another factor tied to mobile news choices. The college-educated get news through mobile apps to a greater degree than those with less education. The less well-educated more often report that reading the news on tablets is adding to their overall news consumption rather than just replacing news they once got in other ways (49 percent versus 36 percent for college graduates).
Overall, nearly four-in-ten (39 percent) got news online or on a mobile device yesterday, including cell phones and tablets. In 2010, 34 percent got news online; this did not include those who got news on a mobile device. In 2004, just 24 percent said they got news online during the previous day.
Despite the rapid growth of digital news, more Americans continue to get news from traditional news platforms than from digital platforms. Seven in ten (71 percent) say they watched television news, read a print newspaper or listened to radio news yesterday.
One area where younger users distinguish themselves involves advertising in the tablet news space: 18-to 29-year-old tablet news users touch or click on ads when getting news to a far greater degree than older generations.
However, mobile news users 50 and over are more likely to have paid for some kind of news subscription.
This report compiles an earlier PEJ and The Economist Group report, The Future of Mobile News, which found that half of U.S. adults now own mobile devices and a majority use them for news. Both reports are based on a survey of 9,513 U.S. adults conducted from June-August 2012 (including 4,638 mobile device owners).