October 1, 2012

Future of Mobile News

Data Plans Help in Tablet Spending

One group that stands out for being more inclined to spend money via their tablet are those who have a mobile data plan-those who have paid to access the internet from their tablet anytime and virtually anywhere.

Overall, just 26% of tablet owners have a data plan on their tablet. But this survey was conducted before new "data sharing plans" became available from wireless carriers, which could quickly expand the population that has internet access on their tablet at all times.  It is a population worth watching as their habits stand out in many ways. They are more likely to have iPads than those who do not have a plan (65% versus 48%) and are more likely to get news on their tablet multiple times a day (50% versus 33% for those who don’t have a data plan). 

Perhaps what stands out most, though, is the potential they seem to carry in terms of revenue. These users are far more likely to have subscriptions of all kinds; 43% have a print only-subscription, versus 30% who don’t have a plan; 25% have a subscription that gives both print and digital access (versus 15% who don’t have a plan) and 16% have a digital-only subscription, double that of those who don’t have a plan (7%) – and higher than for mobile news users overall (11%).

People with data plans on their tablets are also more likely to notice ads; 59% do so at least sometimes versus 44% who do not have data plans.[1] This group is also more likely to click through on ads as well. Fully 24% of those with tablet data plans and who notice ads sometimes click, versus 13% who get news on their tablet but do not have the plan.

Those with data plans are also more likely to engage in e-commerce through tablet ads. Fully 28% who click at least sometimes, buy things – versus 13% without a plan and 18% overall. Across the wider population this means that 14% of all people with a data plan sometimes buy things from ads they see versus 5% of all those who do not have a plan.


Footnote

[1] Those with data plans may also have more opportunity to notice different ads. Within many sites or apps, the ads on the page rotate or change for those who are connected to the internet, while those who are not connected see just one static ad or at times, se no ads at all. The same may be true in the ability to click on them.