Tablet ads make a mark

29 June 2011

NEW YORK: Advertising on tablets such as the iPad is successfully engaging US consumers in a variety of ways, a study has found.

The Online Publishers Association and Frank N Magid Associates surveyed 2,482 people in the 8-64 year old demographic.

As a result, it estimated 12% of American netizens, equivalent to 28m consumers, currently own a tablet.

Apple's iPad and iPad 2 easily hold the leading positions in device terms at present, trailed by the Samsung Galaxy, Dell Streak, HP Slate, Archos 7 Home and Sony Dash.

Men constitute 60% of users, with a particular weighting towards 18-34 year olds, although 25-35 year old women have also proved keen.

Among the panel who had already acquired one of these gadgets, 39% were "satisfied" regarding their experience, and 50% pegged this rating at "very satisfied".

A fifth of the tablet community bought home between $35,000 and $50,000 per year, and 19% claimed between $50,000 and $75,000.

This figure moderated to 11% for the $75,000 to $100,000 cluster and 10% for those earning even higher sums, thus matching the amount delivered by the $15,000 to $35,000 segment.

The most popular media activities include accessing content and information, recording 87%, checking email, generating 64%, and surfing the net, on 63%.

Gaming and listening to music yielded 58%, social networking secured 51% and watching video logged 49%.

Making purchases registered 31%, mirroring totals for browsing online newspapers and magazines.

A net 65% of this group preferred using apps on a tablet rather than a PC, a figure which slowed to 47% for listening to music and 39% for playing games and streaming video.

Social networking scored 38%, browsing the web was 33%, getting local news 30% and discussing e-commerce 12%.

Numbers reached 39% where participants were asked if they favoured reading content on a tablet or a computer and 36% for mobile phones on the same terms.

Elsewhere, a net 23% opted for slate devices over newspapers, as did 22% measured against magazines, and 21% versus an e-reader like the Kindle.

Turning to applications, 16% of the tablet population have downloaded more than 30 such tools to date.

A quarter had picked out in the range of two and five offerings, the highest percentage on this metric.

Weather, entertainment, news, sports and newspaper apps have seen the strongest demand thus far, the study said.

While 79% of users paid for applications in the last year, spending an average of $53, free offerings actually take a 74% volume download share.

In assessing advertising within newspaper and magazine apps, 46% of the audience agreed it was "relevant" and "unique and interesting."

A further 38% selected "eye-catching" and "hard to ignore" as descriptions, beating the 36% saying they were the same as the online alternative.

Just 28% viewed the brand messages they had been exposed to via this route as "annoying".

Looking forward, the study predicted penetration levels would hit 23%, or 54m people, by early 2012.

It based these projections on the fact 18% of the sample intended to purchase a tablet in the next 12 months, ahead of 14% for e-readers, but lagging 25% for cellphones, and 33% regarding smartphones.

Some 45% of individuals wishing to obtain a product like the iPad or Galaxy Tab during the forthcoming year were female, suggesting a slight closing of the gender gap.

Data sourced from Online Publishers Association; additional content by Warc staff