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What Devices Are We Using? Often, it’s a Tablet

At this time, tablets are obviously the format most sympathetic to the traditional print publication.  Print publishers who are going digital are initially migrating to the tablet platform because it allows them to recreate a magazine experience with the ability to flip from article to article in a format really well suited to long-form reading. In this stage of the digital publishing revolution, advertisements that appear in digital publication apps, like their print parents, are often full pages that are displayed between articles and are fully interactive with video, games and links to social media and other internet activities.

Smartphone developers are increasingly addressing the desires of their users. By encouraging and supporting the development of mobile apps specifically created to take advantage of the features available on the devices, they also are mitigating the effect of having to present a full range of features on a tiny screen. We are seeing that globally, the Android operating system is beginning to overtake the iOS offered by Apple. Growth is being fueled by the low-end smaller screen tablet market, and first time buyers, mostly outside of North America.

The North American tablet owner tends to be younger than the world average and they are typically more engaged with technology products in general. Mobile ownership among young Canadians and Americans is higher than the world average. They are the first to buy new electronics and advanced technology.


Good news for digital publishers is that advertising in digital magazines, including tablet and smartphone formats, continues to expand. One of the draws is the interactive capability within applications. Digital videos, social media connectivity and the ability to get instant feedback through various surveys and quizzes all contribute to the engagement in the new advertising media.

Advertisement receptivity is very much dependent on location, time of day and device being used. It is becoming clear that specific devices are generally used in specific places and at predictable times of day. PCs are used more during work hours, smartphones are most used in the morning and when in transit, and tablets are used at home, after work and into the evening. These are just general guidelines but a solid trend is developing. Ad receptivity is greatest using tablets at home during leisure time and with smartphones while travelling via public transportation, given that people have available time to peruse their devices and are most relaxed and open to advertisements.

Older demographics are more comfortable using the tablet format, due to the larger screen size and more simplified operation of the device. Some older people prefer reading on tablets over print due to the ability to increase font size as required and the bright backlit screens which enhance contrast.

Over all demographics, reading books, magazines and newspapers are the preferred activities performed on tablet devices, and tablet users also tend to respond to advertisements for items that they are actively shopping for when viewed on their tablets.