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Tablet Ownership is Exploding – What’s the Penetration in Your Market?

Interweave conducts a Tablet Ownership Survey, leading to a better understanding of their digital audience

Now that we’re clear on the explosive growth of tablets, it’s time for publishers to determine the tablet usage specific to their audience.

Interweave, a major art and craft media company, has done just that. The Tablet Ownership Survey, conducted in October 2011, revealed a very clear picture about how Interweave’s audiences own and interact with digital devices.

We spoke with Bob Kaslik, VP of Consumer Marketing, and Danielle Werbick, Audience Development Director, Interweave to learn what they discovered.

Premise of the survey

Interweave’s primary goal was to discover a baseline for adoption of tablets within their audience, so they could create more content that adapts to the unique capabilities of media-rich tablet devices.

The survey was sent to hundreds of thousands of Interweave’s users, including segments of affinity (free information) subscribers, paid magazine subscribers and ecommerce buyers. “Affinity subscribers have signed up, opted in and actively receive emails to varying degrees but have never purchased from us,” said Kaslik. “Magazine subscribers are very content-oriented and have renewal relationships with us. Ecommerce buyers purchase traditional or digital downloads, including single issues and DVDs.”

These segments were used to determine whether tablet penetration across these categories would differ. “Segmenting is crucial because results may be skewed if sweeping generalizations are made,” he said.

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What they learned

The most substantial finding was that out of the buyer segment, 28% reported owning tablets. Compare that to the 11% of US adults that own tablets, and you can see just how active this particular market is with tablet ownership. 22% of the affinity subscribers reported owning tablets.

Another significant finding was that between 40-48% of all segments reported contemplating a purchase of a tablet within the next six months. This number is likely to increase substantially with the recent release of the $199 Kindle Fire, which hadn’t yet happened at the time of this survey.

Why Interweave’s audience owns tablets

The number one reason the affinity and buyer segments reported owning a tablet was for e-reading purposes, while for magazine subscribers, the answer was surprisingly, “browsing the Internet.” Apps were another popular reason why all three segments own tablets.

Knowing your audience

The demographics of this survey showed that the majority of respondents were female, in their 50s and 60s who are educated and high income earners. These statistics were not new to Interweave, but it helped to reinforce the validity of the information they collected.

Danielle Werbick noted, “Our audience is clearly aware of tablets and giving thought to buying in the future. While looking at the reported intentions, 35-40% of our customer base may own a tablet within the next six months.”

With the holiday season here and more reasonably priced tablets in the market, these indications are very likely to become reality. Interweave plans to execute this survey quarterly and we look forward to seeing how the data evolves.

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