Who Are Tablet Users? Statistics and an Introduction to Your Digital Magazine Readers

Understanding tablet users: statistics indicate the needs and wants of digital readers

Knowing your audience is vital to all writers, editors, and publishers. Staying ahead of market research is the first step in finding out who your readers are and what they want. The next, and most important, step is taking the information you’ve gathered and using it to target your readers by highlighting their interests.

Who are your tablet users? Statistics to identify your readership

For the past three years we’ve conducted studies on digital natives, tablet user habits and most recently, digital magazine usage. We’ve come to know a bit about the new age of tablet users, and those who are most likely to purchase digital magazines – the topic you probably want to know most about.

We’ve identified the five most important demographics of tablet owners, and provided examples of how publishers can best tailor their digital issues to the interests and demographics of their readers.

  1. Gender. Gender is split evenly between tablet users, with no statistically significant differences it’s practically 50/50. While there may not be a gender gap, magazines should still target to their reader’s needs. Men’s Health currently offers their digital magazine, loaded with interactive content and live social feeds, at half of the cover price. This would please our Mequoda Digital Magazine Market Study respondents who felt that digital subscriptions should cost less than the price of a print issue.

  1. Education. An often overlooked demographic, education is an important key to understanding and targeting your readers. Research has identified that the vast majority of tablet users have a college education, with 59% being college graduates. Tablet user statistics show readers are looking for content beyond what they can easily find and click through on their social media feeds. Like in print issues, digital readers want well-researched, intriguing articles. Respondents in our Mequoda Digital Magazine Market Study report that 11 to 20 articles make for the perfect digital issue. Be sure not to over-or-underwhelm your readers when curating your digital issue.


  1. Location. Tablet users are spread throughout geographic locations. While location won’t influence content immeasurably, it is important to understand how it can affect your digital readership. Geographically based magazines, like Southern Living could do well with creating bonus content for digital subscribers. While their magazine is available for digital subscription, at this time, users must currently choose between a print only or digital only subscription for the same price. Our study showed 64% of tablet users would prefer a print/digital/app bundle over a single choice of subscription.

  1. Household Income. Income level may influence digital readership. The Consumer Electronics Association recently surveyed tablet owners about purchases and spending habits. 35% report buying an app within the past month, and 58% of those spent more than $5 on their purchase. Because household income can vary among tablet users, and often tablets are shared between family members, product cost should be a key factor when marketing digital products to consumers. National Geographic’s digital subscription costs less than the print version, and includes access to everything printed, as well as archived issues. Tablet user statistics indicate readers are looking for value in digital subscriptions, and if they find value, they are willing to spend their money via tablet purchases.

  1. Age. Luckily, readers of all ages are using tablets to access digital issues and subscriptions. Consider age when creating bonus content for your digital issues. Fit Pregnancy’s demographic is clearly identified to be women of childbearing age. The magazine could share bonus content of instructional videos showing how to safely exercise while pregnant. Soap Opera Digest targets an older demographic, with a median age of 50. For bonus content, they could share clips from previous or future issues as additional digital content not available in print editions.

Tablet users’ statistics may be varied, but they are all looking for great content.

According to the aforementioned CEA study, 7 of 10 of online consumers expect to buy a tablet in the near future. Why not capitalize on this growing demographic now? Digital magazine readership on tablet devices is flourishing, and publishers must keep up with the demand from their readers by providing targeted, well-curated, and affordable content.

Who are your readers, and what have you done to tailor your digital issues to their needs and interests? Share your stories in the comments section!


    Thank you Jack. This year we shifted the focus to digital magazines and not so much exclusively the tablet since our readers are multiplatform publishers primarily rather than hardware or app companies. We are certainly observing the phenomenon you are noting — people accessing information on multiple platforms. That’s precisely why we shifted our focus. We’ll look to add the data you mention in the future.

    Jack H.

    It would be additionally helpful to know what percentage of the total respondents use tablets exclusively, or the percentage of their online reading is with a tablet–for each demographic breakout. We note that many folks seem to use cell phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops depending on where they are and what they want to do.


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