Prime time for iPad may be prime time
Just as video recorders let consumers time-shift their television viewing, the iPad may be encouraging users to do the same with news and other content, according to an intriguing – but unfortunately limited – new study.
After looking at when its users consumed 100 million earmarked articles, the company found that iPad use was heavily concentrated between 7 and 11 p.m.
As illustrated in the first graph below, users get a steady flow of news, information and other content from 8 a.m. until bedtime. But, as shown in the second chart, the users of this particular app tend to concentrate their reading in the after-dinner hours.
While these findings suggest interesting ways to release, package and market content for the iPad, it also must be noted that the research is limited to a sample of people who are sufficiently motivated to time-shift content to use this particular app.
Until someone researches consumption patterns across the entire universe of iPad owners, we won’t know whether this group of users is typical or exceptional.
If a broader study finds that prime time indeed is the prime time for iPad use, newspaper publishers may want to consider producing products that come out early in the evening, instead of in the morning or after their print products are put to bed at midnight.
Fresh news timed to arrive at dinnertime would be an interesting blast from the past for those of us who once worked on afternoon newspapers.