Tablets are plane sailing for publishers

On a recent aeroplane flight, I looked around the cabin and all I saw were people absorbed in their smartphones and tablets of all shapes and sizes.  There was even the awfully named cross breed device called the phablet.  Well, it is either a phone or it isn’t and, anyway, I think it would be much more fun to call it a tablerone.  The latest National Readership Survey (NRS) estimates that 53% of British adults now use a smartphone and 31% use a tablet, with the latter enjoying an incredible 246% increase in just 12 months.

I could not tell what people were reading – that’s the thing about digital devices I guess - but  e-books would be an obvious choice.  I also suspect that newspapers and magazines would have got a look-in too.  Nearly one in five adults (18%) has read a newspaper or magazine via a tablet, e-reader or app in the last 12 months.  This equates to 9.1m British adults now consuming publisher mobile content and represents a year-on-year rise of 57%.  This is an important rising trend, as more and more publishers around the world transfer their business models from print to digital.

Some passengers had picked up their free printed copy of a newspaper from one of the bins just before boarding the aircraft.  It would seem a logical progression for those publishers to let you also download a free copy of the day’s edition on to your mobile devices at the departure gate.  A quick flash of your boarding pass on the mobile screen to the ground crew and you can get back to reading straightaway as you get comfortable in your seat on the plane.  Then, of course, you have to turn off the device as the aircraft taxis for take-off.

Now, where did I put that paperback novel?

John Carroll is a Senior Director in Ipsos MediaCT  (@MediaCarroll)

  • Axel Lariat

    “It would seem a logical progression for those publishers to let you
    also download a free copy of the day’s edition on to your mobile devices
    at the departure gate”.

    Does such a technology exist ie make something available for dowload in such a specific location, but nowhere else?

  • John Carroll

    An access code could be provided at the departure gate

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