A recent study suggests that the Apple iPad may be significantly contributing to the decline of newspaper subscription rates.
After surveying 1,600 iPad users over the course of the fall season, the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri has concluded that users who utilize iPad as a news source for more than an hour each day will most likely terminate their subscription to newsprint within the next half year.
This conclusion comes coupled with the finding that keeping up with current events is the most popular iPad use, according to the study’s authors.
“These findings are encouraging for newspaper publishers who plan to begin charging for subscriptions on their iPad app editions early next year,” said the Roger Fidler, RJI’s program director for digital publishing and the research project leader. “But our survey also found a potential downside: iPad news apps may diminish newspaper print subscriptions in 2011.”
Indeed, the survey found that a hefty 93-percent of users who spent an hour or more reading the news were “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to use an iPad app for getting their daily news over that of an online source from a computer.