The growing popularity of connected devices, in particular Apple's successful tablet computer, the iPad, is starting to change how people consume media, a report from The Nielsen Company found. With sales of these devices expected to be a bright spot in an otherwise lackluster holiday shopping season, everyone, be they media companies, publishers, apps developers, advertisers, device manufacturers and wireless carriers, are all focused on how to leverage this market segment.
Nielsen recently surveyed more than 5,000 consumers who already own a tablet computer, eReader, netbook, media/games player or smartphone to get a better sense of who is using these devices and how they are using them. The report found early adopters of technology favor tablets, and tablet owners own more connected devices. Nearly half (48 percent) of survey respondents who are iPad owners identified themselves as early adopters, compared with 35 percent of e-readers, 26 percent of netbook owners and 30 percent of smartphone users.
Tablets are shared more than e-readers or smartphones, with 46 percent of tablet users allow others to use their devices, while only about one-third of smartphone and e-reader users do the same (34 percent of surveyed smartphone users said they'd share, as did 33 percent of e-reader users). Apple iPad users are younger and more of them are male than those of other connected devices-65 percent are male and 63 percent are under the age of 35-and more likely than iPhone owners to access print and video content.
Amazon Kindle users are slightly wealthier and better educated than iPad owners, according to survey results: 28 percent of surveyed Kindle owners have incomes of $100,000 or more and 57 percent have a bachelor's degree or higher, compared with iPad users, 25 percent of who have incomes of $100,000 or more. Fifty-one percent of iPad owners reported having a bachelor's degree or higher.
The survey also found almost two-thirds of iPad owners have already downloaded a paid application, with games leading the way at 62 percent. Books took second place for paid iPad content, at 54 percent, followed by music (50 percent), shopping apps (45 percent) and news and headline applications rounding out the top five at 45 percent.
While connected devices owners as a group are comfortable with mobile advertising (59 percent of owners surveyed said they were fine with ads if it meant they could access free content), the survey found iPad owners are more likely to make a purchase after viewing an ad. iPad owners were also more likely to find video-based ads compelling (49 percent) compared with iPhone owners (40 percent) and connected device owners as a group (39 percent).
Tablet owners are also most likely to own the most connected devices, the survey found. On average, tablet users own six connected devices, followed by e-reader owners, portable game owners and portable media player owners, who each owned an average of five connected devices. Netbook users owned an average of four connected devices, according to Nielsen's research.
The Connected Devices Playbook surveyed more than 5,000 connected device owners who completed an online, self-administered survey in August 2010. The study tracked 54 different devices. "Connected devices such as tablets, e-readers and smartphones are seemingly everywhere and already are changing how some people consume media," a report summary noted. "Whether it's watching a video or accessing an app on an iPad on the train to work, sitting at home reading a book on a Kindle or playing the latest games on a Sony PSP, the devices have only added to consumption of the more -traditional' forms of media delivery such as the home computer, books and game consoles."