All of these findings, which hint that mobile is adding to and expanding rather than replacing news behavior, are reinforced by other data we have seen that track online behavior.”
Fancy that. Devices aren’t replacing the Web for content consumption, as some publishers have doggedly asserted, they’re adding to it. The Talking Points Memo headline announcing the report got it wrong. The future of news isn’t just “in your hand”. It’s in your hand, on your desktop, and materializing in myriad flickering transports we haven’t conceived of yet. And users are learning to snatch them all up at the same time.
Despite this, the study notes, “The top priority for many magazine executives in 2011 was building a tablet app.” That’s unfortunate. Throughout the report, Pew’s data reinforces the conclusion that focusing on a single device is heading down the wrong path. Tactics like isolating tablet customers with deliberately obtuse price tiers will cost you in the long run. The Great and Terrible Problem of the Web is not going away. The ever-fracturing multiplicity of devices is not going away. Print isn’t even going away (although it will be greatly reduced). For many publishers, a course correction is in order.