News on the go via smartphones : users, non-users, and the relationship between new and established news media

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Yang, Mengchieh Jacie

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With the diffusion of smartphones in the United States, the news industry is trying to turn this mobile innovation into an effective vehicle for delivering news anytime, anywhere. But does smartphone adoption mean news consumption via smartphones? To provide insight to this question, a national Web-based survey was conducted to explore smartphone adopters vs. non adopter, smartphone news consumers vs. non-consumers, and younger vs. older smartphone news consumers.

Smartphone adopters were younger, had higher household incomes, and used news media more often than smartphone non-adopters. Most of the smartphone adopters primarily used their phones as an interpersonal communication device. Unlike smartphone adopters, smartphone news consumers were more likely to be male. Similar to smartphone adopters, they were younger and used news media more often than non-consumers of smartphone news. Moreover, smartphone news consumers used portal news sites more than newspaper, television, or social networking sites. As such, they also expressed higher satisfaction with portal news sites.

A complementary relationship was found between smartphone news and traditional and online news media. Predictors of smartphone adoption included age and social pressure; predictors of adopting smartphones for news included news interest, gender, education, and income. In addition, news interest was a significant predictor for the amount of time users spent on smartphone news, while age, income and news interest were significant predictors for the number of times (frequency) users accessed news via smartphones.

Even though younger smartphone news consumers showed lower news interests and used traditional news media less often than older smartphone news consumers, they did not spend any less time or access different kinds of news topics any less than their older counterparts. More of the younger than older smartphone news consumers followed health and fitness, science and technology, and entertainment news.



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