iPad news apps are the money winner for news companies

Hester Gras

A recent report from App Annie shows that 80 percent of the top ten news apps in the United States generate their revenue from iPads instead of iPhones. The results are different from the remaining non-gaming apps in the US (all apps outside of games), which only get 30 percent of their revenues from iPads and a whopping 47.5 percent from iPhones.

Credits by: App Annie Intelligence.
Credits by: App Annie Intelligence.

The news from App Annie comes as little surprise as news content is generally consumed more intensively on tablets than on smartphones. imgZine’s apps already showed before that iPad users click on articles more often than iPhone users.

In the example below, we will explain this with data from one of our insights apps. These apps contain various channels and each of these channels might contain up to twenty pages. An interesting fact is that page views are higher for tablet users when visiting the first page of a channel (number 0), while the clicks per view are higher for smartphones. Metrics from the following pages illustrate that while smartphone users view slightly more articles, tablet users click on articles more often.


Clicks en views per page per channel in imgZine's apps for iPads and iPhones. The first page of a channel is number 0.
Clicks en views per page per channel in imgZine’s apps for iPads and iPhones. The first page of a channel is number 0.


Why do tablet users click more often than smartphone users?

1) Different user interface tablets and smartphones. The different view and click-through rates might occur because of the user interface. Tablets and smartphone users swipe through pages in a different way.

2) Smartphones are a synonym for content snacking. Mobile devices, and in particular smartphones, have contributed to the rise of information snacking. People are consuming content through their mobile phones in their spare time and they often want to browse through as much information as possible in a short amount of time.

3) Tablets have a similar reading experience to that of print magazines. While smartphones provide a lean-forward experience, tablets provide a lean-back experience similar to that of print magazines (including a bigger screen). This similar experience might motivate tablet users to consume more in-depth content. This might also be the reason that consumers are willing to spend more for content they read on a tablet compared to a smartphone.

It pays to be mobile

The results show that tablets are able to create a great reading experience for news app readers, but this doesn’t make smartphones less important. News organisations should aim to provide readers with the right reading experience at the right time, because today’s newsreaders expect you to be everywhere.

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