Times They Are A-Changin’: The Tablet Trend

Every year, more and more people are buying into the tablet trend. They’re portable, light-weight, user friendly, and feature a wide-ranging amount of content on a single screen. Soon the days of whacking everyone in the face while turning the pages of a newspaper will be behind us. It’s no wonder that journalists are worried.

As the saying goes: If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Many news organizations have turned toward the tablet trend and embraced it, knowing that when times are a-changin’, they must too in order to stay relevant.

A leader in a turn toward the tablet trend is La Presse and their innovative La Presse+. In April 2013, after 2 1/2 years of research and $40 million, La Presse launched a new digital edition of their newspaper. Despite the enormous amount of money they invested in the endeavor, La Presse ensured that readers would not have to a pay a cent for the app, opting instead to rely entirely on advertising revenue.

As opposed to the limits of print media, the tablet edition allows ads to be interactive. As examples given in this Globe and Mail article, an ad designed for a toothpaste company allows readers to whiten teeth by sliding a button, while another makes a car spin 360 degrees just by touching the screen. These interactive possibilities certainly help to attract the interest of advertisers and their valuable funding.

Another standout quality of La Presse+ is that the stories are produced specifically for the tablet medium and are not simply afterthoughts to a print version. Each video, audio piece, and interactive medium is carefully designed to enrich the story to which it belongs. Needless to say, La Presse+ definitely changed the journalism game.

The same month that La Presse unveiled their new tablet edition, The Guardian conducted a study to determine the usage of each of its five platforms. Not surprisingly, their tablet edition came out on top. A little more surprising was the fact that tablet usage peaked around 9:00pm, suggesting that most users are consuming this material while relaxing at home in the evening and not on the go.

Consumption of Guardian tablet edition throughout the day (green line)

Consumption of Guardian tablet edition throughout the day

Based on this data, it is no wonder that just last month the Montreal Gazette launched a new tablet edition scheduled to be released every weekday at 6:00pm, just in time for the peak of tablet usage. To download the Montreal Gazette for iPad or to read all that it has to offer, click here.

Tablets are changing the way that people consume information. Their interactive elements and multimedia features are winning over users across the board. In order to not get left behind, it’s time for journalism to change too.

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