In September 2011, BBC.com and Starcom MediaVest partnered with Latitude on a thought leadership study to explore the role of tablets in people’s lives and in their changing interactions with the news. Overall, we found that tablets aren’t just convenient replacements for our existing behaviors with laptops and smartphones; instead, they’re opening up new possibilities for us to interact with content and advertising in ways we never expected to.

Tablet users are more interested in the news than they were before, with 78% following more news stories in greater depth. In fact, 70% of people who owned a tablet for one year or more found that it had become an integral part of their life routine, with benefits extending beyond mere portability and convenience.

Study background

Latitude conducted a the three-phase study amongst news readers that included:

  • In-depth phone interviews
  • A 20-minute online survey with approximately 1,100 American participants ages 18-54 (88% of whom were current tablet owners)
  • A week-long “deprivation” and “immersion” (e.g., current tablets owners were asked to stop using these devices while people who don’t yet own tablets were asked to engage heavily with them)

What do tablets mean for our everyday lives?

Below is a mini-documentary that Latitude produced from the study findings—capturing insights about the emerging “tablet psychology,” and what exactly tablets mean for us in the context of our everyday experiences and aspirations, from being more informed to making unexpected discoveries to forging new social connections, and beyond.

Based on what we discovered about tablet users’ need states and preferences across different contexts, the video highlights some essential best practices and opportunity spaces for content providers and advertisers, including:

  • Create opportunities to personalize content
  • Provide options for how content is presented
  • Offer visuals that immerse readers, but don’t distract them
  • Encourage exploration and browsing
  • Offer relevance that connects across stories, ads, and platforms
  • Offer a meaningful ad experience that fits with surrounding news tablet content
  • Ultimately… let people experience the news

Recent study press