Report: 62% of consumers use more than one news app

It may not have the allure of mobile gaming, but with 62 percent of consumers using more than one news app, the news app market might be ripe for takeoff. StepLeader, a mobile app and ad startup based in Raleigh, N.C., released this data as part of a survey based on responses of more than 2,000 people. 

  • 83 percent have a news app installed on a smartphone, followed by 50 percent on a tablet. 
  • 27 percent of news app users have children between the ages of 0-18.
  • 42 percent have shared at least one news story in the last seven days. 
  • 75 percent have been using their app for more than six months.
  • 18 percent state that they've clicked an ad on purpose in the last 30 days.

Smartphone users want breaking news while tablet users prefer to read news content.

"Paywall success hinges upon delivering unique, exclusive content, while still facing a tough road ahead," the report said. "End users also express a willingness to pay to customize the content of their apps. We find this point intriguing, as active customization of apps is typically very low."

These app users are engaged, they're loyal, and they don't even seem to mind more traditional models of monetization. In other words, they sound like a developer's ideal audience. The StepLeader data may help explain why a few news apps have become the target of takeovers by major tech firms, such as the acquisition of Pulse by LinkedIn and the purchase of Summly by Yahoo.

Though the survey suggests this is a niche that could become particularly competitive over the next few years, it could represent an opportunity for developers who are struggling to build a standalone business with mobile gaming apps but who aren't interested in adding on an enterprise app practice. At their core, news app users are also a good testing ground for understanding how and why mobile users consume and share information--which can be useful for developing almost any kind of app. 

For more:
- download the report here