Archive for December, 2010

Study: iPad news apps will hurt newspaper print subscriptions

December 9th, 2010

Photo by Harry Phillips

According to a new report from the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute, more than 50 percent of print newspaper subscribers who use their iPad at least an hour a day for news are likely to cancel their print subscriptions over the next six months.

Furthermore, nearly 31 percent of iPad users surveyed said they don’t subscribe to printed newspapers and 10 percent indicated they already cancelled their print subscriptions and switched to reading digital versions on the iPad.

The report is the first phase of a multi-year research project to understand how Apple iPad users consume news content. The data was collected based on the responses gathered from more than 1,600 iPad users.

Among the findings, respondents who read at least an hour’s worth of news on their iPads every day — more than 90 percent of everyone surveyd — are either very likely or somewhat likely to use a newspaper’s app for reading news. Even among light news readers, the study indicated apps are the preferred method of delivery for news consumers over websites.

“These findings are encouraging for newspaper publishers who plan to begin charging for subscriptions on their iPad app editions early next year, but our survey also found a potential downside: iPad news apps may diminish newspaper print subscriptions in 2011,” Roger Fidler, RJI’s program director for digital publishing and the research project leader, said in a statement.

In total, the survey found three-quarters of respondents consume news for at least 30 minutes on their iPad, with nearly half saying they do so for an hour or more. iPad users are typically more male, well-educated, affluent and between the ages of 35 and 64.

According to the report, the iPad also encourages other news consumption, as the study found the more a person uses an iPad to consume news, the more he or she is likely to use other digital media to consume news.

When it comes to overall experience consuming news on an iPad, respondents were asked to rate their reading experience on the iPad compared to other media on a five-point scale. Respondents said iPad reading experiences were somewhat better than, or about the same, as experiences reading printed newspapers or magazines.

A total of 48.1 percent said the iPad news experience was better than the iPhone’s.

Age also plays a role in iPad experience, as older users tend to say the device is worse than the traditional newspaper-reading experience. Older users, however, said the iPad was better than other electronic devices with smaller screens for news consumption.

The study noted iPad users would be more likely to buy newspaper apps for “a price lower than the price of a print subscription.” Reliability and ease-of-use were also important among iPad users.

So which news organizations have the highest-rated news apps? According to this survey, the most popular responses were: The New York Times, USA Today, The Associated Press, and The Wall Street Journal.

More details on this report can be found here.

[Cross-posted to Future of Media]

Google publishes ‘Zeitgeist 2010′ of top searches

December 9th, 2010

In a post on the company’s official blog, Google published a zeitgeist of the top searches for 2010. A year full of hardship, accomplishments and major news events around the world, the Google Zeitgeist offers an interesting glimpse into what the world found important and what it covered in media.

Top searches ranged from everything to do with the World Cup, to disasters in China, Chile and Haiti, as well as the floods in Pakistan and the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Along with its blog post, Google put together a video montage that does more than words can to describe what people found important in 2010. Here it is:

National Post launches second annual Holiday Video Game Drive to benefit Canadian hospitals

December 1st, 2010

Photo by Seth Werkheiser

A friend over at the National Post has launched a charity campaign and I’d like to take a moment to share in this cause and see what I can do to help.

Along with the National Post, tech reporter Matt Hartley, has launched the organization’s second annual Holiday Video Game Drive to benefit Canadian hospitals.

With Matt’s permission, I’ve posted his call to action here. If you live in or near Toronto and can help by donating a video game, please do so and help change the world for someone.

Here is Matt’s post, reprinted below:

National Post launches second annual Holiday Video Game Drive to benefit Canadian hospitals

By Matt Hartley (@thehartley)

It was a Go Kart accident that landed a young Susan Mosure in the pediatric wing of North York General Hospital with a broken leg in the summer of 1974.

Unable to get out of bed because of the plaster cast that covered her leg from hip to toe, Ms. Mosure — who today is a child and youth counselor at at the very same hospital — longed for things to do that would keep her mind busy and ward off boredom while she was laid up.

She knows that if she was a kid in a similar position today, she might not be asking for colouring books and board games. Instead, there’s a good chance she would be asking to play video games.

“These games go hand in hand with the daily walk of a child and when they come to the floor and see that we have these things, it gives them back some self integrity in their life,” said Ms. Mosure.

“Games help promote rapid healing in children because they help to normalize their environment and it helps their esteem to know we have these things set up in their rooms.”

The truth is, for so many kids who are going to end up spending the holidays receiving treatment in a hospital, video games offer a chance to escape into another world. One where they can fly, one where they can explore strange new worlds, one where they can score a touchdown or win the Stanley Cup.

That’s just one of the many reasons why today we’re launching the second annual National Post Holiday Video Game Drive, continuing a tradition we started last year.

Thanks to the generosity of our readers, in 2009 we collected more than 140 video games in just six days between the 18th of December and Christmas Eve. Half of those games went to North York General, where they have been enjoyed by hundreds of kids over the course of the year.

This year, we’re going to be collecting games throughout the month of December and we’re hoping that with your help, we can top last year’s total.

We’re collecting games for all the major game consoles, including Nintendo’s Wii, DS and Game Cube systems, Sony’s PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 and both the Microsoft Xbox and Xbox 360. Please ensure the games are suitable for kids (games rated E-10 and under are best).

Each of the hospitals have a selection of consoles and each one has individual needs. If you’d like to make a specific donation or purchase something that you know one of the hospitals needs (such as a power bar or a game controller) feel free to contact me directly, my email’s at the bottom of this blog post.

If you’re feeling particularly generous and would like to donate a console that can be used in one of the hospitals, we’ll make sure to give it a good home.

Last year, we collected new and used video games on behalf of two hospitals in Toronto. This year we’re expanding that list to include five hospitals across the country.

In Toronto, we’re working with North York General Hospital and The Scarborough Hospital, which includes both Scarborough General Hospital and the Scarborough Birchmount campus.

In Halifax, we’re working with the IWK Health Centre and in Vancouver we’re working with the B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation.

If you would like to donate a new or used game that will be used by the hospitals to help entertain young patients during their stay, you can drop it off here at the National Post offices, located at 1450 Don Mills Road (we’re just south of York Mills Road on Don Mills for those of you living in Toronto).

You can also ship them to us at:
Holiday Video Game Drive
c/o National Post
1450 Don Mills Road,
Don Mills, Ontario
M3B 3R5

Unfortunately, we’re not set up to take cash donations, so if you’d like to spread some gaming cheer this holiday season and can’t send us physical games or consoles, we encourage you to check out Child’s Play, a fantastic charity that helps connect generous gamers with children’s hospitals around the world.

We’re not affiliated with Child’s Play, we just think they’re awesome people doing awesome things for kids around the world.
There are nine Canadian hospitals affiliated with Child’s Play, including Sick Kids in Toronto, Victoria General Hospital, B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver, Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary, Winnipeg Children’s Hospital, Montreal Children’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa, IWK Children’s Health Centre in Halifax and the Janeway Children’s Hospital in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

They could all use your support.

If you have any questions about the National Post Holiday Video Game Drive, feel free to contact me personally at

Thank you and happy holidays.
Matt Hartley
Technology Reporter