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E-Reader Buyer Attitudes and Usage Behaviors

The media publishing industry needs an upside trend. Perhaps this is it. comScore released the results of a survey of 2,176 Internet users regarding their awareness, attitudes and opinions of the Apple iPad and other e-readers or tablet devices.

Results were analyzed across age and gender profiles, as well as the iOwners (a comScore term) consumer segment -- defined as those owning either an iPhone or iPod Touch.

Consumers were asked several questions regarding their awareness of various e-readers and tablet devices and their past purchase behavior or intent to purchase these devices.

The results showed very high awareness of the iPad, with an aided awareness of 65 percent, the same as that of the Amazon Kindle Wireless Reading Device. Overall, consumers have demonstrated a high level of interest in these types of devices with between 58 percent and 69 percent of consumers having conducted online research of the top five devices.

Amazon Kindle rated highest in terms of current device ownership at 6 percent of all Internet users, followed by Sony Reader at 4 percent. The iPad rated highest in terms of consumers seriously considering purchase over the next three months at 15 percent of Internet users, with the Kindle at 14 percent.

Consumers were also questioned about which features and activities they would be most likely to use if they owned an iPad, with responses indicating that they viewed the iPad differently than a traditional e-reader.

Just 37 percent of respondents indicated they were likely or very likely to read books on the device, 9 percentage points higher than those who indicated they would be unlikely or very unlikely.

Nearly half indicated a high likelihood of using the iPad for browsing the Internet (50 percent) and email (48 percent), while more than one third said they would use it for listening to music (38 percent), reading books (37 percent), maintaining an address book/contact list (37 percent), watching videos/movies (36 percent), storing and viewing photos (35 percent) and reading newspapers and magazines (34 percent).

Results also showed that iOwners exhibited very different characteristics and receptivity to the purchase and use of digital content than non-iOwners. 52 percent of iOwners said they were willing or very willing to pay for newspaper and magazine subscriptions specially formatted for e-readers, compared to just 22 percent of non-iOwners.

Similarly, 50 percent of iOwners who also own an e-reader said they had spent at least $60 on e-books in the past three months compared to only 24 percent of non-iOwners.

These findings suggest that those who are already familiar and comfortable with making digital content purchases via iTunes may have a relatively higher receptivity to making similar purchases for the iPad.

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