85% of U.S. Adults Read the News on a Mobile Device

Jun 18, 2017

Are you reading this article on your smartphone? Probably, according to a recent survey—even if you’re over 65.

A Pew survey released last week found that 85% of U.S. adults now get their news on a mobile device at least some of the time, up from 72% last year and 54% in 2013.

Perhaps surprisingly, the biggest increase came from older Americans. Sixty-seven percent of those over 65 years of age reported using their phone or tablet for new, according to the survey, up from just 43% last year and only 22% in 2013.

Growth rates were similar for those aged 50 to 64.

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Growth rates for readers under 50 were much smaller, mostly because they were already so high. Ninety-four percent of Americans aged 18-49 now read news on mobile devices.

The broad growth of media consumption on mobile devices continues to reshape the media and advertising landscape. This year, advertising spend on mobile platforms surpassed spending on desktop (or "display") advertising for the first time.

Though more older folks are reading news on mobile devices, many still prefer to read on a desktop or laptop when available. Pew found that while around two-thirds of under-50s would freely choose reading on a mobile device over a PC, 43% of those aged 50-64 like desktop reading better, as do 51% of those over 65.

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