iPad Skews Young and Male, While Kindle Attracts  Affluent Consumers

By Steve Smith
09/29/2010

Where should publishers follow their audience as they migrate to a new generation of content consumption and interactivity devices? Onto Kindles, iPhones, iPads or iPods? According to Nielsen’s first major study of 1500 device-toting consumers, if young and male is your target, think iPad. Of the 400 iPad owners polled in this survey 65% were male and 63% were under age 35, by far the youngest and most male device demo of all. Meanwhile, the Amazon Kindle e-reader attracts a wealthier clientele, despite its much lower price tag. Forty-four percent of Kindle owners make more than $80,000 a year, vs. only 39% of iPad owners and 37% of iPhone owners. And while much of the Amazon advertising is focused on women, the gender divide for Kindle actually skews male (52%), which is also the same as both the iPhone and iPod Touch.

The good news for iPad magazine publishers is that at least for now consumers are interested in the sponsors’ message. Thirty-nine percent say that the ads they see on the device are new and interesting. Forty-six percent of iPad owners say they enjoy ads with interactive features and 49% say they are more likely to engage an ad that includes video. Finally, the iPad seems to map best with a key brand metric for advertisers, purchase intent. iPad users report they are more likely to purchase a product as a result of seeing an ad on the platform.

Perhaps the more interesting statistics will come next year, when rival tablets help reduce price points and broaden the market for these devices. The iPad owner is still a small sliver of overall device owners, and anyone dropping $500 to $700 on this device almost certainly comes into the experience with a built-in enthusiasm and curiosity about its uses. The older iPhone and Kindle platforms have had time to mature their user bases outside of an early-enthusiast core.