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How iPad proves to be a sofa device

Apple Announces Launch Of New Tablet ComputerWhen do people choose to use their new iPad? In their sofa late at night, if we are to believe the first traffic statistics.

iPad has still not been launched in Norway. Yet a large number of people obviously have gotten hold of the device and their use of it has started popping up on the traffic analytics of the bigger web sites.

I took at look at the iPad user pattern for my own employer, Aftenposten, a leading news site in Norway with 1,1 million unique visitors weekly.

Although iPad is not yet for sale in Norway, a four-digit number of users in our country visit Aftenposten.no (where else would they go?) daily, according to our analytics software.

And the user pattern for the first couple of months is quite clear: iPad reaches a definite traffic top in the late night – at around 9 and 10 PM.

This puts iPad as a socalled LPD – or a Lean Back Device, to be used for relaxed consumption of media content. Or should we call it a sofa device?

Here is the graph of iPad usage during the day at Aftenposten.no, updated as of June 16th:

Use of iPad during the day

Use of Aftenposten.no among Norwegian iPad users during the day

As you can see, iPad use reaches the top at around 9 to 10 PM. The traffic at this time of the day is almost double the traffic at the other peak, which is during breakfast time. iPad so far certainly seems to be a device people typically use in their sofa before going to bed.

How does this compare to other platforms?

On PCs the main web site has the highest traffic during the working hours of the day, with a peak at lunch time. Increasingly we also see a peak at night time.

For mobile users there is a peak in the very early hours of the morning, literally before people get out of bed, and very late at night. A smaller traffic peak is seen at around 4-5 PM, when people commute home from work.

So here is the user pattern we might see: You wake up early in the morning. Before getting out of bed, you check the latest news on your mobile phone. Then you proceed to breakfast. It is time for the printed newspaper – or, if you have already bought an iPad, the tablet. Getting to work, your will check the latest news on your PC. And in the evening, after dinner and all the kids have been put to bed, you will jump into your sofa and enjoy content on your iPad. To be completely sure you got it all, you will check the latest news on your mobile phone after you have gone to bed and before you finally fall asleep.

For media companies the main question is: How can we produce great content not only for each one of these platforms and user situations, but also in a way that will keep a close relationship with our users throughout the day, no matter which platform they will choose to use?

The winners will be the media companies that can answer this question in a compelling way.

I think.

What is your opinion?

About the author: Experienced media manager and journalist. Enthusiastic about digital media – and eager amateur photographer. Currently Chief Communications Officer at Schibsted Tech Polska in Krakow, Poland.

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