Take Two Tablets and Call Me in the Morning

Posted on February 24, 2011


Allow me to play the part of Paul Revere in this revolution. The tablets are coming! The tablets are coming!

It’s been less than a year since Apple dropped the iPad into our collective laps; another great gadget most of us had no idea we needed. Now as Mr. Jobs is already preparing the launch of a second generation iPad, a study by Morgan Stanley predicts that even in the worst case scenario, shipments of tablet computers will ramp up faster over the next five years than any other mobile device ever has.

This makes sense because, unlike the iPod and the iPhone, this time Apple will not be immediately dominant in the space. A number of competitors including Acer, HTC, LG, Motorola, Samsung, and Toshiba either already have a tablet computer on the market or will soon.

This is important to the radio industry because the research shows people are primarily using tablets for consuming content. The most popular uses for tablets, in almost equal proportion, include web browsing, email, social networking, reading ebooks and publications, playing games, watching video and listening to music. The PC lags behind in many of these categories.

Sure tablet owners currently make up only three percent of U.S. households but over 40% of Americans are interested in having one and a third of those people say buying one will cause them to not buy a PC. And don’t even mention netbooks, sales of which were already off by 25% in 2010.

The television industry is licking its collective chops about this. Expect to see a lot more use of Twitter, live blogging, contests and other interactive tactics during tv shows as computing moves from the office to the couch with devices that are easier and more comfortable to use than a laptop.

It’s time to consider what content you can provide that will capture the listener’s attention while they are reading an e-book, occasionally checking Facebook and Twitter and hopefully listening to a stream of your station . If you need a starting point, check out Tuesday’s post about creating a steady stream of additional content on social media to augment your show.

If you want to see more about the potential growth of tables check out the Silicon Alley Insider which captures the spirit of the report from Morgan Stanley in a series of graphs.