Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

More iPhone Apps = Less TV, Newspapers and Everything Else

iphone_34You knew this intuitively. But interesting to see the numbers: The more time iPhone users spend with their apps, the less time they spend watching TV, reading newspapers, using PCs and pretty much everything else.

Check out these self-reported behavior changes, via Gravity Tank, a Chicago consultancy that surveyed 1,000 heavy “app phone users.” That’s defined here as people who used either Apple’s (AAPL) handset or Google’s (GOOG) G1 phone from T-Mobile. (Click chart to enlarge.)


Of course, you’ll want to take this with big bags of salt. Because I’m not sure how many app users were really using an “Internet Tablet” to begin with. And I don’t see how monkeying around with likes of Ocarina and The Moron List is going to cut down on your caloric intake.

But! The fact is that app users think they’re watching less TV, etc., which at least means they value that stuff less.

So if you’re in the media business, the implications here are clear: Shoving your stuff into a browser won’t do you much good in a mobile world defined by apps. And the smarter media executives I know are scrambling to adapt.

I talked to a network TV guy yesterday who told me his company was making “tens of millions of dollars” from mobile right now but that pretty much everything it has done to date–carrier deals, licensing pacts, etc.–will have to be rethought and redone in light of the coming app world. He’s going to have to move very fast.

And if you’re not convinced, here are some of the folks Gravity Tank interviewed for a parallel set of “ethnographic” studies. If some of them seem a bit too much like the “I’m a Mac” dude from the Apple ads, bear in mind that these are iPhone users who agreed to be interviewed on camera talking about their love of apps. So that’s going to come with the territory.

gravitytank // Apps Get Real from Teaque Lenahan on Vimeo.

Also, apologies to readers viewing this on the All Things Digital app: Still no Vimeo on the iPhone.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald