By: Avery Griffin, Senior Client Engagement Manager, NEWSCYCLE Solutions


Technology and simple-to-use mobile devices have made navigating the digital world easier, yet many older adults believe going online is the equivalent of learning a foreign language. Newer generations are introduced to digital use from birth, but laptops and the internet aren’t intuitive for seniors. Basic activities like opening email or web browsing, even right-clicking a mouse, don’t make sense and can be intimidating on a computer.

Not so with a mobile application. The entire reason a mobile app exists is to simplify the process. The “one-touch-and-you’re-in” accessibility of an app is extremely attractive to someone with aging hands and eyes.

A 2017 Pew Research report found that the number of older Americans who own smartphones has jumped from 18% in 2013, to 42% in 2016. This is significant growth — there are roughly 46 million seniors currently living in the United States.

Facebook and Skype have contributed to the increased use of apps among older adults and they are already comfortable using them. About three-quarters of internet-using retirees say they go online daily – and nearly one-in-ten are online almost constantly.

What does this mean for the news media industry?

NEWSCYCLE analyzed 1,500 apps and found that the average time spent per session in an app was 3 minutes 40 seconds, more than triple the time spent on a mobile website. NEWSCYCLE also saw that an app was revisited on average 19 times a month, compared to just seven times on a mobile website.

Seniors are heavy news consumers and tend to be loyal to a news brand. They also want breaking news, local weather conditions and traffic reports fast — which are easily accessed through a mobile app.

As mobile technology adoption and consumption continues to trend upward, publishers can’t ignore or put their mobile app strategy on a shelf. Just having a responsive mobile website isn’t enough. The 65 and older demographic has created new marketing and advertising opportunities for news media companies. Publishers and broadcasters should capitalize on the combination of app users and loyal readers and create revenue streams that weren’t possible just three years ago.

As more and more seniors adopt smartphones, NEWSCYCLE continues to fine tune the NEWSCYCLE Mobile platform. For more information, please contact sales@newscycle.com.

NEWSCYCLE Mobile enables media companies to embrace mobile-first workflows and build new mobile revenue streams with a fast, flexible and cost-effective platform.