Sky News now receives one million unique users a week via from smartphones alone, according to head of digital content Andrew Hawken.
Users of its free smartphone apps spend between one to five minutes on the site per visit, visiting around eight pages, he said. Hawken announced the figures as he revealed a sneak preview of Sky's new iPhone app – which is set for release next week – at Press Gazette's News on the Move conference at Thomson Reuters' HQ in Canary Wharf on Wednesday.
There have been 3m downloads so far of the Sky News smartphone app, while the new app features timelines, infographics and other content made purely for the smartphone audience.
He also revealed that Sky News has set up an output team dedicated to providing content for tablet devices such as the iPad.
He told the conference that tablet usage usually peaks at around 10pm and that users are demanding different content to that available on the website or smartphone.
'What we're then really trying to do is look back on what you missed during the day, a bit more of a reflective tone, a bit more polished…
'It feels very different to what we do on smartphones. They are very different devices – they're not the same experience, they're not the same usage patterns."
Hawken described the dedicated tablet team as a 'big investment'for Sky News.
He also said there had been very little 'cannibalisation'of Sky News content following the rise of smartphone in recent years.
'What we haven't seen is our web numbers go down,'he said. 'All the research that we've done tells us that it's a Sky News audience that's basically using us on the screen that's most convenient to them and fits where they are.
'So we don't think we've got one audience on the web and one audience on the iPhone – we think broadly these are the same kind of people using us across screens during the day.'
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