33 percent of U.S. mobile users downloaded news apps in previous 30 days, survey shows

One-third of U.S. owners of smartphones or tablet computers said they had downloaded news apps in the previous 30 days, according to newly released results from a Nielson survey. Still, news apps came in fifth, behind games, maps/navigation, music, and social networking apps.

Of those who had downloaded news apps, 14 percent had downloaded only free apps, 3 percent had only paid for news apps, and 16 percent said they had downloaded both free and paid apps, according to Nielson.

The data are part of Nielson's State of the Media: Consumer Usage Report 2011. Interestingly, slightly more than half (51 percent) of those mobile users surveyed said they do not mind advertising within their apps "if it means they can access content for free," according to Ars Technica.

Meanwhile, data from app analytics firm Flurry show users spend more time with mobile apps than browsing the mobile web, reported GigaOM. Smartphone users spend an average of 94 minutes a day using apps, compared with just 72 minutes a day using a mobile web browser.

Sociable noted that the Flurry report said Facebook is behind this shift from web browser to app, as users increasingly are accessing the social network site via an app, rather than the mobile web.

In other app news, Spanish-language cable network Univisión has launched its first news app, "Notícias," according to PaidContent. Not only does the app target the U.S. Latino population -- the ethnic groups which has the second-highest penetration of smartphone use -- but it also is "the latest example of a broadcaster tapping into the mobile market in a bid to extend its existing online and TV content businesses," PaidContent said.

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» GigaOM (Can newspapers also be tech incubators?)
» Knight Center (Digital news trends on the horizon for 2012)