It’s now well recognized that special interest magazine readers have voted with their mice and fingers over the last decade and a half, and are now to be found on smartphones, phablets, tablets, and laptops.
The key boat buying demographic, the 40 to 65 age group, has embraced online media enthusiastically, with video, imagery and major feature stories providing much more information and entertainment than ever before.
More and more people are choosing large-screen smartphones (phablets) over seven to eight-inch tablets says the key industry data group, the International Data Corporation (IDC).
Sail-World new phablet display -
Tablets and 2-in-1s, or tablets that can be used as slates and laptops, are still selling well. However, sales are no longer skyrocketing because they have taken a huge hit from the rise of phablets, or devices that combine the functions of both a phone and a tablet.
In a statement released this week, IDC reports that 30.1 million large screen smartphones were shipped in the first quarter of 2014. That number represents 10.5% of the market share, which has more than doubled from last year's 4.3%.
In what has been a relatively uneventful year so far in the sailing world-wide, Sail-world.com, the world’s largest sailing news network, is reflecting these market changes.
Its overall traffic is up 43% over the first five months of 2014, after a 52% increase year on year in 2013, with the America's Cup kicking that traffic along.
The most important number says Sail-world Publisher Rob Kothe is an increase in pages served up a staggering 72% over the last 10 months, with tablets and smart phones being the key driver. Time on site continues to extend, as does average pages read per session.
Kothe says Android phablets like the Samsung Galaxy Notes 3 and the top selling S5 have had a major impact and the upcoming iPhone 6, to be released in September with rumoured 4.7 and 5.7 inch models will no doubt drive the phablet market share skywards again, further consolidating the web as the key marine media.