Nearly Half Get News Online in Spain

By: Chris Crum - March 31, 2009

Research from comScore found that out of the total Spanish Internet audience of 18.3 million people in February, 8.4 million or 46% visited an online newspaper site.

"With nearly half of the total Spanish Internet audience visiting a newspaper site in February, the online channel is undoubtedly an attractive marketplace for news publishers," said Mike Read, SVP and Managing Director of comScore Europe. "As a greater percentage of overall news consumption goes digital, it will become increasingly crucial for traditional newspaper brands to be able to understand and quantify their online audiences and ensure that they are generating value for consumers and advertisers alike."

Spanish Newspapers - comScore

Other highlights from comScore’s findings include:

– Of the 8.4 million Spanish Internet users who visited a newspaper site in February, 60% were male, and 69 percent were under the age of 45.

– Heavy online newspaper site users (defined as the top 20 percent of visitors by time spent in the category) spent an average of 3 hours per visitor on newspaper sites during the month, more than 4 times longer than the average Internet user.

– Of the 34.5 million mobile phone subscribers in Spain in January, 2.9 million accessed news and information via browser or download.

– In total, 7.6 million people around the world visited in February, with 3.4 million of these visitors (45%) coming from the Latin American region.

As you’re probably well aware, there continues to be a big shift in consumers getting their news online as opposed to physical newspapers. It seems like each week, we hear about more print publications going online-only.

The idea of print dying is still considered to be quite exaggerated by some though. Alex Burmaster at Nielsen Online for example, has a post up that puts it into perspective quite well, likening newspapers to CDs, which despite the popularity of digital music, are still around:

Of course, CDs are a different media from newspapers, but the themes of physicality, practicality, familiarity, and convenience for the masses are consistent themes. Digital can’t replace the traditional walk to get the morning papers, reading the Sunday papers in bed, or an impulse purchase of a newspaper for a train journey – not everyone has the desire or the access to a portable electronic device at every moment of the day.

Whether it’s habit, touch and feel, familiarity, techno-illiteracy or convenience, a significant chunk of the population will still require a physical version to hold in their hands.

Maybe we’ll get to the point where everybody has portable electronic devices ideal for reading the news. But I have to agree with Burmaster that it’s probably going to be a while.

Yes, print is hurting, but it’s got a ways to go before it’s completely dead I think. And for the record, I think many of us who do still have access to devices with which we can easily read news online, still like to read newspapers and magazines sometimes.

Chris Crum

About the Author

Chris CrumChris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.

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