Online Newspaper Traffic Up 10 Percent

    April 24, 2009

While the newspaper industry continues to struggle, one bright spot is online visitors to newspaper Web sites increased 10.5 percent in the first quarter of 2009 attracting an average of 73.3 million monthly unique visitors, according to a report from Nielsen Online commissioned by the Newspaper Association of America.

Newspaper Web site visitors generated an average of more than 3.5 billion page views per month throughout the quarter, an increase of 12.8 percent over the same period a year ago (3.1 billion page views). The numbers are the highest for any quarter since the NAA began tracking data in 2004.

Nielsen Online

"Digital success has become a critical component of newspapers’ transformation, and these record audience numbers provide further proof that Americans continue to rely on the trusted newspaper brand for highly accurate news and information in print and online," said NAA President and CEO John F. Sturm.

"In an increasingly challenging media environment, consumers know they can turn to newspapers – whether in hardcopy or digital form – for insightful analysis and comprehensive reporting on the issues that impact their lives day in and day out."   

Last month the Hearst Corporation made the move to end the print edition of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, going to an online-only publication. Since then has seen its readership drop to 1.4 million unique users in March from 1.84 million in February, according to Nielsen Online.

In addition, former staffers of the now defunct Rocky Mountain News announced in March they were launching In Denver Times, an online-only news site. Thursday they announced they "will not pursue the original business model," after failing to reach their goal of 50,000 paid subscribers.