Engagement Leads To Record News Site Traffic

    August 1, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

For news publishers, more is better, especially in an era of declining print. Lately, more users are reading more news, spending more time on news sites, and visiting more frequently.

As most know by now, it’s not just about page views and unique visitors anymore. The Newspaper Association of America enlisted Nielsen//NetRatings to get a better feel for the online news consumer. Nielsen measured the audience in six ways: unique audience; active reach percentage (what percentage of the whole online audience); page views; pages per person; time per person; and visits per person.

The analysis revealed that a record number of active Internet users visited newspaper Websites in the second quarter of 2007, increasing by 7.7 percent over the same time period last year. Over 59 million visited a newspaper Website in the US, or just over 37 percent of all users. The month of May especially was a record-breaker, surpassing the 60 million mark.

“As the industry continues to expand its digital portfolio, readers are visiting newspaper Web sites in record numbers for in-depth news and information as well as hyper-local information,” said NAA President and CEO John F. Sturm in a statement.

“These sites continue to adapt to evolving consumer demands, frequently allowing user comments on articles and offering thought-provoking blogs to complement the journalistic excellence that makes newspapers a community’s most trusted resource.”

In all, users spent a combined 7.2 billion minutes reading newspaper Websites in the second quarter during their 1.4 billion total visits.

"Engagement is an important factor that reflects the value of online news products," said Sturm, "and the amount of time users spend enjoying a newspaper’s digital content further establishes these sites as premier online destinations for a demanding and sophisticated audience."

Overall, active Internet users averaged 2.6 billion page views, viewing an average of 45 pages per person, for almost 41 minutes per session per person, and visited nearly eight times each.