According to a custom analysis by Nielsen Online for the Newspaper Association of America, newspaper web sites attracted more than 68.3 million unique visitors on average (41.4% of all Internet users) in the third quarter of 2008, a record number that reflects a 15.8% increase over the same period a year ago.
In addition, newspaper Web site visitors generated an average of just over 3.5 billion page views per month throughout the quarter, an increase of 25.2% over the same period a year ago (2.8 billion page views). These figures are the highest for any quarter since NAA began tracking the data in 2004.
NAA President and CEO, John F. Sturm, said “… record audiences are trusting newspaper Web sites for comprehensive, up-to-the-minute reporting and analysis on the events that impact their lives… newspapers are the top local brands that readers turn to for information… (to) help (with) challenging issues… ”
The third quarter also set records for active reach percentage (the percentage of active Internet users that visit newspapers on an average month), page views, pages per person, time per person and visits per person.
Randy Bennett, NAA’s senior vice president of Audience and New Business Development, concludes that “The dramatic increase in page views suggests users are visiting newspaper Web sites frequently throughout the day.”
Third Quarter 2008 Newspaper Online Audience
So what does it mean? In this time when printed newspapers are getting thinner and thinner, it’s nice to know much of the audience isn’t fleeing news altogether. Online advertising is just a click away from getting someone to your web site or landing page, so take the easier route and run on your local paper’s site.
We have had excellent results with this in all industries, but particularly real estate. Even healthcare is doing well with news sites, particularly because we can link our ads to blogs and other “microsites” designed to get the viewer into action mode.