Newspaper website visits up despite paywalls: NAA

Oct 21, 2011
Traffic to US newspaper websites rose over the past year despite the introduction of paywalls by a number of outlets, the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) said Thursday.

Traffic to US newspaper websites rose over the past year despite the introduction of paywalls by a number of outlets, the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) said Thursday.

The NAA said average daily visits to newspaper websites were up 21 percent in September compared to a year ago and total page views were up 10 percent.

Total minutes spent on newspaper websites were up 11 percent and unique visitors rose nine percent, it said.

"This strong audience growth coincided with the introduction of paywalls at many newspaper companies," NAA president and chief executive Caroline Little said in a statement.

"Clearly, consumers place high value upon the content that newspapers create -- and they are seeking out newspaper websites to get it," Little said.

"Not only do online platforms deliver reach and engagement, they attract the that advertisers want, which bodes well for the continued growth of this ," she said.

The NAA, which represents nearly 2,000 newspapers in the United States and Canada, said that newspaper websites attracted an average monthly audience of 110.4 million unique visitors in the third quarter of the year.

The , which charges for full access to its website, said Thursday that NYTimes.com received more than 47 million unique visitors in August.

Times Co. president and chief executive Janet Robinson said pageviews for NYTimes.com had dropped an average of 11 percent since the newspaper began charging online readers in March -- "less than we projected."

The Times Co. said it had 324,000 paid subscribers to of the newspaper at the end of the third quarter compared with 281,000 at the end of the .

The , owned by the Times Co., launched a subscription-only website on Wednesday.

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