Newspaper sites draw 36 percent of Web audience in June

Aug 06, 2009 By David B. Wilkerson

Newspaper Web sites attracted 70.3 million unique visitors in June, representing about 36 percent of all Internet users, according to a new Nielsen Online study commissioned by an industry trade group.

Newspaper visitors generated 3.5 billion page views during the month, spending 2.7 billion minutes browsing the sites over more than 597 million total sessions, the Newspaper Association of America said Wednesday.

Nielsen used a new methodology to measure Web audience and traffic intended to greatly widen the sample size, rendering comparisons to prior months "invalid," the NAA said.

The industry is fighting to convince advertisers that American consumers still trust and read newspapers. Revenue from digital newspaper ads rose sharply during the 2005-07 period, particularly in the classified arena, fueled by a real-estate boom in many parts of the United States and solid job growth.

However, as the recession deepened during 2007, online revenue growth slowed down, stalled, and, as the economy cratered in 2008, moved into negative territory, where it has remained.

Some observers have been encouraged by earnings reports from the quarter ended June 30 from Gannett Co., Co., Media General and others, which suggest that declines in print and online ad revenue are beginning to level off.

Also Wednesday, the NAA unveiled another study indicating that 82 percent of 3,000 adults who responded to a survey said they "took action" because of .

That study, from Mori Research, said 61 percent of those people clipped a coupon, while 50 percent purchased something advertised in the paper. Some 52 percent of the respondents visited a store.

Nearly 60 percent of those surveyed said they use newspapers to help plan shopping, or make purchase decisions.

The main threat to newspapers has been precipitous losses in print ad sales, led by 30 percent-plus declines in classifieds. It is these losses that have forced a number of newspapers to close, threaten closure or file for bankruptcy protection.

In March, Hearst Corp. opted to shut down print operations of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, turning it into a Web-only publication with a small editorial staff. A month earlier, it warned that it might shut down the San Francisco Chronicle unless it could find a way to drastically cut operating costs.

Also in February, E.W. Scripps & Co. shut down Denver's Rocky Mountain News, while Philadelphia Newspapers LLC and Journal Register Co. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.


(c) 2009, Inc.
Visit MarketWatch on the Web at
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

Explore further: Facebook moves ahead toward Internet drone air fleet

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Grim US newspaper ad revenue figures released

Mar 27, 2009

Last year was the worst ever for the US newspaper industry with both print and online advertising revenue posting declines, according to Newspaper Association of America (NAA) figures.

US newspaper ad revenue slide continues

Jun 01, 2009

US newspaper advertising revenue fell more than 28 percent in the first quarter of the year with both print and online posting declines, according to the Newspaper Association of America.

Chicago Sun-Times owner files for bankruptcy

Mar 31, 2009

The Sun-Times Media Group Inc., owner of the Chicago Sun-Times and other newspapers, filed for bankruptcy protection on Tuesday, the latest victim of the crisis gripping the US newspaper industry.

Seattle paper may have digital future

Mar 06, 2009

Time is running out for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, whose publisher, the Hearst Corp., plans to close the money-losing newspaper if a buyer is not found by next week.

Recommended for you

Meerkat vs. Periscope: Live-streaming app battle & buzz

1 hour ago

Download Periscope, Twitter's just-launched live video-streaming app, and you'll find people broadcasting all sorts of mundane stuff: waiting for AT&T to fix their wiring, getting out of bed in Silicon V ...

Twitter chief vows to help Indonesia fight disasters

20 hours ago

Twitter chief Dick Costolo said Thursday the microblogging site planned to work with Indonesian authorities to warn people about natural disasters that regularly hit the archipelago, from earthquakes to volcanic ...

EU unveils ambitious overhaul of digital economy

Mar 25, 2015

The EU unveiled an ambitious plan to overhaul Europe's fragmented digital landscape on Wednesday that would allow Europeans traveling in other bloc countries to get their Netflix film fix or watch BBC iPlayer ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.