US newspapers may have trouble finding a business model for the digital age but they drew record traffic to their websites in the first quarter of 2010, according to figures released Thursday.
Newspaper company websites attracted 74.4 million unique visitors per month on average in the first three months of the year, according to Nielsen Online figures released by the Newspaper Association of America (NAA).
That was an increase on the 72 million unique visitors per month during the fourth quarter, according to the NAA, which represents nearly 2,000 newspapers in the United States and Canada.
The NAA said newspaper website users generated more than 3.2 billion page views during the first quarter and spent over 2.3 billion minutes browsing the sites.
"Newspaper publishers continue to experiment with aggressive new business models, leveraging trustworthy and robust content to attract large audiences to their digital properties month after month," NAA president and chief executive John Sturm said.
"As the economic outlook begins to improve, our industry will continue to shape its own future with digital products and services that grow audience and offer maximum value to advertisers," Strum said.
US newspapers have been grappling with declining print advertising revenue, falling circulation and the migration of readers to free news on the Internet and have been searching for ways to make more money off the Web.
A number of dailies are considering charging readers online, a move The New York Times intends to make early next year.
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