Friday, February 15, 2008

Numbers Guy Says Online Picture Less Rosy for Newspaper

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Wall Street Journal's Numbers Guy, Carl Bialik, claims in a recent blog posting that newspaper Web site audiences really aren't growing at the banner pace claimed by the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) - at least in the context of growing overall Web surfing by Americans.

The NAA recently released a press release touting the record growing audience for newspaper Web sites in 2007 ( According to the trade group, average monthly unique visitors for newspaper Web sites grew by more than 3.6 million last year.

But Bialik wanted a little more context for these numbers given the general rise in Internet usage and engagement seen in the U.S. Using his famed mathematical tricks, Bialik consulted usage numbers (monthly average unique Internet audience, page views, etc.) from the NAA and Nielsen online to figure out that newspapers "were losing share of the average reader's total Web activity."

During 2007, adults spent a lot more time online (the average user loaded 51 percent more pages in 2007 and spent 23 percent more time online) in general, Bialik notes. But newspapers only saw a rise of 24 percent in increased web page loading and a 20 percent increase in time on newspaper web sites, so comparatively they’re losing share.

For the full explanation, check out:

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