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Good News: More People are Visiting Newspaper Websites

Okay so maybe this isn’t such great news for print purists.

But according to an analysis of comScore data performed by the Newspaper Association of America, newspaper websites in the fourth quarter of 2011 averaged more than 111 million monthly unique visitors, an increase of more than 6 million compared with the same period a year ago. Growth!

In addition, a comparison of newspaper website usage data year-over-year for the fourth quarter showed that average daily visitors increased by more than 3 million, or nearly 15 percent. Unique visitors increased nearly 6 percent, while total minutes increased 14 percent.

Not only are more people visiting, they’re also staying longer.

Other interesting findings from the analysis:

  • For people ages 45 to 54, newspaper website percentage reach of Internet users climbed to 67 percent;
  • Within the 18-to-34 demographic, newspaper website reach of Internet users remained at or above 60 percent.

More than half of all Internet users, 63 percent to be exact, visit newspaper websites.  Does this mean that digital initiatives are doing something right?

“Web-based and other digital platforms at newspapers are capturing – and holding – attention in the marketplace,” said Caroline Little, NAA president and CEO.

The more appropriate question, however is, will this growth attract additional advertisers?

“The comScore data for 2011 demonstrate the growing appeal of newspapers’ online content – particularly for engaged, informed and affluent users whom advertisers, especially those buying political advertising in an election year, seek to reach,” said Little. “In fact, 70 percent of Internet users with household income above $60,000 are reached by newspaper websites, reach that climbs to 75 percent when looking at household incomes above $100,000.”

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