Hearst says that SeattlePI.com’s April 2009 traffic was 1.6% higher than April 2008, and 4-09 was the paper’s first full month of operating as an online-only operation.
Peter Kafka at MediaMemo has some questions about the numbers: “My gut is that even though the Hearst-owned site has an edit staff 80 percent smaller than its predecessor paper, it still won’t be able to generate enough traffic and advertising to cover its costs…Hearst offers up a bevy of traffic stats that show the site has grown even as its staff has shrunk. Hearst doesn’t offer up any info about revenue, but does say that its ‘sales and marketing team is highly energized.’”
Plus, Kafka adds, SeattlePI.com is not a national publication. It’s a regional one, which limits the ad-selling opportunities.
We’re curious how much of that boosted traffic—the first full month of being online only, remember—is due to first-time curiosity. Hearst isn’t offering up any details about repeat visitors.
Using a totally unscientific method of investigation we found that the P-I’s local news feed has 16,254 subscribers. That’s not terrible, but it’s also 50% of the Huffington Post’s feed. Erm. Just saying.