Newspaper websites see 20 percent increase in traffic

Remember newspaper publishers? Well, the old school media managed to generate 20 percent more total visits to their websites in September.

This is a nice jump in digital readership when compared to the same month one year ago.

ComScore completed the traffic analysis for the Newspaper Association of America (NAA), which also shows strong performance in other important categories.

In a year to year comparison, average daily visits for newspaper websites were up 21 percent; total pages viewed were up 10 percent; total minutes spent were up 11 percent; and unique visitors were up 9 percent.

Surprisingly, this is the first time the NAA fielded the ability to provide an annual comparison since it began using comScore to follow Internet audience data in September 2010.


“This strong audience growth coincided with the introduction of paywalls at many newspaper companies,” said Caroline Little, NAA president and CEO.

“Clearly, consumers place high value upon the content that newspapers create – and they are seeking out newspaper websites to get it. Not only do online platforms deliver reach and engagement, they attract the demographics that advertisers want, which bodes well for the continued growth of this revenue stream.”

The findings also show that in the third quarter newspaper sites attracted an average monthly readership of 110.4 million unique visitors over the age of 18, which is almost two thirds (64 percent) of all Internet users.

As these publishers continue to build the appeal of their websites, they are also getting key readership groups like:

•    3-in-4 adults (74 percent) in households earning more than $100,000;

•    58 percent of 18- to-34- year-olds; and

•    62 percent of Internet users with children at home.

In September second-quarter figures were released that showed online advertising was up by 8 percent from the same period a year ago – and was responsible for 14 percent of all newspaper advertising dollars through the first half of the year, an increase from 12 percent for the same period in 2010.

It looks like all of the jokes about the old media dying off completely were just that, jokes.

Even with paywalls people still seem to see value in getting information from newspaper publishers. The Internet has created a weird transitional period for newspapers, but if you put it online, it apparently can be monetized, at least to a certain extent.