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Home > News & Media > The NAA Blog > Newspapers' digital audience hits new high in September 2013


Newspapers' digital audience hits new high in September 2013

By Jim Conaghan, Vice President of Research & Industry Analysis

The number of unique visitors engaged with U.S. newspaper digital content hit a new high in September 2013, totaling 141 million adults, according to the latest data from digital media measurement firm comScore. That count is an 11 percent increase since June of this year. [See our NAA SenseMaker Report profiling the newspaper digital audience base on June 2013 data.]

Considered another way, the 141 million unique visitors is 71 percent of the total adult population accessing any digital content in the U.S. for the month.

The percentage gain is even more dramatic for the set of visitors who use only mobile devices — smartphones or tablets — to get newspaper digital content. That group increased 22 percent since June, to a total of 33 million unique visitors, which represents net gain of nearly 6 million visitors. This mobile-only set accounted for nearly one-fourth (23 percent) of all unique visitors last month.

Unique visitors who used a combination of desktop computers and  mobile devices for newspaper digital content in September rose to 44 million, a 28 percent increase since June, and accounted for nearly one-third (32 percent) of all visitors.

Overall, visitors using any mobile devices for newspaper digital content during the month were 77 million, or more than half (55 percent) of all unique visitors.

The aggregate count of visitors who use only desktop computers for newspaper digital content shrank 2 percent since June, to 65 million unique visitors, and represented 46 percent of all visitors.

comScore’s multiplatform measurements — which show combined mobile and desktop, and mobile-exclusive users — launched early this year. These measurements offer an unduplicated count of the total audience, meaning that a visitor is counted once, even when they access content on multiple computers or devices. 

Note: The term mobile-only or mobile-exclusive refers to using only a smartphone or tablet, and not a desktop or laptop computer to access newspaper digital content during the month. Usage of the traditional printed newspaper is not captured in the comScore dataset.

First Published: October 31, 2013

About the Author

Jim Conaghan is vice president of research and industry analysis at NAA. He analyzes media business developments and their implications for newspaper industry strategic positioning and profitability. He also serves as member of the Media Rating Council.

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