Growth trend continues for newspaper websites; more visitors stayed longer in Q4 2011 vs. 2010
Average monthly visitor totals exceed 111 million unique visitors in 2011’s final months, the highest-scoring quarter of the year
Director of Communications
February 01, 2012
Arlington, Va. – 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. The analysis, performed by the Newspaper Association of America based on data provided by comScore, also indicates continuing strong performance in other key engagement and demographic metrics important to advertisers, with 63 percent of all adult Internet users visiting newspaper websites.
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.
“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 Caroline Little, NAA president and CEO. “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.”
Other key findings of NAA’s comScore analysis show that during the fourth quarter:
- 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.
Newspapers are answering these numbers with a steady stream of innovative strategies designed to maintain and build their digital audiences. Recent product launches include animated editorials from The Star-Ledger in Newark, N.J.; a fashion-focused niche app from The New York Times; an app for local ticket sales from the Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune; and branded game apps for advertising customers from The Oklahoman in Oklahoma City.
“During all of 2011, the percentage reach of Internet users enjoyed by newspaper websites never dipped below 61 percent,” Little said. “Web-based and other digital platforms at newspapers are capturing – and holding – attention in the marketplace.”
NAA is a nonprofit organization representing nearly 2,000 newspapers and their multiplatform businesses in the United States and Canada. NAA members include daily newspapers, as well as nondailies, other print publications and online products. Headquartered near Washington, D.C., in Arlington, Va., the association focuses on the major issues that affect today's newspaper industry: public policy/legal matters, advertising revenue growth and audience development across the medium's broad portfolio of products and digital platforms. Information about NAA and the industry also may be found at www.naa.org.