Readers flock to online newspaper sites

The latest study from the Newspaper Association of America says one in three Internet users — 55 million — visit a newspaper Web site every month.

Full release:


Web sites growing audience of younger readers by 14 percent

Vienna, Va. - Eight in 10 adults (116 million) are reading the newspaper over the course of a week, and one in three Internet users (55 million) visit a newspaper Web site over the course of a month, according to the spring 2006 Newspaper Audience Database (NADbase) report released today by the Newspaper Association of America.

Unique visitors to newspaper Web sites jumped 21 percent from January 2005 to December 2005, and page views increased by 43 percent over that same period, according to NADbase. The analysis also shows that newspaper Web sites increased the total newspaper audience, particularly among younger readers, attracting 14 percent more 25- to 34-year-olds and 9 percent more 18- to 24-year-olds.

“NADbase is a major component of the industry’s multilevel initiative to answer advertisers’ needs for measurement data that reflects newspapers’ full reach and audience,” said NAA President and CEO John F. Sturm. “Readership is the most comparable measure of the value of newspapers, and it is critical that the newspaper media be able to report information on consumers of all ages and across the full portfolio of print and digital products that we distribute every day. This latest wave of NADbase data shows once again the strong gains that our industry is making in leveraging the power of their Web sites to broaden their appeal to today’s audiences.”

NADbase aggregates print audience data from Media Rating Council-accredited Scarborough Research and newspaper Web site data from Nielsen//NetRatings for the 100-plus newspapers representing most major markets. The spring 2006 NADbase is the second release of detailed audience data since it was launched last fall. The full NADbase report is available at www.naa.org/nadbase.

According to NADbase analysis of the print audience, 78 percent of adults read a newspaper over the course of five weekdays and one Sunday, totaling more than 116 million adults out of the 149 million who live in those markets. In addition, seven out of 10 (69 percent) of 18- to 24-year olds in the top 50 markets are reading a newspaper during the course of a week. The analysis of market data collected by Scarborough Research in the top 50 markets covers the period from August 2004 through September 2005.

The analysis also confirms the strong spending power of newspapers’ audiences. In the top 50 markets, the profile of newspaper readers is upscale, with nearly two thirds (65.7 percent) of consumers with household incomes of $150,000 or more reading the newspaper on an average weekday, and more than seven in 10 (71.7 percent) reading the newspaper on an average Sunday.

Data from Nielsen//NetRatings shows that unique visitors to newspaper Web sites in 2005 represented on average more than one-third (46 million) of all Internet users over the course of a month. Unique visitors jumped 21 percent from January 2005 to December 2005, and page views increased by 43 percent over that period. In November 2005, newspaper Web sites reached more than one-third (55 million) of all Internet users. Newspapers own 11 of the top 25 national news and information Web sites, and locally, newspapers provide the dominant information site in most of the top 75 markets.

In markets across the nation, newspaper Web sites are providing a strong draw for younger demographics, in many cases expanding a paper’s reach among those audiences by 25 percent or better. (Audience reach is calculated by combining the average weekly audience for print and the net 30-day Web site audience.) The top 10 newspapers that have expanded their total reach through their Web sites, according to the spring 2006 NADbase, include:


Percent* Increase in
25-34 Demographic

1) The Deseret Morning News ( Salt Lake City)
48.9 %

2) Daily Herald ( Arlington Heights, Ill.)
46.3 %

3) Tribune-Review ( Pittsburgh
42.8 %

4) The Tampa Tribune
36.7 %

5) The Boston Globe
30.8 %

6) The Hartford ( Conn.) Courant
29.7 %

7) The Star-Ledger ( Newark)
26.8 %

8) The San Diego Union-Tribune
26.0 %

9) The Salt Lake Tribune
25.6 %

10) The Seattle Times
25.1 %

Source: Scarborough Research of newspaper print and online audience
*Percent increase of total newspaper readers in a week (five weekdays/one Sunday) to total newspaper readers and Web site users (five weekdays/one Sunday and used Web site in past 30 days) For complete list of net reach among NADbase newspapers, go to http://www.naa.org/nadbase/netreachdata.html



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