Data shows unprecedented user engagement with record page views and time spent

Arlington, Va. – Newspaper Web sites attracted more than 68.3 million unique visitors on average (41.4 percent of all Internet users) in the third quarter of 2008, a record number that reflects a 15.8 percent increase over the same period a year ago, according to a custom analysis provided by Nielsen Online for the Newspaper Association of America.

In addition, newspaper Web site visitors generated an average of just over 3.5 billion page views per month throughout the quarter, an increase of 25.2 percent over the same period a year ago (2.8 billion page views).  These figures are the highest for any quarter since NAA began tracking the data in 2004.

“As news surrounding the economy and the presidential campaign rivets the nation, record audiences are trusting newspaper Web sites for comprehensive, up-to-the-minute reporting and analysis on the events that impact their lives,” said NAA President and CEO John F. Sturm.  “Whether in print or online, newspapers are the top local brands that readers turn to for information that will help guide them through some challenging issues facing consumers today.”

The third quarter also set records for active reach percentage (the percentage of active Internet users that visit newspapers on an average month), page views, pages per person, time per person and visits per person.

“Newspapers are continuing to enhance their Web sites with dynamic features, video and other interactive tools that deliver high levels of user engagement,” said Randy Bennett, NAA’s senior vice president of Audience and New Business Development.  “The dramatic increase in page views suggests users are visiting newspaper Web sites frequently throughout the day.”

From Nielsen Online:
Month     Unique Audience     Active Reach Percentage     Page Views     Pages per person     Time Per Person (mm:ss)     Visits Per Person
July-08     67,952,516     41.21      3,410,220,416      50.19      44:19      8.48

Aug-08     69,313,361    41.52      3,421,605,140      49.36      43:18     8.52

Sept-08    67,703,978    41.53      3,686,180,159      54.45      49:20     9.20

Q3 Average

68,323,285    41.42     3,506,001,905     51.33     45:49      8.73

Source: Nielsen Online Custom Analysis

Month   Unique Audience   Active Reach Percentage   Page Views   Pages    Time (mm:ss)     Visits
per person  (pp)               (pp)
July-07    59,635,245      37.05             2,735,019,015    45.86     40:07     8.00
Aug-07   59,278,593      37.42             2,828,613,489     47.72     41:52    8.22
Sept-07  58,160,770       36.96             2,836,328,492     48.77    43:44    8.15

Q3 Average   59,024,869    37.14          2,799,986,999      47.45   41:54    8.12

Source: Nielsen Online Custom Analysis

The Nielsen Online newspaper total audience represents a de-duplicated visitor total based on its RDD (Random Digit Dial) recruited, combined home and work panel of Internet users (i.e. an individual who might read a national newspaper plus their local newspaper online is only counted once). The target sample (2 years or older) has access from a non-shared PC at work and/or access from home. The Nielsen Online monthly newspaper total represents the de-duplicated reach of a custom list of hundreds of sites collectively.

NAA is a nonprofit organization representing the $56 billion newspaper industry and more than 2,000 newspapers in the U.S. and Canada. NAA members include daily newspapers, as well as non-dailies, other print publications and on-line 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

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