Newspaper Web Sites Average More Than 67 Million Visitors Each Month in 2008;
Web Audience Grows 8.6 Percent in Last Year’s Fourth Quarter

Arlington, Va. – Average monthly unique audience figures for newspaper Web sites grew by nearly 7.3 million in 2008 to 67.3 million visitors, an increase of 12.1 percent over 2007, according to a new report by Nielsen Online for the Newspaper Association of America. Monthly unique visitors during the fourth quarter of 2008 averaged 68.2 million, an 8.6 percent increase over the same period a year ago (62.8 million).  The data comprise home and work Internet usage.

“Newspapers’ digital audience has grown 60 percent in the last three years as the newspaper Web sites continue to attract sophisticated readers who demand comprehensive news and information that no other medium can match,” said NAA President and CEO John F. Sturm. “With the presidential election and economy dominating recent headlines, consumers continue to rely on newspapers as their trusted media brand for highly accurate reporting on the events that impact us all, each and every day.”

For last year’s fourth quarter, 41 percent of all active Web users visited newspaper Web sites, with visits averaging 45 minutes a month. Users generated more than 3.2 billion page impressions on average, a 7.8 percent increase over the same period a year ago.   To see data for previous quarters, please visit

Generating Revenue Streams Through Digital Initiatives

On the revenue side, newspapers are seeing significant impact from their relationship with Yahoo!, a partnership that includes access to Yahoo!’s ad management platform, Apt, and advertising inventory in local markets. Several individual newspapers in the partnership have each sold more than $1 million of Yahoo! inventory. For example, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution sold $2 million in Yahoo! inventory during the test phase of the platform.  E. W. Scripps Newspapers generated almost $2 million in three markets over a four-day period in December 2008.  Scripps sent a team of six corporate sales executives to train local sales staff and participate in sales calls to local advertisers.

“These examples demonstrate that newspaper companies are driving revenue by focusing on their core competencies – feet on the street and local relationships – and leveraging assets of other companies in a partnership that provides an effective solution for their advertising customers,” said Randy Bennett, NAA’s senior vice president of Business Development. “Newspapers are adjusting their business models and their traditional ways of going to market to generate new revenue streams and more effectively compete in today’s media landscape.”

NAA Analysis: Latest Digital Trends
For further information and perspective on these numbers, please listen to our podcast with Randy Bennett, NAA’s senior vice president of Business Development.

Month   Unique Audience    Active Reach Percentage   Pages Per Person   Page Views

Time Per Person (mm:ss)    Visits Per Person
Oct-08       68,968,125           42.17           51.29     3,537,248,971    49:08     9.27
Nov-08      69,051,075           40.77          47.45     3,276,170,196     45:02    8.69
Dec-08      66,671,638            40.13         44.39     2,959,555,244    42:18     8.46
Q4 Avg.     68,230,279           41.02         47.71       3,257,658,137    45:29     8.81

Year     Unique Audience *     Active Reach Percentage     Pages Per Person    Page Views

Time Per Person (mm:ss)     Visits Per Person
2008     67,328,207            40.85         47.91                3,227,139,923             44:01      8.48
2007     60,035,743            37.75          47.79                2,869,190,785            42:59      8.11

* Based on four-quarter average
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

Discuss this release at NAA.Org Community                  Visit NAA on Facebook

Jeff Sigmund, NAA Senior Communications Manager
(571) 366-1088

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  1. Jeff Sigmund Says:

    Hello – I just wanted to thank you for posting our release on these latest Web numbers. For those who want expert perpspective, a podcast with Randy Bennett, NAA’s senior vice president of Business Development, is available at NAA members can discuss the release at NAA Community,

    Jeff Sigmund
    NAA Senior Communications Manager

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