Online Newspaper Readership Soars 11 Percent

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Newspaper Web sites grew 11 percent year-over-year to 39.3 million unique visitors in October, accounting for 26 percent of the active U.S. online population.


The findings, from market researcher Nielsen//NetRatings, come soon after the Audit Bureau of Circulations reported a 2.6 percent six-month decline in average weekday print paid circulation among the top 20 U.S. newspapers. The research indicates the migration of readers online to the preferred newspaper's site.


"Most, if not all, of the top newspaper sites offer interactivity such as blogs, podcasts and streaming video/audio," Nielsen//NetRatings senior analyst Gerry Davison said in a statement. "These interactive features, combined with Internet users' thirst for up-to-date information, make newspaper Web sites an increasingly appealing choice for news."


The 11 percent growth for online newspaper readership surpassed the 3 percent increase for the overall active Internet population.


Nielsen//NetRatings found that The New York Times' site at www.nytimes.com was the top U.S. online newspaper site, recording 11.4 million unique visitors in October. The sites at www.usatoday.com and www.washingtonpost.com were next, with 10.4 million and 8 million unique visitors in October, respectively.


The Los Angeles Times' site at www.latimes.com and the San Francisco Chronicle's online edition at www.sfgate.com each reported 3.9 million unique visitors. Spots six to 10 were taken by the Boston Globe's site at www.boston.com, New York's Daily News' www.dailynews.com, The Wall Street Journal's www.wsj.com, the Houston Chronicle's www.houstonchronicle.com and the Chicago Sun-Times' at www.suntimes.com.


Except for boston.com, which lost 1 percent of its visitors in the measured period, all other titles in the top 10 gained readership. The Houston Chronicle registered a 35 percent year-over-year change to 2.7 million unique visitors in October.


Mickey Alam Khan covers Internet marketing campaigns and e-commerce, agency news as well as circulation for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters


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