2007 Sets Record for Online Newspaper Readership
The news industry -- and the newspaper business in particular -- is in the midst of a radical, technologically-driven transformation. As expected, the data below provides further evidence that people are spending more and more time online reading news.
But, as print newspapers transition into the online space, they are being forced to consider their audiences not only as readers, but as active participants in the news. Unless they adapt to this sea change in users' behaviour, they will be usurped by news organizations, such as NowPublic, that offer an open, participatory news community, rather than simply a re-packaged edition of a print publication.
More people read newspapers online in 2007 than in the previous year, setting a record, according to the latest data from the Newspaper Association of America. The organization reported that 60 million people visited an online newspaper last year, compared with 56.4 million in 2006 -- a 6.3% increase in unique audience.
The average time spent per person also jumped in 2007 to almost 43 minutes compared with 41 minutes in 2006.
Records were broken for Q4 in 2007 with 62.8 million unique users, a 9% gain in uniques compared to the same quarter in 2006. The average time spent per user inched up in Q4 2007 to 43:40 from 43:12 in Q4 2006.
"Newspapers continue to successfully transform themselves into multimedia companies, offering unparalleled content that reaches an audience growing in both size and sophistication," John Sturm, president and CEO of the NAA, said in a statement. "As our industry's transition accelerates, it is clear consumers recognize newspapers as their trusted source of information in an increasingly digital environment."
The figures come as the newspaper industry becomes increasingly reliant on advertising revenue from Web sites, with print advertising under pressure, particularly when it comes to classified ad sales.
Publishers are hoping that online growth will compensate for some of the decline from the print side.