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Growth Continues for Newspaper Websites, NAA Says

21 Mar, 2012 By: Jackie Jones

ARLINGTON, Va. – While many believe the days of print news are far behind us, media outlets can stay in the game if they continue to focus on digital publications, according to an analysis of comScore Inc. data by the Newspaper Association of America (NAA).

Newspaper websites averaged more than 111 million monthly unique visitors in fourth-quarter 2011, an increase of more than 6 million compared to the same period a year ago. Of particular note to marketers, the data also indicated continuing strong performance in other key engagement and demographic metrics important to advertisers, with 63 percent of all adult Internet users visiting newspaper websites, NAA says.

“The comScore data for 2011 demonstrate the growing appeal of newspapers’ online content – particularly for engaged, informed and affluent users whom advertisers, especially those buying political advertising in an election year, seek to reach,” said Caroline Little, NAA president and CEO. “In fact, 70 percent of Internet users with household income above $60,000 are reached by newspaper websites, a reach that climbs to 75 percent when looking at household incomes above $100,000.”

Other findings of the data analysis concluded that newspaper website percentage reach of Internet users climbed to 67 percent for people ages 45 to 54, and remained at or above 60 percent within the 18-34 demographic, according to the NAA.

While total newspaper revenues dropped 6.7 percent to $6.83 billion in 4Q 2011 and print ad revenues decreased 8.3 percent from $6.45 billion to $5.93 billion, online revenue inched up 3.1 percent to $905.6 million (from $878.4 million). Media’s innovative strategies aimed at building online audiences are the key moving forward, Little said.

“During all of 2011, the percentage reach of Internet users enjoyed by newspaper websites never dipped below 61 percent,” she said. “Web-based and other digital platforms at newspapers are capturing – and holding – attention in the marketplace.”

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