Digital Futures: Newspaper Sites Draw Record Audiences Newspaper Web sites continue to grow in popularity, with online newspaper operations in the top 25 media markets reaching 83.7 million unique visitors in April -- up 10% from March, 12% from February, and 15% from January of this year, according to comScore figures released by the Newspaper National Network.

These visitors generated a total of more than 2 billion page views in April, up 24% from 1.6 billion page views in January.

In the top 10 markets, the number of unique visitors increased 15% from 61.5 million in January to 70.8 million in April, while total page views jumped 27% from 1.1 billion to 1.4 billion. For comparison, the total U.S. Internet population, as measured by comScore, increased just 2% from 209 million to 213 million over the same period. Total page views increased 6% from 533.6 billion to 567.3 billion.



Even more telling, newspaper Web sites posted bigger percentage increases than competitors like, which was basically flat at about 43.4 million, and Huffington Post, which decreased slightly from 22.8 million to 22.2 million (a 3% drop).

CNN's total page views remained stable at 1.4 billion from January-April, while the Huffington Post's increased 24.5% from 314 million to 391 million.

While there are some discrepancies due to their different measurement approaches, and the fact that comScore figures cited focus exclusively on the top markets, they basically seem to agree with separate metrics from Nielsen for the Newspaper Association of America. Those showed newspaper Web sites drawing a record-breaking 74.4 million unique visitors per month in the first quarter of 2010 -- up from 72 million in the first quarter of 2009.

According to Nielsen, the first-quarter number equaled 37% of all U.S. Internet users. These visitors generated a monthly average of just under 3.25 billion page views per month from January-March, spending an average 2.34 billion minutes in over 592 million sessions per month -- or an average 31:32 per person, divided among just under eight sessions per month.

1 comment about "Digital Futures: Newspaper Sites Draw Record Audiences".
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  1. Jim Clouse from, May 25, 2010 at 11:56 a.m.

    They may draw record audiences but they still don't have a sustainable business model to mine that traffic. Tacky, intrusive banner ads are not a business model. They are a nuisance that generates a few dollars at the expense of pissing off their readers.

    I tried to present them with a huge, sustainable business model all of 2009 and got no where. They are not a very visionary bunch.

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