Newspapers are not dying -- at least online. An average of 105.3 million people per month visited a newspaper Web site during the fourth quarter of 2010, according to comScore data cited by the Newspaper Association of America: 105.3 million in October, 106.7 million in November and 103.9 million in December.
These visitors spent an average of 3.4 billion minutes per month browsing newspaper Web sites, generating an average 4.1 billion page views per month. That works out to about 32.3 minutes and 38.9 page views per individual per month.
What's more, the newspaper Web site audience includes a high proportion of desirable demographic segments, according to comScore and the NAA. The sites reach 58% of 25- to-35-year-old adults and 73% of individuals living in households earning over $100,000 per year.
The NAA noted that online advertising revenues from newspaper Web sites are also growing, including an 11% increase between the third quarter of 2009 and the third quarter of 2010, to $690 million. (Fourth-quarter figures are still being tallied). Despite the growth, newspapers' huge online audience -- perhaps the largest of any traditional media -- has failed to generate sufficient revenues to offset print declines.
Between 2005 and 2009, newspapers' total print ad revenues dropped 47.7% from $47.4 billion to $24.8 billion -- while their online revenues edged up from $2.02 billion to $2.73 billion over the same period. (That includes two years of consecutive declines in 2008 and 2009.)
Through the third-quarter 2010, total online revenues are up 9.5% to $2.16 billion, a gain of about $200 million. But over the same period, total print ad revenues fell 8.7% to $16.35 billion -- shedding about $1.55 billion.