Newspaper Web sites drew 113 million unique visitors per month in the first quarter of 2012, up 4.4% from the first quarter of 2011 and 1.8% from 111 million in the fourth quarter, according to comScore data cited by the Newspaper Association of America.
The average number of daily unique visitors to newspaper Web sites also increased, growing 10% to 25 million in the first quarter of 2012. Total reach was basically flat at just below 64% of the total U.S. adult Internet population.
The total number of minutes spent on newspaper Web sites increased about 6.9% from to 12 billion in the first quarter, according to the same data. Over this period, the number of page views increased 1.4% to 13.17 billion. The average number of visits per visitor edged up to 9.77 per month.
In addition, newspaper Web sites achieved substantial gains in desirable demographic segments, including visitors ages 21-34, where the number of unique visitors increased 7%, while the number of daily visits by people in this age group increased 17% and their total number of visits increased 15%. The number of average daily visitors in the 18-to-24 age group increased 10%.
These age groups represent a growing digital-only cohort, an accompanying survey revealed: among 18-to-34-year-olds who read newspapers, 48% said they read only digital newspaper content, and another 34% said they read both print and digital newspapers, versus just 24% who said they read only print newspapers.