comScore Networks reported that in seven of the 10 largest U.S. markets the audience for major newspaper Web sites grew much faster over the past six months than the markets' total Internet user base. The analysis, conducted by the firm's comScore Media Metrix division, also revealed that visitors to the majority of these sites spend more money online than the average Internet user.
The report reveals disproportionate growth in unique visitors for newspapers in their local Designated Market Area. For example, in New York - the nation's largest DMA - unique visitors to the New York Daily News Web domain increased 23 percent, while unique Internet users for the total New York DMA grew only three percent during the same six-month period. Similarly, unique visitors to Chicago's suntimes.com increased 38 percent while the total Internet-using population in that city grew only three percent over the same period.
In a separate analysis of the buying power of online audiences, the report shows that the average visitor to 12 of the 13 measured newspaper sites spends significantly more online than both the average Web user and the typical visitor to news and information sites. Topping the list is Knight Ridder's bayarea.com (326 BPI), followed by newsday.com (311 BPI) and nypost.com (280 BPI).
The comScore Media Metrix' Buying Power Index (BPI) measures the total dollars spent online (across all sites) by the average member of a site's audience, indexed to the total online dollars spent by the average Internet user.
"It's clear that online newspaper sites are rapidly gaining readers - generally at the expense of print readership," noted Peter Daboll, division president of comScore Media Metrix. "Many of these newspaper sites offer a rare opportunity for advertisers to efficiently reach local market audiences that are growing rapidly and spending money more freely."
Visitors to Newspaper Web Domains in Top Designated Market Areas
%Change Dec 2001 to May2002
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