Online Newspaper Readership Climbs

Sixteen percent of adults in Canada read an online newspaper each week last year--up from 10 percent in 2001, according to a new report by the Newspaper Audience Databank, Inc., the research arm of the Canadian Daily Newspaper industry.

Last year alone, readership of online newspapers grew by 12 percent, according to the report, with the national newspapers drawing the largest traffic.

But that surge doesn't mean that people are shying away from print versions. In fact, 85 percent of adults who read newspapers on the Web also read the printed version, according to the report.

"Only 2 percent of total weekly newspaper readership is to online editions, the balance of online readers are switching between the two formats," states the report.

A recent Nielsen//NetRatings report examining online newspapers in the United States revealed comparable growth in traffic. Nielsen//NetRatings stated that Web sites of newspapers drew 39.3 million visitors in October--marking an 11 percent increase from October of 2004.

When it came to demographics, both Nielsen//NetRatings and Newspaper Audience Databank reported that online readers are more likely to be male and highly educated. Nielsen//NetRatings specifically found that online readers are more likely than the general Internet population to have a bachelor's or postgraduate degree.

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