The analysis was based on on data collected by Nielsen Online for 314 consumer magazine brands. The MPA said this figure is double the percentage growth rate for the overall U.S. online population, which increased 4% to 165 million. Thus, the total reach of magazine Web sites increased from 40.5% of the U.S. Internet population in the second quarter of 2007 to 42.2% this year.
Visitors to magazine Web sites generated an average 462.8 million sessions per month in the second quarter--up 9.9% from 421.1 million per month in the same period last year--while the average time spent visiting the sites jumped 21.5%, from 1.69 billion minutes to 2.05 billion minutes per month.
Crunching the numbers a bit more, the average number of visits per person held constant at about 6.6 per month, while the average time spent per person grew about 12%--from 26 minutes and 19 seconds in 2007 to 29 minutes and 25 seconds per month in 2008. Overall, the average visit duration increased about 11% from 4 minutes to 4 minutes and 25 seconds per month.
The Web traffic figures are a much-needed piece of good news for the consumer magazine industry, where print editions have suffered a sharp reversal of last year's growth trend due to a slowing economy and secular pressures on print media. Total print ad pages fell 7.4% in the first half of 2008 compared to the same period in 2007, according to the Publishers Information Bureau, while 9 of 10 top magazine publishers saw their total ad pages fall in the first half of the year, according to the Group Publisher's Report from TNS Media Intelligence.