Nielsen: Traffic at Newspaper Sites Up in Past Year

The number of people visiting newspaper Web sites hit a new high in Q1 with an average of 73.3 million unique users, a 10.5 percent jump compared to the same period a year ago.

The data is from Nielsen Online which tracks newspaper readership on behalf of the Newspaper Association of America.

During Q1, more people visited newspapers Web sites in January–74.8 million–than any other month in the quarter, likely due to the Presidential Inauguration. March was the next highest month with 73.3 million uniques.

“Digital success has become a critical component of newspapers’ transformation, and these record audience numbers provide further proof that Americans continue to rely on trusted newspaper brands for highly accurate news and information in print and online,” John Sturm, president and CEO of the NAA, said in a statement.

More people spent time at newspaper Web sites in January. The average time spent per person was almost 46 minutes compared with the quarterly average of 43 minutes and 48 seconds. The number of page views spiked in January with 3.7 billion, up from 3.2 billion in January 2008.

Additionally, the NAA released Scarborough Research data with more detailed demographic information. People with post graduate degrees–34 percent–visited a newspaper Web site in the past week, while 87 percent of that group either visited a newspaper Web site or read a print edition of the newspapers in the last seven days.

Twenty eight percent of those with a household income of $100,000 or more have visited a newspaper Web site in the last seven days. Readership is pushed even higher when the print edition is factored in: Nearly 83 percent of adults with a household income of $100,000-plus either read the print edition or visited a newspaper Web site in the last seven days.

The data from Nielsen Online (owned by E&P’s parent) represents unduplicated visitors based on home and work panels of Internet users. The panel has access from a non-shared computer at work and or access from home.