Top 30 Global News Sites See Drop in Time Spent

The drop in average time spent in May on Web sites is not just isolated to newspapers: Time spent per user was down for more than half the top 30 global news and current events sites, according to Nielsen Online.

That includes CNN Digital Network, which was down to about 36 minutes for the month, versus 38 minutes in May 2008. The monthly time spent by readers of the MSNBC Digital Network fell to 21 minutes and 40 seconds in May compared to 29 minutes in May 2008.

Nielsen (of which E&P and Mediaweek are units) defines the average time spent per person at a site during the month.

AOL News shaved off 10 minutes from its average from 35 minutes and 27 seconds in May of the previous year to 24 minutes in May 2009.

The average time spent at Fox News Digital Network dropped to 32 minutes and 39 seconds in May from about 43 minutes in May 2008.

Meanwhile, the average time spent per user rose for Google News and the Huffington Post.

There are many reasons why the average time spent per person can vary including news events or even the number of visitors. A big spike in uniques—more people attracted to the site—could account for a lower time-spent average.

Below is the list of time spent for the top 30 online current events and global news destinations ranked by uniques in May provided by Nielsen. The work and home panels are U.S.-based.

Site — May ’09 (hour:minute:second) — May ’08

MSNBC Digital Network — 0:21:40 — 0:29:00
Yahoo! News — 0:18:25 — 0:22:12
CNN Digital Network — 0:35:50 — 0:38:48
AOL News — 0:24:01 — 0:35:27
NYTimes.com — 0:27:34 — 0:28:52

Tribune Newspapers — 0:09:31 — 0:08:59
Fox News Digital Network — 0:32:39 — 0:43:16
Gannett Newspapers and Newspaper Division — 0:22:20 — 0:19:49
ABCNEWS Digital Network — 0:09:36 — 0:09:34
Google News — 0:22:12 — 0:12:28

McClatchy Newspaper Network — 0:09:24 — 0:12:41
USAToday.com — 0:12:11 — 0:13:00
washingtonpost.com — 0:10:58 — 0:16:04
CBS News Digital Network — 0:07:14 — 0:08:00
Advance Internet — 0:10:33 — 0:14:27

BBC — 0:13:02 — 0:09:13
WorldNow — 0:10:54 — 0:17:55
Hearst Newspapers Digital — 0:20:00 — 0:17:45
MediaNews Group Newspapers — 0:10:57 — 0:12:13
TheHuffingtonPost.com — 0:14:57 — 0:08:50

Daily News Online Edition — 0:05:47 — 0:06:16
Topix — 0:05:20 — 0:04:40
New York Post Holdings — 0:10:57 — 0:08:02
Cox Newspapers — 0:16:01 — 0:12:58
NBC Local Media — 0:04:04 — N/A

Boston.com — 0:10:06 — 0:09:40
NPR — 0:07:37 — 0:07:31
MailOnline — 0:06:47 — 0:08:44
The Slate Group Websites — 0:09:53 — 0:07:37
Telegraph — 0:03:50 — 0:05:03

Nielsen Business Media