Friday, October 21, 2011

Newspaper websites' traffic continues to gain

In other news, newspaper websites continue to show impressive traffic gains -- up 21% in September, according to the Newspaper Association of America. Perhaps more significant were increases in unique visitors, total page views and amount spent on sites. Almost two-thirds of all Internet users visited newspaper sites, the trade group reported.

To paraphrase the Realtor's slogan, it's "Content, Content, Content" that attracts visitors. And trusted content.

Washington Post eschews paywall -- for now

Despite reports of success with the New York Times' paywall, the nation's other elite newspaper (Murdoch papers needn't apply as long as partisan fingers are on the throttle), the Washington Post indicated that it isn't considering a paywall.

Post Publisher Katharine Weymouth was quoted on Politico as saying: “For us, we believe at the moment it doesn’t make sense. We are making a bet for the long term. We want to be around as The Washington Post for a long time and many generations to come, and at the moment, we think that the best way to do that is to have a free website that is open to everybody and attract as many people as we can to spend as much time as they can with our journalism, and assume that that will bring them back for more.”

The story on Politico delves deeply into the current economics of the Post, indicating that the newspaper may opt for a paywall in the future, quoting Weymouth as saying it charges for editions on a Kindle and plans to charge for its iPad app.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Tablets whet appetite for news, study finds

Tablet users -- no surprise here -- are more active consumers of news than they were using other forms of content delivery (I hate calling stories content and newspapers a delivery system, but that's what they are), according to a Poynter report.

Findings include:
  • 63 percent of people said tablets lead them to rely more on traditional news providers and less on news aggregators.
  • Tablets enhance the appetite for news. Fifty-nine percent said they access national or local news more often since they got a tablet. Seventy-eight percent said they follow a larger volume of news stories, and a greater variety of topics than before.
It, along with the earlier Times' report, indicates that the public doesn't really care how they get their news. They just want it. I've also felt for some time that exposure to news in any form whets the appetite for more. This is proof, I believe.

Despite paywall, Times' readership rises

Despite setting up a paywall, the New York Times reports that Internet readership actually rose 2.3% as measured by unique visitors. Page views have head steady in the U.S. although they have dropped overseas, according to Jim Roberts, Times assistant managing editor for digital.

Look for this to increase the pressure for paywalls. Rumor has it that the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel will move that way soon.