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April 13, 2009

Are Our Assumptions About How Readers Are Reading Newspapers Wrong?

The assumption is that the online newspaper audience is much bigger than that for the printed version. Not true, writes Martin Langeveld:

All generally accepted truths notwithstanding, more than 96 percent of newspaper reading is still done in the print editions, and the online share of the newspaper audience attention is only a bit more than 3 percent. That's my conclusion after I got out my spreadsheets and calculator out again to check the math behind the assumption that the audience for news has shifted from print to the Web in a big way.

He goes through his calculations, including the formula for print readers that arrives at

"daily" (Monday through Saturday) print audience of 116.8 million, and a Sunday print audience of 134.1 million.  (This is much higher than paid circulation, but there are 2.128 readers per daily copy, and 2.477 on Sunday.)

On the web, Nielsen reports an online average of 3.2 billion online page views per month. So Langevald concludes that:

U. S. daily newspapers deliver a total of 90.3 billion page impressions per month, print and online.  The online share of these page is only 3.5 percent -- 96.5 percent of page impressions delivered by newspapers are in print...

Is it any wonder then, that online revenue is stuck at less than 10 percent of the print revenue?  Given the online share of audience attention, 10 percent looks high, actually.
April 13, 2009 10:50 AM | | Comments (0)

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