Web editions of newspapers growing in popularity in the US

MUMBAI: Nielsen//NetRatings, which claims to be the global standard for Internet audience measurement and analysis has reported findings from the Plan Summer 2005 study. This examined online versus offline newspaper consumption. The research focussed exclusively on Internet users in the US who consume newspapers and excluded online users who obtain their news from other online news and information sources.

The research shows that 21 per cent of American Web users who read newspapers have transferred their readership primarily to the online version. 72 per cent, of online users who consume newspapers primarily still access print editions. Seven per cent of online users who consume newspapers split their time evenly between the online and offline editions.

The company's senior media analyst Gerry Davidson said, "A significant percentage of newspaper readers have transferred their preference from print to online editions. Accordingly, many online editions now feature original content and have developed an online strategy that includes online message boards and editorial blogs, which leverage the medium’s strengths of interactivity and immediacy.”            

A greater proportion of male readers than female readers access their newspapers primarily online. Men who primarily read online newspapers make up 53 per cent of online readers while women comprise 47 per cent. In comparison, women make up 57 per cent of those who read newspapers primarily in print. led the top five online newspapers with an audience of 11.3 million unique visitors during May 2005, followed by with 9.2 million readers and with 7.4 million viewers.

Rounding out the top five were with 3.8 million and San Francisco Chronicle ( with 3.4 million unique visitors. “Not surprisingly, the top online newspapers tend to be located in metropolitan cities where both population and broadband access rates are higher, which correlates with greater Web page consumption” said Davidson.

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