Thursday, June 16, 2005
NEWSPAPERS: One-fifth of readers now prefer online
One-fifth of Web users prefer online news - Nielsen By Lisa Baertlein
Thu Jun 16, 5:02 PM ET
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Nearly one-fifth of Web users who read
newspapers now prefer online to offline editions, according to a new study
from Internet audience measurement company Nielsen//NetRatings.
The first-time study from Nielsen//NetRatings found that 21 percent of
those Web users now primarily use online versions of newspapers, while 72
percent still read print editions.
The remaining 7 percent split their time between online and offline
editions. Comparable historic statistics were not available.
"A significant percentage of newspaper readers have transferred their
preference from print to online editions," said Nielsen//NetRatings senior
media analyst Gerry Davidson.
The statistics reflect a broad trend in the newspaper publishing industry.
U.S. newspaper circulation has been falling as audiences increasingly turn
to the Internet for news -- both on newspaper-run sites and through
companies such as Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO - news) and Google Inc., which
display news gathered from various sources.
Newspaper publishing revenue is growing slowly, but remains in a prolonged
slump. Internet companies such as Google and Yahoo have been posting
booming revenue gains on a revival in more traditional online advertising,
as well as fast-growing Web search ads.
In response to the increased traffic to news sites, online editions of
newspapers often now include frequent news updates, original content,
message boards and editorial blogs.
The online edition of the New York Times Co.'s flagship paper,
www.NYTimes.com, is the most visited U.S. newspaper site. It had an
audience of 11.3 million in May, up 25 percent from a year earlier,
according to Nielsen//NetRatings.
USATODAY.com had the second-biggest online reach, with an audience of 9.2
million in May, up 15 percent. Rounding out the top three was
washingtonpost.com whose audience in May grew 10 percent year on year to
Visits to Yahoo News and Google News, which were not counted in the study,
also have been on the rise.
In May, Yahoo News had an online audience of 23.8 million and the audience
for Google News was 7.1 million, respectively up 3 percent and 4 percent
from a year ago, according to Nielsen//NetRatings. (Additional reporting
by Paul Thomasch in New York)