Tag Archives: newspapers

Do people really spend so little time reading news online?

From the December/January 2008 edition of the American Journalism Review:

Newspaper Web sites are attracting lots of visitors, but aren’t keeping them around for long. The typical visitor to nytimes.com, which attracts more than 10 percent of the entire newspaper industry’s traffic online, spent an average of just 34 minutes and 53 seconds browsing its richly detailed offerings in October. That’s 34 minutes and 53 seconds per month, or about 68 seconds per day online. Slim as that is, it’s actually about three times longer than the average of the next nine largest newspaper sites.

The Reuters report I wrote about  yesterday gives similar figures for a discrepancy between time spent reading the news online and in print, this time in Europe:

…visitors to the leading UK newspaper websites (as measured by overall traffic) typically only spend a few minutes each day perusing the content. The Daily Mail leads the pack, with an average daily visit of only 8.7 minutes; followed by the Guardian(5.4 minutes), News of the World(3.7 minutes), The Sun(3.7 minutes) and The Times(3.3 minutes).In contrast, McKinsey estimates that, on average, consumers spend roughly eight times longer reading a physical newspaper, compared to the equivalent time they spend at a news-paper website.

In other words, someone who reads the Daily Mail online spends 8.7 minutes doing so, but a reader with a physical copy of the newspaper spends 69.6 minutes at it.

In line with this, (this may have been where McKinsey got their data, I’m not 100% as that data isn’t available online) the UK National Readership survey estimates the average UK print newspaper reader spends 30 minutes reading it per day, with just over 20% spending around an hour.That’s a pretty big discrepancy between time spent reading online and reading print.¬† And the AJR sees it as having an effect on the amount of money online news providers can charge for ads: Continue reading

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