Saturday, November 03, 2007

Web efforts by newspapers unimpressive

Despire their full-on, open-mouthed embrace of "blogs" and hamhanded, homemade video,newspapers still are sucking wind in attracting an online audience.

Alan D. Mutter, a former newspaper executive who blogs at Reflections of a Newsosaur, says newspapers are far, far behind in the race for eyeballs and advertising bucks.

The average time spent at the 10 most active newspaper websites between March and August was 12 minutes per month, according to the Newspaper Association of America.

By comparison, the average time spent in September on sites operated by the 10 largest online companies was 1 hour, 14 minutes and 40 seconds, according to Nielsen/NatRatings, the same agency providing online traffic data to the NAA.

In other words, the average visitor spent 24 seconds per day in a 30-day month on a newspaper web site, as compared with an average of nearly 2½ minutes per day on the 10 sites operated by the web leaders.

Mutter adds:
Newspapers are not gaining in absolute online traffic any more than they are not gaining in print circulation. In but one example, the New York Times website, which ranked among the 50 most popular sites as recently as 2003, today ranks No. 219 on Alexa.Com. ...

...How can anyone take pride in the fact that the average visit at the San Francisco Chronicle website – which serves one of the most technologically sophisticated markets in the world – is a mere 10 seconds per day?

It would seem reasonable to conclude that the strategy to solicit free labor from a readership eager to exercise its writing chops really doesn't amount to much, but at least they'll do it for free and don't have to laid off when the corporate profit margin contracts.

1 comment:

Baytown Bert said...

That is truly sad. The Internet is first a place to read, then look at photos in my opinion.

I read the Baytown Sun's web page every day, as I arise before the paper is delivered, so I do not fit the profile.

Keep Blogging away, Banjo!