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USA, UK & NZ Newspapers Transforming Rather Than Disappearing with Growth in “Online” Media

Release IM- 741 - Latest Roy Morgan International survey which measures readership of major newspapers and their "online" Internet sites.: April 18, 2008

The growth of the Internet and associated “online” media in recent years has provided a huge opportunity for newspapers to extend their established brands into the “online” world and reach a vast number of new “eyeballs”. Most newspapers have declining or steady readerships of their traditional newspaper.

Extensive and in depth analysis of Roy Morgan International data shows the “online” reach of some newspaper Internet sites provides reach in their “home” market and also attract readers from other countries around the world.

The World Newspaper Advertising Conference & Expo was held on March 13—14, 2008 in Budapest, Hungary to explore the relationships between “hardcopy” newspaper readership and “online” readership, and the impact.

Main Findings

  • In the USA, broadsheets like the New York Times (+78%), Washington Post (+56%) and USA Today (+54%) have the largest increased reach due to their “online” presence. The New York Times also leads the way with overall number reached “online”, with more than 4.5m people accessing nytimes.com daily. The Wall Street Journal had an online readership of 1.3m daily (+32%) with a paid subscription model. (Under the new ownership of Rupert Murdoch you can expect the WSJ’s “online” readership to increase substantially as Murdoch brings lessons learned with titles such as The Australian and Times of London to open up the wsj.com to a wider online audience.)

  • United Kingdom newspapers the Guardian (+70%) and Times (+35%) are far ahead of the competition in the UK with the extra readers attracted to their “online” sites. The website for the Guardian, guardian.co.uk with over 900,000 visitors daily is the UK’s most popular newspaper website.

  • Compared to the other markets covered, the newspapers in New Zealand are currently not utilising the opportunities provided by the Internet. The leading “online” presence in New Zealand is New Zealand’s leading daily, the New Zealand Herald, which has only a 19% increase in readership through its “online” site, nzherald.co.nz, which attracts nearly 250,000 visitors daily.

In recent years, many commentators have predicted the demise of the newspaper model that has been a dominant provider of news and classified advertising for the past century. The interactivity and “always there” nature of the Internet was supposed to mean people would no longer turn to newspapers to find out what is going on in the world, which would drive down newspaper readerships and threaten the significant advertising revenue streams that have supported newspapers for over 100 years.

The extensive research undertaken by Roy Morgan International in this area proves conclusively that these views were completely wrong. Instead, newspapers have been able to leverage their coveted reputations as providers of news to attract strong “online” followings.

This special Roy Morgan International project was conducted with over 19,000 respondents in USA, UK and New Zealand between September 2006 — December 2007. 

USA NEWSPAPERS “ONLINE” REACH (Nov ’07)

 

Average Daily Reach

 

 

Newspaper

“Online”

Total*

Additional Reach#

 

‘000

‘000

‘000

%

New York Times

4,580

4,525

8,156

78

Washington Post

2,722

1,955

4,243

56

USA Today

6,812

4,173

10,471

54

Los Angeles Times

3,809

1,874

4,905

29

Wall Street Journal

3,268

1,331

4,328

32

Chicago Tribune

2,517

708

2,951

17

* Total refers to the combined total of newspaper readership and “online” reach, which means people that use both the newspaper and “online” are only counted once.

#Additional “average” daily newspaper ‘reach’ with “online” over newspaper reach only (%)

 

UK NEWSPAPERS “ONLINE” REACH (Aug ’07)

 

Average Daily Reach

 

 

Newspaper

“Online”

Total*

Additional Reach#

 

‘000

‘000

‘000

%

Guardian

1,095

913

1,858

70

Times

1,710

733

2,313

35

Financial Times

336

165

444

32

The Independent

681

313

970

42

Daily Telegraph

1,529

359

1,825

19

Evening Standard

628

144

732

17

The Sun

7,865

763

8,369

6

Daily Mail

6,098

440

6,427

5

Daily Mirror

4,076

276

4,285

5

Daily Express

2,123

66

2,188

3

* Total refers to the combined total of newspaper readership and “online” reach, which means people that use both the newspaper and “online” are only counted once.

#Additional “average” daily newspaper ‘reach’ with “online” over newspaper reach only (%)

NZ NEWSPAPERS “ONLINE” REACH (Dec ’07)

 

Average Daily Reach

 

 

Newspaper

“Online”

Total*

Additional Reach#

 

‘000

‘000

‘000

%

New Zealand Herald

704

236

838

19

Dominion Post

338

51

363

7

Waikato Times

136

10

142

4

The Press

260

21

269

3

Otago Daily Times

114

2

116

2

* Total refers to the combined total of newspaper readership and “online” reach, which means people that use both the newspaper and “online” are only counted once.

#Additional average daily newspaper ‘reach’ with “online” over newspaper reach only (%)