Newspaper web audience grows while revenue declines

October 26, 2009
An average 74 million people visited a newspaper Web site each month in the third quarter of 2009, equaling just under 40% of all active U.S. Internet users, according to the Newspaper Association of America, citing research performed by Nielsen Online.

This is the most unique visitors recorded since the NAA and Nielsen began tracking newspaper Web site audiences in 2004; the previous record was 73.3 million in the first quarter of 2009.

On the other hand, this impressive growth in audience only serves to highlight newspapers' continuing inability to monetize online audiences at anywhere near the rate of their legacy print products in their heyday.

Total newspaper online advertising revenues have declined for six straight quarters through the second quarter of 2009, according to the NAA. They are likely to continue declining in the third quarter — in stark contrast to the 8% increase in audience size.


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