Newspapers have been improving their online sites with new content. These efforts, combined with the increasing numbers of consumers who are turning to the Internet for their news, are boosting traffic for newspaper publishers. As their online attractiveness to advertisers grows, newspaper publishers may start to generate significant revenue from the digital front.

For some time now, newspapers have been faced with the need to roll out unique and engaging content in order to compete with trendy online offerings. A recent  NAA release pointed out some of the strategies major publishers are taking to attract more traffic:

  •  The Star-Ledger, Newark, NJ: Animated editorials
  • The New York Times: Fashion-focused niche app
  • The Oklahoman: Branded game apps for advertisers

Nationwide, consumers are noticing online newspapers. In the fourth quarter of last year, 111 million monthly unique visitors stopped by a newspaper website. Of all adult consumers  who spend time online, 63% visit newspaper sites. In the past year, these sites saw a 15% growth rate. comScore data shows that the time spent on these sites also rose, by 14%.

The site reach for online newspapers should be attractive to advertisers:

  •  Internet users with household income over $60,000: 70%
  • Internet users with household income over $100,000: 75%
  • Internet users between the ages of 45-54: 67%
  • Internet users between the ages of 18-34: 60%

Caroline Little, NAA president and CEO, points out that the “engaged, informed and affluent users” who access online newspapers are exactly the audiences major advertisers want to reach, especially in an election year.  Look for more online innovation from newspapers who want to regain market dominance as content distributors.

[Source: Hendricks, Marina. Growth trend continues for newspaper websites. Naa.org. 1 Feb. 2012. Web. 6 Mar. 2012]