Newspapers’ Digital Audience Reaches New Heights


Information is always in demand and more publishers are starting to realize that all they need to do to maintain a profit is shift the way they deliver that information. There was a bit of apprehension among the newspaper publishing community when the Internet started to become popular, but numbers released recently by comScore show that newspapers can survive on the Internet and even grow.

A Significant Growth In One Year

According to the comScore data published by the Newspaper Association of America, the number of adults engaging newspaper content online grew from 146 million unique visitors in January 2014 to 173 million unique visitors in January 2015. That 19 percent increase represents growth in readership and an increase in demand for online advertising.

SEE ALSO: How Can a Newspaper Monetize Its Digital Audience?

Mobile Devices Rule The Landscape

For many years now, digital content experts have been saying that mobile computing devices such as smartphones and tablets will be the prime vehicles for delivering digital newspaper content moving forward. The comScore numbers bear that out as the increase in mobile computing access to digital newspaper content increased by 73 percent from January 2014 to January 2015. That means that 68 million adults access digital newspaper content through their smartphones and tablets in January 2015.

This shift to mobile devices indicates that online publishers who want to increase their audiences going forward should focus on developing mobile content that is accessible and valuable to consumers. It appears that the days of treating mobile content as a secondary component to the main website content are long gone.

The Younger Crowd Continue To Surprise Publishers

The term “newspaper” is often associated with an older audience that is seeking its digital content in a format that is familiar. But the comScore study indicates that the largest growth group from January 2014 to January 2015 for digital newspaper consumption was females ages 18 to 24. That group experienced a growth rate of 155 percent during the study period and reached 8.2 million consumers in January 2015.

Grow your digital newspaper audience by improving your mobile content.

Paywalls Do Work

The rise in the popularity of digital newspapers creates a variety of options for publishers who are looking to generate more income. While online advertising remains a primary concern, the effectiveness of a paywall cannot be underestimated. In November 2013, the New York Times reported that its subscription services had reach 727,000 paying members and were generating approximately $37.7 million per quarter. If your website has content that readers want, it looks like readers are not hesitant to pay a subscription rate to reach that content.

Digital audiences for online newspaper content continue to grow and that creates opportunities for publishers. Bigger audiences means bigger ad revenues and there is also evidence to suggest that those bigger audiences are not shy about paying subscription fees to consume premium content as well. The expectation is that these numbers are expected to continue their upward trend, which means that online newspaper publishers should be taking this information and turning it into more readers and more revenue.

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