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Van mijn weblog op True/Slant:

Some interesting data from Nielsen and Editor & Publisher on the online news readership. The results: top 30 news sites see drop in time spentteens still rely primarily on traditional media and nobody can tell if newspapers that went online-only see a drop in web site traffic.

What the research tells us? Strange as it may sound, online news sometimes has to deal with the same obstacles as the traditional media.

Most stunning is the fact that more than half of the top 30 news sites lose audience. The worst performance of all, according to Nielsen, is for Fox News Digital Network: it drops from 43 minutes spent per person during the month of may 2008 to less than 33 minutes in may of this year. Other losers include MSNBC Digital Network, AOL News and Yahoo! News. Biggest winner is Google News, that went from 12 minutes in may 2008 to 22 minutes this year. The largest audience is no longer for Fox, but for CNN Digital Network, with almost 36 minutes spent per person in may 2009.

Comforting for some parents may be the research data that tell that teens just watch the same tv-shows as adults do: they all love drama. More than that, they spend much more time watching tv than they watch online video. Again, according to Nielsen, a typical teen watches about 11 minutes of online video per day, opposed to as much as 3 hours and 20 minutes of tv. So tv is no less than 18 times as popular. Teens are online not more than 23 minutes a day. By the way, almost one out of three (29%) reads a daily newspaper, while almost half of the parents do.

Finally, Editor & Publisher published some research on the readership of online-only newspapers. This is especially interesting for newspapers that, like the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, want to quit their paper performance.  The outcome though, is not very clear. Although Nielsen says that monthly unique visitors at Seattlepi.com dropped sharpely year-over-year (and competitor Seattle Times grew), the company itself states – using Omniture – that it increased online readership.

Not wanting to deny Omniture, Seattlepi won’t be very comforted by Scarborough Research, that reveals that online-only newspaper readership on average is still extremely low: about 4% of the adults during one week.Editor & Publisher:

“I do agree that print readership drives online readership to a significant degree,” says Gary Meo, Scarborough’s senior vice president of print and digital media services. “We see that in our own data. There is an enormous amount of duplication between print and online for most newspapers we measure.  ”The question becomes, when the print driver goes away, what does that do to Web site traffic?” he adds. “We have no data yet, but in my opinion, when the print edition goes away, a certain portion of those readers will go online and a certain portion will not. The question is: how many of each?”