This story was written by David Kaplan.
Newspaper sites attracted more than 66.4 million unique visitors on average in Q1, for a 12.3 percent rise over the same period last year, according to analysis conducted by Nielsen Online for the Newspaper Association of America. The Q1 numbers represent 40.7 percent of all internet users, says Nielsen Online, which looked at a "de-duplicated visitor total" taken from its combined home and work panel of online viewers. Looked at sequentially, Q1 counts as a modest buildup on Q407's 62.8 average monthly newspaper site users, which represented a 6 percent increase over Q406; meanwhile, Q307 traffic numbers were 59 million, or a 3.7 percent rise over the prior year's period. Other findings from the NAA report included:
-- Page views: Newspaper sites drew roughly 3.1 billion per month throughout the quarter; last year, the industry averaged slightly less than three billion a month. The NAA says that the number of Q1 uniques and page views are the highest for any quarter since the trade group began tracking these numbers in 2004; it also represents the largest increase in these categories since Q306.
-- Time Per Person: Engagement dropped slightly from Q107 with users averaging 44:18 minutes on newspaper sites in Q108 compared with 45:38 the previous year.
-- Use patterns: In the for-what-it's-worth category, compared with the internet audience as a whole, newspaper site users are 76 percent more likely to have downloaded audio or video the previous day and are twice as likely to have searched the internet using phones or wireless devices. They're also twice as likely to have used iTunes in the past month.
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By David Kaplan