The common held belief that traditional print media is losing ground to the online medium appears to have been confirmed with latest figures from comScore.
In a study into Internet usage across Europe, it was recorded that 167.2 million unique visitors went on online newspaper sites in June 2011, representing an 11% rise year-on-year. This is a growing trend that has often raised the question whether the Internet is putting an end to the traditional newspaper.
On average, 40.5 minutes was spent on newspaper sites across Europe in June 2011. The most popular online newspaper read across the whole of Europe was the Mail Online with 17.2 million unique visitors in June 2011. This was followed by the Guardian.co.uk who experienced 13.5 million unique visitors in the same time.
It isn’t just English speaking newspapers either that have proved incredibly popular. The third most read online news source in Europe was Germany’s Bild with 9.9 million unique visitors. The final newspapers making up the top five are from Turkey, with Hurriyet and Milliyet picking up 3.5 million and 8.8 million unique visitors respectively. French Newspapers Le Monde and Le Figaro have picked up 6.7 million and 5.5 million unique visits in June, whilst Russia’s Komsomolskaya Pravda and RIA Novosti have proved popular with 6.4 million and 5.4 million unique visits respectively.
New Ways to Consume News
As many have predicted, the rise of online newspaper sites could very well see the end of traditional newspapers [See: Are We Reaching the End Game for Printed Newspapers?]. The infancy of social media has allowed this type of news to be consumed instantly, as well as offer a platform to consume other pieces that are more akin to traditional newspapers such as editorial comments, analysis and in depth articles.
The tangible nature of newspapers and books still offer something to readers, it’s not as if everyone will be subscribing to the Times Online or purchasing Kindles to read their e-Books, not yet anyway. However, there is an increasing wealth of evidence to suggest that a new generation of people are indeed staying online for their news. For example according to the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), 71% of young UK men actually prefer to read their news online [Sourced from askmen.com].
It’s not only statistics regarding traffic growth that’s putting the boot into traditional newspapers. In fact the bulk of the shifting trend has come from advertisers. Ask anyone selling advertising space for local, regional or national newspapers, at some point they would come across huge difficulties. The reason being is that more and more advertisers are seeing the potential in online newspapers.
In the UK alone, the digital sector has seen it break the £4 billion barrier earlier this year [See: UK Online Advertising Spend Exceeds £4 Billion]. As revenues from magazine and newspapers continue to fall, it’s the digital sector who are capitalising; and with increasing broadband speeds and now an increasing number of visitors, businesses will begin to see the attractiveness of advertising with online newspapers which will be a further blow to the traditional newspaper format.
The market for news has expanded tremendously over the last decade. The digital sector has bought with it blogs and news aggregation sites such as the Huffington Post which can be shared via social networking sites. For many newspapers across Europe and indeed the world, it appears they too are getting a piece of the action, especially with these latest visitor figures.
The Daily Mail and The Guardian can be particular pleased as they appear to have adapted to this changing landscape and the traffic increases totally vindicates their decision to do so. The way things are looking, as long as newspapers keep their platforms user friendly, yet more traffic could be on the horizon.