Jul 31, 2009

Outside the bubble

Many more people spend much more time time reading a physical newspaper than reading the news on a paper's website, CJR reports:
For those of us of a certain small-but-growing subset—the blogging, commenting, techno-savvy, early-adopting, extreme-news consumers—it’s sometimes easy to forget that most people don’t live like we do. They don’t use RSS. They don’t Twitter. They don’t read twenty blogs a day. They (some 100 million or so) still actually pick up the newspaper and read it.
In a rough estimate of online versus print reading, CJR found:
Of the top five newspaper websites the average reading time online is 12.1 percent to print’s 87.9 percent. That widens to 8 percent online, 92 percent print when considering that more than one person reads each print copy.
The disparity illustrates why most publishers haven't heeded calls to junk the presses in favor of an online only presence. Such advice only makes sense if one doesn't own a press and wants to see the playing field leveled.

These numbers also show us why most of the advertising dollars still flow to print.

The quick survey does not, however, provide any details about whether online readership is increasing - and at what pace. Nor does it give us a sense of how many people have left print and online newspaper sites for alternative sources.

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