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Print Readers/Website Readers -- What's the ratio?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by jaredk, Apr 24, 2008.

  1. jaredk

    jaredk Member

    I know a major metro's numbers on this. I'm surprised and I'm inviting guesses as to what the ratio is.

    What percentage of print readers NEVER read the newspaper's website?
    What percentage of website readers NEVER read the print edition?

    I'm talking about a big-time print/website combo in an affluent, highly educated metro area.
  2. kleeda

    kleeda Active Member

    I don't know, but I bet they all read BLOGS!!!!
  3. Pete Incaviglia

    Pete Incaviglia Active Member

    I don't know, but here's something that happened in my chain recently:

    A corporate/management email accidentally got sent to the newsrooms of TWO papers in our chain. It was about the internet hits of one of our sister papers.

    The paper is serves a city of about 250,000 people. It's circulation is 70,000.

    Anyway, we get an email that breaks down all the internet hits from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

    Remember, the print circulation is 70,000.

    The hits on the website? 16,000.

    And people are turning to the internet. My ass.
  4. Babs

    Babs Member

    I'll bite. I would guess 70% of print readers never read the website, and 20% of the website readers never read print. Some of those 20% are going to be outside the delivery bounds, so they can't even if they wanted to.
  5. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    Not having seen or heard any particular numbers of the major metro in my area, I'm going to take a shot in the dark, argue the opposite of Babs, and guess 20-80.

    I think a lot of people who look at the print edition also look at the web site. But I doubt the really regular web readers look at the paper edition much at all anymore.
  6. jaredk

    jaredk Member

    A winner! Almost exactly. The most recent numbers, only a week old, were 70.7 percent and 18.7 percent. There were 10 TIMES as many print-only readers as there were web-only readers.
    Didn't surprise Babs, obviously, but it did me and it's distressing to think that newspapers are doing no better at the web than that. We are giving away the franchise to aggregators. Seems to me these numbers argue that a website should be a far, far different animal than its parent newspaper.
  7. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    Or, it could mean that newspapers are still an attractive product.
  8. Babs

    Babs Member

    Yay me. Why can't I ever win prizes with money though?

    My interpretation of the numbers is very different than yours. To me, it's all demographics and facts about paper and machines. There are lots of older readers like my grandparents who don't know how to turn on a computer. But a youngish person running around with a laptop is going to find an abandoned paper on the bus and pick it up -- they just will. Over time, there will be more laptop folks than grandparents. Thus the world moves to the web. I can't tell you how to make money on ads, especially in this economic climate, but I can tell you that print-only readers will eventually die off. Literally.

    I don't think this says anything about what the product should contain. It just says you have two types of readers. I think you target the type that will grow.
  9. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    But I don't think reading a "paper" online will ever become a big-time Internet activity. Off the top of my head, these are surely more sought-out Web activities: porn, BLOGS!, message boards, auction sites, Craigslist, MySpace, Yahoo, Google, ESPN, porn, Amazon, TMZ and other gossipy sites, BLOGS!, trip-mapping sites, plane-ticket sites, mindless games, and porn.

    Is it really more of gamble to try to make the paper product more popular to a new generation?
  10. kleeda

    kleeda Active Member

    I said this on another thread. Newspapers are becoming a leisure activity. Less leisure time, fewer newspapers. I can't act like I'm working and read the newspaper, you know?
  11. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    Then again, your newspaper usage can't be monitored by a keystroke-reading device.
  12. kleeda

    kleeda Active Member

    Have you ever actually known of anyone getting caught for anything other than dowloading porn? Most IT departments can barely keep the system running, you think they're actually monitoring keystrokes? Sure they can, but will they? Nah.
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