Audience Literacy Drives Major Newspaper Website Traffic

New visitor data from the major US newspaper publishers suggests their home market population density and overall audience literacy contribute significantly to their website traffic.

The larger their home market area and the more educated their audience, the more likely their web property will flourish.

The following are the top thirty newspapers online visitor traffic counts according to Nielsen.

  1. NYTimes.com — 17,177
  2. USATODAY.com — 9,939
  3. washingtonpost.com — 8,478
  4. Newsday — 6,450
  5. Wall Street Journal Online — 5,409
  6. LA Times — 4,607
  7. Boston.com — 4,364
  8. Chicago Tribune — 3,891
  9. Daily News Online Edition — 2,956
  10. New York Post — 2,851
  11. SFGate.com/San Francisco Chronicle — 2,785
  12. Philly.com — 2,300
  13. International Herald Tribune — 2,250
  14. Village Voice Media — 2,224
  15. Chicago Sun-Times — 2,186
  16. Atlanta Journal-Constitution — 1,974
  17. The Houston Chronicle — 1,946
  18. The Seattle Times — 1,840
  19. DallasNews.com – The Dallas Morning News — 1,828
  20. Seattle Post-Intelligencer — 1,785
  21. The Politico — 1,672
  22. Orlando Sentinel — 1,522
  23. NJ.com — 1,455
  24. Azcentral.com — 1,435
  25. Baltimore Sun — 1,332
  26. MercuryNews.com — 1,315
  27. The Detroit News — 1,256
  28. The San Diego Union-Tribune — 1,180
  29. Detroit Free Press — 1,168
  30. The Washington Times — 1,161

Source: Nielsen (1/08); traffic in thousands

The NYTimes.com sitting atop the nations’ largest media market and with arguably the most educated audience in America, generates nearly ten times its paid off line circulation online.

USAToday.com’s off line circulation doesn’t appear to enjoy the same size online multiplier as the NYTimes.com and WashingtonPost.com do. Drawing its circulation from subscribers dissatisfied with their home market paper doesn’t necessarily translate into larger online readership.

The Washington Times with nearly ten times its off line circulation visiting its web property online confirms literate and dense populations contribute to each newspapers online audience and advertising potential.

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