Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

US New Media Trends And Statistics: The Hitwise Report

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New media are rapidly changing the way we search, access and create news and information. The Internet has become the reference point for all those people who are not happy anymore with the quality, depth and breadth of whatever news mainstream media networks deliver.

Photo credit: alxm

Users have started to search information in new and different ways: if once upon a time the only way to find news was to turn on the TV or browse a newspaper, Internet users now prefer to type keywords in the most important search engines and then to scan the search results until they find exactly what they want.

New trends are emerging: not only users tend to look for more information on the Internet, but they are also increasingly open to look for alternative and more specialized news sources.

Content and news portals, as well as personalized start pages, have repeatedly shown to play a very important role in providing a more refined way to select and aggregate the news that today readers will want to get to. Ultimately, news aggregators keep on demonstrating their influence on print news publications who are scrambling for better and speedier ways to be on top of all the relevant breaking news.

"Print news websites were more dependent on Google News and Drudge Report as sources of traffic, with Google News accounting for 1.99% of Print upstream visits and Drudge Report accounting for 2.1%."

In the following key excerpts from LeeAnn Prescott's excellent report on US new media trends, written on behalf of Hitwise, you will be able to take a closer look at the data and numbers behind these new sweeping changes.

Hitwise US News and Media Report (Excerpts)

by LeeAnn Prescott

The market share of visits to the top 10 News and Media websites declined by 3.8% from March 2006 to March 2007, indicating that news consumption is beginning to fragment as users expand their range of news sources to non-traditional news websites.

Search engines, portal frontpages, and news aggregators were the leading sources of traffic to News and Media websites in March 2007. The share of visits to News and Media websites from search engines increased over the past year, with traffic from Google increasing by 29.7% for Print websites and 35.9% for Broadcast Media websites.

News and Media Landscape

In March 2007, there were 8,001 websites within the News and Media industry, which accounted for 3.31% of all US Internet traffic, or 1 in 30 Internet visits. The market share of visits to the News and Media industry declined slightly year-over-year, from 3.43% of all US visits in March 2006.

At the same time, the number of websites ranking within the industry increased by 12.25%, from 7,128 websites in March 2006. This concurrent decline in market share and increase in number of websites could indicate that the industry is fragmenting as users discover new websites.

Figure 1: Market share of US visits to industries, March 2006-March 2007

In March 2007, the top 10 News and Media websites, as shown in Figure 2, accounted for 28.13% of visits to the industry. This represents a decline of 3.8% from March 2006, when the top 10 websites accounted for 29.24% of industry visits, again pointing to the fragmentation of online news consumption.

The websites comprising the top 10 in the News and Media industry remain unchanged since March 2007, with the exception of Fox News replacing BBC News in the #10 spot. Yahoo! News was the top ranking News and Media website, and showed an increase in market share of 18.15% from March 2006 to March 2007.

Figure 2: Top 10 News and Media websites by market share of US visits, March 2007.

Sources of News and Media Industry Traffic

Internet users navigate to News and Media websites in a variety of ways. Hitwise Clickstream data reveals that there are three major sources of traffic to News and Media websites: news aggregators (such as Yahoo! News, Google News and Drudge Report) search engines, and portal frontpages (such as Yahoo!, My Yahoo! and MSN). The balance of traffic from these three sources varies by sub-category, as shown in Figure 3 below.

Figure 3: Sources of US upstream traffic to News and Media sub-categories, March 2007.

Search Engines

The Print sub-category received 23.26% of its upstream visits from search engines in March 2007, and 64.1% of this search traffic (14.9% of total upstream traffic) came from Google, while 17.27% came from Yahoo! Search. The share of traffic from Google to Print websites increased by 29.7% from March 2006 to March 2007, and increased by 35.9% for Broadcast Media websites.

This could be a result of Google more aggressively showing Google News listings, which link directly to broadcast and print news sources, in the main search results at the top of the page for news-related searches. In addition, it has been reported in the past year that many News and Media websites have made a concerted effort to drive traffic from search engines through search engine optimization and marketing.

Search engines were an important source of traffic for IT Media - particularly sub-category leader Digg. Digg was the #1 ranked website in the IT Media sub-category in March 2007, accounting for 12.14% of industry visits, and it received 54.51% of upstream visits from search engines in that period.

Portal Frontpages

The Broadcast Media sub-category received the largest share of traffic from Portal Frontpages in March 2007, primarily due to the relationship between MSN and MSNBC. MSN was the leading source of traffic to the Broadcast Media industry, accounting for 12.49% of upstream visits in March 2007, and MSNBC accounted for 64.91% of all the Broadcast Media traffic leaving the Portal Frontpages industry.

Portals have remained steady as a source of traffic for News and Media websites over the past year, as Internet users continue to use personalized portals as a starting point for daily news consumption.

News Aggregators

News aggregators continue to play a leading role in the news industry, not only ranking among the most visited News and Media websites, but also serving as a significant source of upstream traffic to Print and Broadcast Media websites. As a group, the three news aggregators listed in Figure 3 were responsible for 4.79% of traffic to Print websites and 4.54% of traffic to Broadcast Media websites in March 2007.

Print news websites were more dependent on Google News and Drudge Report as sources of traffic, with Google News accounting for 1.99% of Print upstream visits and Drudge Report accounting for 2.1%. Yahoo! News, which publishes articles from Print websites directly on its own website, was a less significant source of traffic to the Print sub-category.

IT Media websites, with their distinct content focus, were less dependent on traffic from news aggregators, although IT Media received 1.18% of its upstream traffic from Google News, indicating that followers of IT News were more likely to use Google News than other news aggregators.

Originally published by LeeAnn Prescott of Hitwise on April 2007 as "Hitwise US News & Media Report" and available for download on Hitwise website.

About the author


LeeAnn Prescott is the Research Director for Hitwise US, covering trends in online retail, travel, media, and search engines. She is a regular speaker at Search Engine Strategies, serves on the advisory board of Mediapost's Search Insider Summit, and covers online trends on the Hitwise blog. She has been quoted as an expert in leading publications, including the New York Times and the Financial Times, and has appeared on CNBC Power Lunch and Closing Bell. LeeAnn holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Civilization from Middlebury College in Vermont.


Livia Iacolare - LeeAnn Prescott -
Reference: Hitwise [ Read more ]
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posted by on Wednesday, May 9 2007, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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