Top 15 US newspaper websites

Lots of new numbers from around the US media world on news website traffic. Data geeks, this is your week.

The Nieman Labs Top 15 newspaper websites analyses the leading players. “It was a hard-fought battle in a year that saw visitors to all newspaper sites rise by 12.1 percent from the year prior. We’ve ranked the top 15 by average monthly unique visitors, according to Nielsen Online, which is the source of all our data (via Editor & Publisher‘s monthly reports).”

Key point: “The New York Times’ victory isn’t surprising, but its margin of victory is stunning… the breakaway began in September 2007 and, perhaps more impressively, was sustained throughout 2008.” The WashPost and USA Today are lagging; the LA Times and Wall Street Journal are gaining on them. And in there at no. 12: Politico, a publication that many non-US readers won’t know (more on Politico here).

Also go to the site for excellent analysis of the top five.

Other new data shows the emerging patterns for 2009. Newspapers are having an abysmal start to 2009 with advertising revenue plunging in double digits. But on the readership side – online, anyway – it’s a different story,” says Editor and Publisher. “For the month of January, 25 of the top 30 newspaper Web sites experienced a rise in unique visitors, according to the latest report from Nielsen Online.”

“The New York Daily News grew the most, with a 150% increase in monthly uniques to 7.7 million compared to the same month a year ago. Next comes the Orlando Sentinel, which was up 102% to 2 million uniques year-over-year.”

Looking at news sites altogether – including AOL, MSNBC, etc – gives a different perspective, where newer names are making a bold show. “The Huffington Post edged out other news sites in growth — monthly uniques for the site increased 152% to 7.3 million in January. In December the Huff Post had 6.1 million uniques.”

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One Response to Top 15 US newspaper websites

  1. Joseph says:

    Interesting stuff. I think including Politico robbed some poor local paper (Atlanta, perhaps?) of 15th place — rules are rules but I don’t see them as a newspaper. (Then again, I don’t really see USA Today as much of a newspaper either).

    In my opinion, with the exception of the New York Times, the newspaper sites — the LA Times, Washington Post and WSJ, anyway — just haven’t figured out how to make their content sufficiently compelling online. These are all papers with good solid writing, but something just slips up when they move onto the Web.

    For my part, of the sites mentioned above only the Huffington Post is sufficiently compelling to warrant more than a daily visit. They do a really nice job of keeping their homepage fresh and updated. I’m surprised to find myself admitting this because they’re such a left-wing pinko rag — yet a rag I find myself returning to quite often.

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