Websites Continue to Expand Newspapers’ Footprint, Visits Near All-Time High

October 31, 2007

This article is included in these additional categories:

Household Income | Newspapers | Retail & E-Commerce

More than 59.6 million people visited newspaper websites in July 2007, a 9% increase over the same period a year ago, the Newspaper Association of America reported. That was also the second-largest monthly audience since NAA began tracking those numbers in 2004 (May 2007 ranks first with nearly 60.3 million visitors).

The figure is part of the fall 2007 Newspaper Audience Database (NAdbase) report released today by NAA, coinciding with the release of “Newspaper Footprint: Total Audience in Print and Online,” an NAA analysis of Scarborough Research newspaper audience data.

That analysis indicates that nearly eight in 10 adults (77%) read a newspaper in print or online each week. The analysis also provides a portrait of the readers behind the numbers, ranging from online purchasing decisions to household income and education level.

Shortcuts to tables referenced in this article:

  1. 2006 and 2007 newspaper website metrics by month
  2. top newspaper websites and visitor metrics
  3. newspaper “footprint” by readers’ household income
  4. “footprint” by readers’ education level

“As the newspaper industry moves toward measurement data reflecting the medium’s total reach and audience, this analysis is evidence of newspapers’ broad appeal in a highly competitive media marketplace,” said NAA President and CEO John F. Sturm.”The study demonstrates newspapers’ unique ability to reach affluent, highly educated consumers who shop online and rely on newspaper advertising to guide key purchasing decisions.”

NAdbase: Newspaper website audience growing

  • On average, more than 59 million people (37.1% of all active internet users) visited newspaper websites per month in the third quarter, according to the latest NAdbase data. That’s a 3.7% increase over the 56.9 million average during the year-earlier period (Nielsen/NetRatings).


  • Newspaper website visitors generated 2.8 billion pageviews per month throughout the quarter, compared with slightly more than 2.5 billion monthly average during the same period in 2006.
  • Internet users continue to increase the amount of time they spend on newspaper websites: Users spent an average of more than 43 minutes per month on newspaper websites during the quarter, an increase of 4% over the 40 minutes in the year-earlier period.
  • The top-visited newspaper sites, in terms of average number of unique visitors (March-August 2007) were headed by those of the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, LA Times and Boston Globe. See table:


Defining the Newspaper Footprint

NAA’s analysis of Scarborough’s print and online newspaper readership (“newspaper footprint”) affirms that the growing portfolio of products delivers a highly desirable audience in a given week:

  • 85% of individuals with a household income of $100,000 or more read a newspaper in print or online each week.


  • Newspaper readers are highly educated: Nearly nine in 10 adults (89%) with a post-graduate degree read a newspaper in print or online each week (as did 84% of college graduates).


  • Newspapers’ weekly footprint reached more than eight in 10 adults (82%) who made online purchases in the last year.
  • Consumers planning to purchase a new vehicle rely on newspapers for advertising information. Eight in 10 (81%) of those planning to spend $35,000 or more on a new car had read a newspaper in print or online in the previous seven days.
  • Newspapers reach consumers who have long grocery store receipts. Nearly eight in 10 adults (78%) who had spent $150 or more on groceries in the previous seven days had read a newspaper in print or online during the same time period.
  • Newspapers’ weekly footprint reaches 84% of adults with a home valued at $300,000 or more.

See the full NAA/Scarborough report (pdf) for additional details.

NAA is a nonprofit organization representing the $59 billion newspaper industry and more than 2,000 newspapers in the US and Canada. Scarborough Research is a joint venture between Arbitron Inc. ( and The Nielsen Company (


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