Leading Research Firm Urges Newspapers to Combine Print/Online Numbers

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By: E&P Staff

An analysis by Scarborough Research released today using a new measurement it calls Integrated Newspaper found that newspaper websites are contributing significant numbers of readers who do not necessarily read the printed publications, resulting in larger audiences overall. As expected, it found that audiences for newspaper Web sites tend to be younger than those of the printed newspaper.

Citing one example, it said that in an average week the print editions of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper reach 51% of all adults in the Atlanta local market. When the net audience of the newspaper’s Web sites — AJC.com and AccessAtlanta.com — are included, the average weekly net reach of the printed newspaper and websites combined increases to 56% — or 10% more adults than the print newspaper reaches on its own.

This breaks down to 223,000 readers strictly from the online audience.

?The Integrated Newspaper Audience story is one that is very positive for the newspaper industry,? said Gary Meo, Senior Vice President of Print and Internet Services, Scarborough Research, in a statement. ?The evolution of the newspaper industry — and media in general — has demanded better research on how print and Internet audiences interact. Integrated Newspaper Audience data does this, and our analysis is showing that newspapers are successfully leveraging their Web sites to grow their audiences, especially among younger readers.?

Jim Wilson, director of research and audience development at the Journal-Constitution, told Scarborough: “We no longer consider our print audience to be separate from our online audience. We provide our advertisers with multiple channels for reaching adults in Atlanta, and our reach within our marketplace is growing. Scarborough’s Integrated Newspaper Audience measurements will give us a comprehensive picture of our readership so our clients can better understand the value of our media properties.”

In addition, the Scarborough analysis finds that newspaper web sites are attracting younger audiences online. Using Atlanta again as an example: While about 28%of the readers of the printed newspaper are between the ages of 18 and 34, over 38% of the websites’ audience is in this age group.

Integrated Newspaper Audience information is currently available at: www.scarborough.com.

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