By: Staff reports

But Time Spent On Sites Is Down

To measure the newspaper industry’s strength online, PaineWebber
recently introduced a new local portal traffic index.

Based on an analysis of Media Metrix statistics, the index shows that
unique users at local interest portals grew by 30% in June over June
1999. One newspaper site included in the analysis did even better:
nytimes.com was up 45%.

‘In the face of tough market conditions for many dot-coms, newspaper
dot-coms have been steadily making progress and improving their
performance,’ said Leland Westerfield, publishing analyst for
PaineWebber Inc. in New York. ‘We as an investment community need
to track this performance.’

Westerfield cautions that the new index isn’t a valuation metric or
predictor of profitability at newspaper Web sites. Instead, it’s an
attempt to monitor how well America’s largest newspaper companies
are attracting online audiences.

For the first six months of 2000, wsj.com saw unique users rise by
31%. Nytimes.com was up 28% and a combination of Tribune Co.
properties (chicagotribune.com, Newday.com and latimes.com) was up
21%. In comparison, America Online’s Digital City also rose by 21%.

‘Audience gathering is more important right now than revenue, or for
that matter, profit,’ Westerfield said.

While these sites are benefiting from more visitors, the guests are
spending less time on the sites, Westerfield said. His local portal
user time index found that the minutes spent per user decreased by
29% in June. Time spent on nytimes.com was down 72%; wsj.com, 50%;
USAToday.com, 2%. Washingtonpost.com was up 48%.


Staff Reports

(c) Copyright 2000, Editor & Publisher

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