Nielsen: 21% of Newspaper Readers Transfer ‘Preference’ to Online

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By: E&P Staff

A Nielsen//NetRatings release Thursday reveals that 72% of newspaper readers who use the Internet still primarily read the printed paper, but more than a fifth (21%) now read newspapers primarily online. Only 7% split their time evenly between online and print editions.

“A significant percentage of newspaper readers have transferred their preference from print to online editions,” Gerry Davidson, senior media analyst for Nielsen//NetRatings, said in a statement. “Accordingly, many online editions now feature original content and have developed an online strategy that includes online message boards and editorial blogs, which leverage the medium’s strengths of interactivity and immediacy.”

The study also found that users who read newspapers primarily online are slightly more likely to be men (53%) than women (47%). Women make up 57% of those who primarily read the print edition.

The report also released audience numbers for the top five newspaper Web sites. The New York Times led with approximately 11.3 million unique visitors in May. That month, the rest of the top five were: USA Today (9.2 million), The Washington Post (7.4 million), the Los Angeles Times (3.8 million), and the San Francisco Chronicle (3.4 million).

Nielsen//NetRatings and E&P are both units of parent company VNU.

Top advertisers, ranked by impressons, and based on data from AdRelevance (the Nielsen advertising research service), for May were, in order: InterActiveCorp, Vonage, LowerMyBills, Dell, Verizon, Netflix, SBC, Monster, Apollo and Scottrade.

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