Online Newspaper Readers Outspend General Internet Population

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By: E&P Staff

Those who read online newspapers shop and spend more online than average Internet users, according to a new survey from Scarborough Research.

The study examined the Web sites of five newspapers: The Sacramento (Calif.) Bee, Houston Chronicle, The Providence (R.I.) Journal, Orlando Sentinel, and The Kansas City Star. Scarborough measured adults at least 18-years-old who had visited their market’s online newspaper during the past seven days. The market’s general-user Internet population consisted of adults 18 or older that had accessed the Internet during the past 30 days.

In these markets, online newspaper readers spent upwards of $1,000 a year on online purchases including airline tickets, books, and clothing.

“When you combine this robust online buying activity with the fact that newspaper Web site audiences are large and growing, it is very clear that newspapers provide audiences that advertisers need to reach, in print and online,” said Gary Meo, senior vice president, print and Internet services of Scarborough Research, in a statement.

The results show that readers of the Providence Journal’s are 29% more likely than general Internet users in Providence to have purchased airline tickets and clothing online, respectively. They are 13% more likely to have purchased books online.

At, readers are 11% more likely to have bought a plane ticket online than the market’s general Internet population. readers are 26% more likely to buy books online and 10% more likely to buy music online.

For the financial services categories, newspaper online readers are more comfortable banking through the Internet than the average online user in a given market. In Orlando, readers of the online paper are 22% more likely to pay their bills online. In Kansas City, readers were 37% more likely to do the same.

“In any marketing effort, localism is critical,” Meo said.

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