Online newspaper readership affluent and growing

This probably comes as no surprise, but visitors to newspaper websites have higher incomes and are more likely to shop online than the average internet user, according to research released today by the Newspaper Association of America.

As well, the number of online newspaper readers in the US is growing almost twice as quickly as the general internet population. In a press release, the NAA said:

An average of more than 59 million people (37.6 percent of all active Internet users) visited newspaper websites each month during the first quarter, a record number that represents a 5.3 per cent increase over the same period a year ago, according to Nielsen//NetRatings NetView custom analysis*.

During the same time period, the overall Internet audience grew just 2.7 per cent.

Challenge number one for newspaper owners is to ensure that online readership grows at least as quickly as print circulation declines.

Challenge number two is to increase online revenue to the point where it covers its share of news-gathering costs as print revenues decline.