Americans spending less time on top newspaper sites

According to Editor and Publisher, the average “time spent per user was down for more than half the top 30 global news and current events sites” in May 2009 compared to May 2008.

But that’s only telling part of the story.

The data come from sites measured by Nielsen Online, and only reflect US-based users.

Moreover, many sites saw increases in average monthly time per user, chiefly Google News, BBC, the Huffington Post and Cox Newspapers.

While it’s true to say that newspaper sites, in general, didn’t fare well, neither did some major broadcasters (including Fox) and online portals (e.g. AOL).

In the table below, sites are ranked according to total unique users (not time spent per user) during May 2009.

     Site — May ’09 (hour:minute:second) — May ’08

  1. MSNBC Digital Network — 0:21:40 — 0:29:00
  2. Yahoo! News — 0:18:25 — 0:22:12
  3. CNN Digital Network — 0:35:50 — 0:38:48
  4. AOL News — 0:24:01 — 0:35:27
  5. NYTimes.com — 0:27:34 — 0:28:52
  6. Tribune Newspapers — 0:09:31 — 0:08:59
  7. Fox News Digital Network — 0:32:39 — 0:43:16
  8. Gannett Newspapers and Newspaper Division — 0:22:20 — 0:19:49
  9. ABCNEWS Digital Network — 0:09:36 — 0:09:34
  10. Google News — 0:22:12 — 0:12:28
  11. McClatchy Newspaper Network — 0:09:24 — 0:12:41
  12. USATODAY.com — 0:12:11 — 0:13:00
  13. washingtonpost.com — 0:10:58 — 0:16:04
  14. CBS News Digital Network — 0:07:14 — 0:08:00
  15. Advance Internet — 0:10:33 — 0:14:27
  16. BBC — 0:13:02 — 0:09:13
  17. WorldNow — 0:10:54 — 0:17:55
  18. Hearst Newspapers Digital — 0:20:00 — 0:17:45
  19. MediaNews Group Newspapers — 0:10:57 — 0:12:13
  20. TheHuffingtonPost.com — 0:14:57 — 0:08:50
  21. Daily News Online Edition — 0:05:47 — 0:06:16
  22. Topix — 0:05:20 — 0:04:40
  23. New York Post Holdings — 0:10:57 — 0:08:02
  24. Cox Newspapers — 0:16:01 — 0:12:58
  25. NBC Local Media — 0:04:04 — N/A
  26. Boston.com — 0:10:06 — 0:09:40
  27. NPR — 0:07:37 — 0:07:31
  28. MailOnline — 0:06:47 — 0:08:44
  29. The Slate Group Websites — 0:09:53 — 0:07:37
  30. Telegraph — 0:03:50 — 0:05:03