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Web Traffic to Top 10 Online Newspapers Grows 16 Percent Year-Over-Year in December, According to Nielsen Online

Reader Sessions Increase 27 Percent (January 27, 2009)

NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 01/27/09 -- Nielsen Online, a service of The Nielsen Company, today reported a 16 percent year-over-year increase in unique visitors to the top 10 newspaper Web sites, growing from 34.6 million unique visitors in December 2007 to 40.1 million in December 2008.

NYTimes.com was the number one online newspaper destination in December 2008, with 18.2 million unique visitors. USATODAY.com and washingtonpost.com took the No. 2 and No. 3 spots, with 11.4 million and 9.5 million unique visitors, respectively (see Table 1).

Table 1: Top 10 Newspaper Web Sites for December 2008 (U.S., Home and Work) Dec-07 UA Dec-08 UA Percent Site (000) (000) Change ---- --------- --------- ------- Top 10 Online Newspapers (unduplicated) 34,602 40,093 16 1. NYTimes.com 17,177 18,187 6 2. USATODAY.com 9,939 11,420 15 3. washingtonpost.com 8,478 9,470 12 4. LA Times 4,607 7,963 73 5. Wall Street Journal Online 5,409 7,235 34 6. Daily News Online Edition 2,956 5,883 99 7. Chicago Tribune 3,891 5,235 35 8. New York Post 2,851 4,557 60 9. Boston.com 4,364 4,086 -6 10. SFGate.com/San Francisco Chronicle 2,785 3,503 26 Source: Nielsen Online


"Nine of the top 10 newspaper Web sites experienced positive year-over-year growth," commented Chuck Schilling, research director, agency & media, Nielsen Online. "News coverage in December ranged from how the 2008 holiday season would be affected by the weakening economy to Obama's latest nomination for his administration, all of which helped to drive this impressive growth."

Online Newspaper Readers Visiting More Frequently

Not only are more people visiting newspaper Web sites, but they are also visiting these sites more often than they were a year ago. The number of total visits to the top 10 newspaper sites increased 27 percent year-over-year, growing from 199.6 million in December 2007 to 252.7 million in December 2008 (see Table 2).

Table 2: Total Sessions/Visits to the Top 10 Newspaper Web Sites in December 2008 (U.S., Home and Work) Percent Dec-07 Dec-08 Change ------- ------- ------- Total Sessions/Visits (000) 199,563 252,677 27

"Despite the current troubles for the traditional newspaper industry, people are visiting newspaper sites more and more often to stay on top of current events," said Schilling. "The challenge for newspaper publishers today is to learn how to capitalize on this active online readership and translate their increasing engagement into revenue."

Nielsen Online also reported December 2008 data for the Top Parent Companies/Divisions and Top Web Brands.

Table 3: Top 10 Parent Companies/Divisions for December 2008 (U.S., Home and Work) Parent Unique Audience (000) Time Per Person (hh:mm:ss) ------ -------------------- ------------------------- 1. Google 133,854 2:00:12 2. Microsoft 125,826 2:24:00 3. Yahoo! 117,821 3:11:49 4. AOL LLC 86,080 3:41:02 5. News Corp. Online 78,081 1:29:19 6. eBay 68,272 1:38:32 7. Amazon 67,362 0:36:39 8. InterActiveCorp 63,493 0:19:08 9. Apple Computer 56,881 1:25:49 10. Facebook 55,217 2:07:58 Source: Nielsen Online

Example: The data indicates that 55.2 million home and work Internet users visited at least one of the Facebook-owned sites or launched a Facebook-owned application during the month, and each person spent, on average, a total of 2 hours, 7 minutes and 58 seconds at one or more of their sites or applications.

The parent level is defined as a consolidation of multiple domains and URLs owned by a single company or division. The brand level is defined as a consolidation of multiple domains and URLs that has a consistent collection of branded content.

Table 4: Top 10 Web Brands for December 2008 (U.S., Home and Work) Brand Unique Audience (000) Time Per Person (hh:mm:ss) ----- -------------------- ------------------------- 1. Google 126,199 1:25:10 2. Yahoo! 116,906 3:12:05 3. MSN/Windows Live 103,229 2:07:49 4. Microsoft 96,711 0:50:37 5. AOL Media Network 86,080 3:41:02 6. YouTube 80,704 0:54:37 7. Fox Interactive Media 67,959 1:30:56 8. Amazon 61,084 0:34:31 9. eBay 57,434 1:39:39 10. Apple 56,881 1:25:49 Source: Nielsen Online Table 5: Average U.S. Internet Usage, Combined Home & Work, Month of December 2008 Sessions/Visits per Person 59 Domains Visited per Person 108 Web Pages per Person 2,353 Duration of a Web Page Viewed 0:00:55 PC Time per Person 68:23:22 Active Digital Media Universe 166,120,474 Current Digital Media Universe Estimate 225,748,755 Source: Nielsen Online

About Nielsen Online:

Nielsen Online, a service of The Nielsen Company, delivers comprehensive, independent measurement and analysis of online audiences, advertising, video, consumer-generated media, word of mouth, commerce and consumer behavior, and includes products previously marketed under the Nielsen//NetRatings and Nielsen BuzzMetrics brands. With high quality, technology-driven products and services, Nielsen Online enables clients to make informed business decisions regarding their Internet, digital and marketing strategies. For more information, please visit www.nielsen-online.com. Also, visit our blog at www.nielsen-online.com/blog.

About The Nielsen Company:

The Nielsen Company is a global information and media company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence, mobile measurement, trade shows and business publications (Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Adweek). The privately held company is active in more than 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA. For more information, please visit, www.nielsen.com.

Editor's Note: Please source all data to Nielsen Online.

Media Contacts:
Suzy Bausch, (415) 617-0181
Michelle McGiboney, (408) 941-2930
pr.us@nielsen.com


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