Friday, May 13, 2011

NYTimes' Share of Sites' Traffic Hits 12-Month Low

April Was a Quieter Month for News Than March

Originally Posted: 11 May 2011 09:04 PM PDT

The paywall introduced by The New York Times at the end of March is hurting traffic to its website, as expected, but perhaps within acceptable levels, according to a story by Nat Ives at

The New York Times' share of United States page views for all newspaper websites dropped from 13% in March to 10.6% in April, its lowest share in 12 months, according to new data from ComScore.

Page views from March to April declined 24.4% at The New York Times Online while slipping just 7.5% for newspaper sites as a group, according to the new Comscore numbers.

Year-over-year comparisons -- comparing April 2011 to April 2010, for example -- are inadvisable in the case of The New York Times because it adopted a different ComScore measurement methodology in May 2010.

The New York Times pointed out that some other news sites saw big declines after the big events of March, such as the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, yielded to a quieter period in April. Yahoo News saw page views decline 23.9% and saw page views slide 21.4%, according to a Times spokeswoman.

Those sites are included in Comscore's general news category, not its newspapers category.

"When you look at these numbers at Yahoo News and MSNBC that suggests that there was a dip in news," the spokeswoman said. "Despite that, and given that this is the first month where you can see the traffic patterns post-digital subscription launch, these are actually better numbers than our internal projections."

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