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News Readers Head Online for Updates Most Frequently

US newspaper digital audience hits an all-time high yet again

April 30, 2015

The Wall Street Journal is one of the latest news sites to revamp its digital properties—and with good reason, considering that growth in online news readers doesn’t appear to be stopping any time soon. According to data from the Newspaper Association of America (NAA), the US newspaper digital audience hit an all-time high in March 2015, at 176 million adult unique visitors, representing a 10% year-over-year increase and more than 80% of adult internet users.

Frequency with Which US Internet Users Read News, by Channel, March 2015 (% of respondents)

Based on recent research, web users are turning to digital sites more frequently than any other channel to get their news fix. In March 2015 polling by AYTM Market Research, nearly 40% of US internet users said they read news via online news sites often, vs. just 16.2% who said the same for No. 2 newspapers.

AYTM found that convenience was the biggest deciding factor when choosing where to get news, cited by 31%, and accessing news wherever and whenever—and on devices that one is already surrounded by—is typically more convenient than picking up a print publication each day. Price and up-to-date information were also important, as was a good reputation.

In March 2015, Experian Marketing Services looked at browser-based visits to US print media sites across desktops, laptops, mobile phones and tablets. The New York Times ranked No. 1 in terms of market share of visits that month, at 4.7%. The Daily Mail landed in second (3.7%), followed by The Washington Post (2.8%) and USAToday.com (2.7%). Forbes, People.com, The Guardian, Los Angeles Times, Us Weekly and The Wall Street Journal rounded out the top 10 US print media sites ranked by market share, with proportions between 1.1% and 1.8%.

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