Newspapers Brag About Online Traffic While Wishing They Got Less Of It
from the they-really-don't-get-it dept
The Newspaper Association of America is trumpeting results of a new study showing that unique visitors to newspapers' websites climbed over 20% in 2005, as 55 million Americans turned to them for the news. The data sounds okay, and the newspapers will certainly use it as evidence that they're doing a good job of leveraging the internet. However, the traffic gains have come in spite of, not because of, the newspapers' actions. They're still complaining about search engines and news aggregators driving traffic to their sites (Chicago Tribune article: bugmenot, appropriately, required). It's not clear what part of the traffic=ad sales equation they don't get, though they insist that sites like Google News are destroying their business model -- a statement that belies any idea that they get the internet. The only hope for the newspapers is that they can find a new business model. If they don't kill of the old one of stuffing spam into dead trees, someone else will.