Newspaper Web Sites See Record Traffic in Q1: Study

Here’s some additional good news to go on top of largely positive quarterly results for newspaper companies: According to a survey conducted by the Newspaper Association of America and Neilsen Online, newspaper Web sites drew in a record-breaking average of 74.4 million monthly unique users from January through March, reaching an average of 37% of all online users.

In the fourth quarter of 2009, newspaper Web sites drew in 72 million unique visitors.

The survey’s results gel with recent earnings statements from newspaper companies. Many saw print-ad revenue decline in the first quarter, while rising online ad sales helped keep revenue from sinking further. At The New York Times, digital ad revenue increased 18%, for example. Similarly, digital ad revenue at McClatchy rose 2.2% and outperformed the company’s other revenue streams.