by Jonathon Oake
The ABCes have just been released (why always on a Friday?), which leads to 2 things: publishers congratulating themselves about their performance and everyone else asking who really cares.
What’s bizarre about this is it seems unique to newspapers (I don’t see the monthly search engine metrics or the monthly social network figures each month) and that no-one beyond the newspapers themselves really seems to be asking for it. Agencies and clients all seem pretty disinterested in the whole spectacle, and you can hardly blame them, since it seems entirely out of step with the rest of the digital industry. I mean, newspapers are not a special category online – the average user doesn’t really distinguish between news content on a newspaper site, the BBC, Sky or MSN. If we are going to report monthly figures, let’s have a fuller picture of the online environment. Hopefully this is what might happen once UKOM launches
And, of course, the numbers are virtually meaningless: 30m unique users for a British newspaper site when there’s only 45m adults in the country! Take 30m users and filter out …
1. Unique people rather than browsers/machines/devices; your 30m is now closer to 10m
2. All non-UK traffic; 10m becomes 4m
3. Bounced traffic (i.e. all who view one page then leave); 4m becomes 2.5m
4. Visitors for less than 30 seconds; 2.5m is now 1.5m
5. Then look at daily traffic rather than monthly. After all a newspaper is made to be consumed every day, not once a month; that’s why all the content is updated every day. 1.5m becomes ~800k? If you’re lucky? Feels a lot less impressive than 30m doesn’t it?