Theory, Practice and the Daily Click:
The Migration of the Newspaper Habit to Online News Media
Generations of armchair media critics have noted the power of "the newspaper habit" on the lives of readers -- a phenomena only recently verified by empirical research. But marketers in the exploding world of new media didn't wait for research. Thousands of "dot-coms" and Internet news sites have appeared in an attempt to lure newspaper readers to the online world.
Recent statistics from Strategis Group show that approximately 61% of home Internet users access the Web daily (Sefton, 2000) and that there are 1.5 computers per home of the average Internet user. As more users hop online daily, the more likely these users will feel familiar with all the Web has to offer.
Among those many offerings, however, the news ranks high. The UCLA Internet Report (UCLA Center for Communication Policy, 2000) found that 56.6%
of surveyed Internet users read news online, making it the fourth most popular Web activity. By comparison, 81.7% of users spent their time "surfing," 81.6% used e-mail and 57.2% used the Web to find hobby information. Less popular were finding entertainment information (54.3%), buying online (50.7%), finding travel information (45.8%), using instant messaging (39.6%), finding medical information (36.6%) and playing games (33%).
Much of the current news on mass media and the Web centers on how competing news media are partnering to "drive" user traffic (Web site visits) to their sites (Shepard, 2000). Focus is also placed on whether online newspaper-affiliated Web sites are replacing print newspapers as primary news sources for media consumers (Althaus & Tewksbury, 2000; Nicholson, 1999). Traditional media and the newer online media share a common concern--how to maintain and grow their market segments and increase advertising revenue. This may not be easy. A report...