The Bivings Group 2008 study analyzes the web features of America’s largest newspapers and presents an overview of how newspapers are optimizing their business models to use the Internet as a news source. They examined the websites of the top 100 newspapers in the United States, as determined by circulation (via the Audit Bureau of Circulations) and evaluated them for presence of lack of various web features.
Check out the The Use of the Internet by America’s Largest Newspapers and view the report yourself. Here are some interesting findings
- 58% of newspapers offered some form of user generated content (like photos, video and articles) in 2008 compared to 24% in 2007.
- 75% of newspapers now accept article comments in some form, compared to 33% in 2007.
- 10% of newspapers had social networking tools built into their sites in 2008, compared to 5% in 2007.
- 76% of newspapers offered a Most Popular view of content in some form (Most Emailed, Most Blogged, Most Commented, etc.), compared to 51% in 2007.
- 92% of newspapers now include integration with external social bookmarking sites like Digg and del.icio.us compared to 7% in 2006
- 100% of newspapers provided some form of contextual advertising, such as Google Adwords.
- Now 57% of newspapers offer PDF editions, 20% offer chatting options, 96% offer local weather information, 40% utilize SMS alerts and 70% offer community event calendars.
- Now only 11% of websites require registration to view full articles, compared to 29% in 2007
- All 100 newspapers provide some type of RSS feed, compared to only 3 papers in this group in 2007.
Indeed these finding show how much the internet has influenced the newspapers, who have gone all out to adopt new web features and technologies like social networking, user generated content, contextual advertising, RSS feeds, pdf editions; and those newspapers who do not embrace the new web will loose out on readership.