About 10 days ago I featured a post about how the New York Times homepage is becoming increasingly irrelevant in the age of social media and people reading content that’s shared with them or recommended to them. Poynter has followed this up with some additional graphs and insight, which adds additional interesting points.
They point out the Times still gets 80 million pageviews to their homepage – nothing to sneeze at, even if the number is down significantly. But time spent per person on the site has dropped, which should ultimately be a concern, but total page views have remained steady, showing they’ve picked up traffic that’s replacing that homepage traffic.
That combination, however, means engagement is likely dropping, as people aren’t clicking around as much, or spending as much time with the content, and the end result means less connection to the news source as well. For organizations like the Times doing a lot of original content, that’s a concern; for sites like Upworthy, probably not.
I recently subscribed to a digital subscription of the Times; I find myself spending more time reading their content than I used to, although I know I very well could be an outlier given my former time in journalism.
That said, if they can continue to create value (and my subscription was because I found myself going to the Times site a lot, and valuing what I found there), perhaps over time more people will subscribe and offset that, as they’ll now be connected to the content by virtue of the payment and an increased desire to capitalize on that investment. I was won over by a six month promotion that halved the digital subscription price, which made it cheaper than Netflix (and already, I’m spending more time with the Times than with Netflix).