On Friday, the news:rewired – full stream ahead conference took place at MSN headquarters in Victoria, London. Washington Post’s executive producer for digital news Cory Haik delivered the keynote address identifying key trends in digital media today. Below are a collection of ten key facts and figures from the conference.
1. The average age of Guardian Facebook readers is 29. On the website the average age is 37, and the print edition is 44.
2. The Times shifted from millions of readers pre-paywall to 130,000 subscribers today. Yet already it is making more profit from its subscription/advertising model than it was prior to the introduction of the paywall.
3. Many news websites have now introduced some form of payment model. Lucia Adams from The Times suggested that their studies show that of 80 major print publications, now only five to ten have no payment model. Here is snapshot of web payment models around the world (courtesy of Lucia Adams at The Times):
4. Sites with some kind of wall (whether paid or unpaid) have a much lower bounce rate: 44% compared to 70% for open sites
5. Users stay on sites with walls far longer, as much as an extra 4 minutes on average.
6. Since The Economist introducing threaded comments so that users could reply to each other, 40% of all comments on the site were replies to other readers.
7. Guardian data indicates that the introduction of phone and tablet apps has shifted readership patterns. On websites, lunchtime has always the peak for news readership – on smartphones and tablets, mornings and evenings are often the peak time.
8. Kate Milner, mobile product manager for BBC news agreed with this point saying that tablets and mobile are changing how people access BBC News content. “Traditionally, they’d focussed on the lunchtime peak of desktop. But tablets are bring us huge traffic peaks in the evening, and mobile in the mornings. They’ve been on mobile for two years – 12m app downloads globally.”
9. In keeping with the Guardian’s ‘digital first’ policy, the majority of the newsroom is now dedicated to getting stories out online. There is also a ‘slow stream’ though – focused on producing up to 30% of the newspaper’s content ahead of time, with a combination of investigation and analysis.
10. Subhajit Banerjee, mobile editor at The Guardian said that 32% of their daily traffic comes through mobile.