Traditional media—newspapers, TV stations, magazines—live under the assumption that the current drift away from them towards new media is something that will get corrected as the consumer begins pining for “credibility”—stuff they can trust!—and once he does so, they can start charging for content which will bring their businesses back on track.
India is still some distance away from this reality, of course, but how realistic are these assumptions even for a country like the United States?
The Nieman Lab has released numbers that in the words of one Indian new media player are “fairly startling figures”.
# The total “Active Digital Media Universe” (Neilsen’s term for total US unique visitors online during the month, both at home and at work): 195,974,309.
# Of these, 70,340,277 or 35.89 per cent visited a newspaper web site. (On the other hand, 64 per crent got their news elsewhere.)
# The average member of the Active Digital Media Universe visited 2,569 web pages per month. That adds up to 503,457,999,821 page views.
# Of those 503 billion page views, 3,468,549,698 (3.5 billion) went to newspaper web sites. That’s less than 1 per cent of all page views or 0.69 per cent to be exact.
# Neilsen says the average page view (in that univere of 503 billion) lasted 57 seconds. That translates into 7,971,418,330 hours spent online or 40 hours, 40 miutes and 33 seconds per person.
# Of those 7.9 billion hours spent online, time spent at newspaper web sites was 45,022,485 hours. That’s less than 1 per cent of all time spent online, or 0.56 per cent.