I recently argued that bundling or adding value was the most likely way Rupert Murdoch would succeed in charging for his newspapers online. And now I’ve spotted that the Times / Sunday Times are already doing that with their Culture section (apologies if you already knew this – first posted here).
Over at culture.timesplus.co.uk is Culture+, described as “an exclusive programme of arts and entertainment rewards for subscribers of The Times and The Sunday Times.”
By subscribing to the paper version of the Times and getting it delivered to your door each day, you get these benefits:
Free, exclusive Art Fund membership giving you free entry to hundreds of charging museums, galleries and historic properties across the UK and 50% off entry to many major exhibitions. (The normal price of this is over £30.)
Priority booking for the most talked about plays, shows and exhibitions.
See the latest films first, and free.
Free, discounted and two for one tickets to selected shows and events.
Competitions & free downloads.
Invitations to exclusive Culture+ events.
Discounts from Culture+ partners.
Regular e-mail updates featuring cultural picks and exclusive Culture+ offers
A membership card for use at events, as there may be other discounts and privileges for Culture+ members
The bounce rate is the percentage of visits that consisted of just one page (so a low number is good).
These figures are 3-month averages. These change on a daily basis at Alexa – so they may have altered slightly by the time you check. Click the papers’ names to see the current data.
The overall average at the bottom is a simple average – it has not been weighted by traffic.
Page views vs bounce rate
The table is ranked by daily page views per user. The bounce rate is another measure of stickiness. It doesn’t exactly correlate with page views, as papers may have differing proportions of loyal, engaged users who visit lots of pages. The more pages that these users visit, the better the page view figure – but they won’t affect the bounce rate.
The Telegraph has a worse bounce rate than the sites near it in the table, perhaps because the great success with its Digg tool doesn’t always lead to multi-page visits?
Using Alexa data
There are issues with using Alexa data like this as it underrepresents UK users, who may have differing usage patterns to other visitors. However, as it seems to underrepresent them more or less equally, the rankings should be OK even if the absolute figures are all out by the same margin.
The latest figures for UK users from the audited ABCes together with Compete‘s figures for American site usage show how USA traffic is vital for UK newspaper sites (figures originally posted here).
On average, US traffic is 36.8% of the UK traffic (ie there is just over one US visitor for every 3 UK visitors). The figure for the Telegraph is slightly higher (44.5%) and for the Mail it’s a massive 62.5%.
This week the UK government released a report into social mobility. While mainstream reporting focused mainly on the broad picture, I wanted to read the original government report itself. Which publishers linked to it?
The Telegraph: fail. Not one of the4articlesI could find linked to the report.
Other people have tweeted (or retweeted) the Guardian’s URLs 328,288 times over the last 4 months – way more than any other UK newspaper, according to my full analysis here.
The FT and Times have more followers on Twitter than the Telegraph and Mail – but they’re not tweeted about as often. The Telegraph is in second place: 120,731 tweets by other people (ie excluding the Telegraph’s own accounts) have included a link to one if its URLs. The Daily Mail is 3rd with 95,851.
How many times each newspaper has had a URL tweeted by someone else
National newspapers have a total of 1,068,898 followers across their 120 official Twitter accounts – with the Guardian, Times and FT the only three papers in the top 10. That’s according to a massive count of newspaper’s twitter accounts I’ve done (there’s a table of all 120 at that link).
The Guardian’s the clear winner, as its place on the Twitter Suggested User List means that its @GuardianTech account has 831,935 followers – 78% of the total …
@GuardianNews is 2nd with 25,992 followers, @TimesFashion is 3rd with 24,762 and @FinancialTimes 4th with 19,923.
Screenshot of the data
Glorified RSS Out of 120 accounts, just 16 do something other than running as a glorified RSS feed. The other 114 do no retweeting, no replying to other tweets etc (you can see which are which on the full table).
No following. These newspaper accounts don’t do much following. Leaving GuardianTech out of it, there are 236,963 followers, but they follow just 59,797. They’re mostly pumping RSS feeds straight to Twitter, and see no reason to engage with the community.
Rapid drop-off There are only 6 Twitter accounts with more than 10,000 followers. I suspect many of these accounts are invisible to most people as the newspapers aren’t engaging much – no RTing of other people’s tweets means those other people don’t have an obvious way to realise the newspaper accounts exist.
Sun and Mirror are laggards The Sun and Mirror have work to do – they don’t seem to have much talent at this so far and have few accounts with any followers. The Mail only seems to have one account but it is the 20th largest in terms of followers.
The full spreadsheet of data is here (and I’ll keep it up to date with any accounts the papers forgot to mention on their own sites)… It’s based on official Twitter accounts – not individual journalists’. I’ve rounded up some other Twitter statistics if you’re interested.
Update, 2 days later: Paul lets me guest post here (ie I wrote this, not him). It was going fairly well until I wrote this post … You can read my climbdown here…
The latest subscriber figures (see table below, and first published in my blog’s newspapers category) show that, apart from a couple of exceptions, it’s time for newspapers to turn off their RSS feeds – and hand over the server space, technical support and webpage real estate to an alternative, such as their Twitter accounts.
(You can read some of the defences of RSS here and here)
The table below shows that only 3 of the 9 national newspapers have an RSS feed with more than 10,000 subscribers in Google Reader.
And most newspaper RSS feeds have readerships in the 00s, if that.
Daily Mail columnist Melanie Phillips has just 11 subscribers to her RSS feed (maybe there’s hope for the UK population yet …).
Despite having virtually no users, the Mail churns out 160 RSS feeds and the Mirror 280. All so a couple of thousand people can look at them in total.
The other papers are just as bad. And while the Guardian has a couple of RSS readers with decent numbers (partly because Google recommends it in its news bundle), it has more feeds than there are people in the UK … Continue reading →