|Title:||The impact of web traffic on revenues of traditional newspaper publishers A study for France, Germany, Spain, and the UK|
|Citation:||Deloitte (2016) The impact of web traffic on revenues of traditional newspaper publishers A study for France, Germany, Spain, and the UK.|
|Link(s):||Definitive , Open Access|
|Key Related Studies:|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||The results presented in this report are based on free publically available data, as well as data obtained from comScore, Nielsen, Mint Global, and the OJD in Spain. The table below describes the variables included in the analysis.
|Data Type:||Secondary data|
|Secondary Data Sources:|
|Data Collection Methods:|
|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||Yes|
|Government or policy study?:||No|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:||
The news industry has undergone unprecedented transformation over the last two decades. The Internet has accelerated the pace at which news is created and accessed by readers. At the same time, print circulation has been declining, which has put pressure on publishers to innovate both online and offline.
In the current market where a growing amount of news is accessed online, it is critical to understand the interaction between newspaper publishers’ websites, online news aggregators, social networks, and search engines. However, the impact of web traffic on publishers has not been investigated to any significant degree, even though publishers’ advertising-funded business models rely directly on it.
This study addresses this gap for the first time by analysing a number of key factors that drive newspaper publishers’ revenue in the digital age. These include total web traffic, which is defined as the traffic driven to news sites directly through a publisher webpage (“direct traffic”) and traffic driven by third party sources which include news aggregators, search engines, social networks and blogs (“referral traffic”). This study estimates the impact that this total web traffic has on publishers’ revenues, and furthermore it assesses the impact that referral traffic alone has on their revenues.
The diversity of publishing companies, business models, and readers makes the estimation of revenue drivers challenging. This study estimates these complex relationships using robust econometric approaches with rigour comparable to academic studies. The econometric analysis is based on a sample of 66 newspaper publishers with both online and offline publications across France, Germany, Spain, and the UK, and covers the period between 2011 and 2013.
Based on the results of the econometric modelling, the study estimates that a 10% increase in overall web traffic (direct as well as referral traffic) to newspaper publishers’ sites leads to an estimated 0.64% increase in their overall revenues. A 10% increase in referral traffic alone leads to an estimated 0.42% increase in total revenues. These findings are consistent with the existing level of offline and online revenues for publishers. It also finds that the average value of a web visit ranges between €0.04 and €0.08, which provides a valuable reference point for the industry.
In conclusion, the value that referral traffic creates for the newspaper publishing industry can be material within the pool of revenue generated online by publishers and can help publishers increase their revenues.
Main Results of the Study
- This study measures the value of web traffic to newspaper publishers with both print and online components in France, Germany, Spain, and the UK in 2014.
- This has been assessed as the impact of total web traffic on publishers’ revenues, i.e. of traffic driven to news sites both directly through a publisher webpage (“direct traffic”) and traffic driven by online news aggregators, social networks and other online services that direct traffic to news (“referral traffic”), as well as the impact of referral traffic on publishers’ revenues alone.
- To measure the value of web traffic to news sites, this study employs econometric analysis based on a sample of 66 newspaper publishers that have both online and offline editions across in the four countries in scope. The sample covers years 2011 through 2013. During that period, referral traffic accounted for 66% of page views to these publishers on average, with direct traffic accounting for the remaining 34% of page views.
- The analysis estimates that on average, for the newspaper publishers in the sample, the total value of web traffic to news publishers in the four markets was €1,128m in 2014, whilst that from referral traffic was €746m.
- The value of a single visit is estimated to range between €0.04 and €0.08, irrespective of whether a visitor accesses a news site directly or through a referral site.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
Coverage of Study
|Level of aggregation:||Newspaper Publishers|
|Period of material under study:||2011-2013|