WSJ Has Booming Growth with Redesign, Up 160% in April, Nielsen — The Times Disputes its Numbers

13-03-01-04-00.jpg
By on 05/17/2009 7:04 PM @beet_tv

The Wall Street Journal's web site has jumped to more that 12 million monthly unique visitors in April, an increase of 160 percent over the same period last year, according a Nielsen Online report published today in Editor & Publisher.

Wsj.logo We surmise that a big part of the jump has resulted from the complete site redesign which was implemented in September.  We assume that the financial crisis has driven considerable traffic.

Internal Wall Street Journal Memo

Trumpeting the news to the staff on Friday, Alan Deputy Managing Editor of The Wall Street Journal, whose responsibility includes the paper's online operations and Almar Latour, managing editor of the WSJ.com, sent around this memo to the WSJ.com staff on the growth:

Folks -
 
We'd like to alert you to a significant milestone achieved by WSJ.com in April. 
 
Nielsen recorded a 160% increase in visitors to the site from a year earlier, for a record total of 12.4 million.  No other major news site is growing at anything remotely close to that pace.  The New York Times, for instance, had a decrease in traffic over the same period.
 
The Nielsen numbers have their problems.  Our internal metrics suggest an much larger audience.  Yet the base is consistent, so the trends are real.
 
We believe there are a number of important reasons for that growth:
 
-Your enthusiasm in reporting, writing and rapidly filing speedies/urgents is making our online news more dynamic than ever.
 
-Our multimedia content is richer than it has ever been – with your articles supplemented by videos, information graphics, slideshows, audio presentations, etc.
 
-We are engaging with readers more deeply than ever before – our comments sections have become venues for a kind of rich and intelligent conversation that is unique on the web.  And our real-time columns have pioneered a new form of journalism, at once well-reported, conversational and interactive.
 
-Our business model is working.  As we expanded our audience in the last year, we also grew our online subscriber base.  We now have more than one million online subscribers.   Advertising revenues and subscription revenues have both grown over the year, in spite of a weak economy, and we have plans that will keep them both growing in the future.
 
-We are investing in our products.  This week marked the successful launch of the new MarketWatch.com – be sure to check it out.  In the past year, we have revamped WSJ.com; launched new web sites in Europe, Asia and India; launched a hugely successful new iPhone app (nearly 400,000 downloads already.)  And there is much more on the drawing board for the coming year.
 
At the core of all of this is the one thing that has always made the Wall Street Journal great: superb journalism, written and edited with accuracy and integrity by an unmatched team of talented journalists.   As long as we have that, we can be sure of success, no matter where the economy or technology may take us.
 
– Alan & Almar


Alan told me late today that part of the growth can be attributed to the success in creating social networks within the WSJ.com.

In September, the day after the redesign when live, I interviewed Alan.  I have reposted the interview today.  He explains the approach to social networking on the site.

Meanwhile at The New York Times

While the Journal is on a tear, Nielsen reports the Times is down 8 percent for the month.  A Times spokesperson tells Jen Saba at E&P that the paper is disputing the results with Nielsen and says "We believe their data is in error…."

Wall Street Journal Online — 12,398,000 — 160%
USATODAY.com — 11,987,000 — 12%
washingtonpost.com — 10,232,000 — 8%
LA Times — 8,418,000 — 18%

Andy Plesser, Executive Producer

More analysis of the Nielsen numbers by Staci Kramer at paidContent.

You can also find me these days in the media section of the Huffington Post.

Recent Videos
image
Branded Content Needs Measurement Strategy from Start

CHICAGO — Brands should development a measurement plan when embarking on branded content, says  Tom Weeks, SVP and Group Brand Director at SMG’s LiquidThread  in an interview with Beet.TV. Knowing what to count from the start can set expectations for branded content campaigns, especially when ...

image
Weather Company Pairs Marketers With Moods

CHICAGO — Weather often affects consumers’ moods, and that means it can impact purchase behavior, says DJ Reali, SVP MultiPlatform Sales at the Weather Company, in an interview with Beet.TV. As such, the Weather Company often looks to pair consumer data with weather conditions to deliver ...

image
Enhance the Experience, SMG’s Hoffman Advises for Branded Content

CHICAGO —  Placement on a site and or media channel is vital to ensuring branded content actually reaches consumers and can be viewed, says Jonathan Hoffman, President at ZeroDot/President Experience Design at Starcom MediaVest Group, in an interview with Beet.TV. In addition, brands should think ...

image
No More Ratecards? Sky’s West On Addressable Ad Pricing

LONDON — If every TV ad campaign can be individually targeted, what good is fixed ad pricing anymore? UK satellite and telco provider BSkyB, which this year launched its AdSmart addressable ad initiative, envisages a spectrum of prices for different advertisers. “The conversation has moved on ...

image
For News Video, Go Long: HuffPost Live’s Sekoff

For serious news video, forget Vine’s microscopic content, says the co-creator of Huffington Post’s live streaming video network, HuffPost Live. “The average video being watched on mobile devices is getting longer,”HuffPost live president and co-creator Roy Sekoff tells Beet.TV in ...

image
Branded Content Works Best for Awareness, Agency Execs Concur

CHICAGO — Branded content still plays best as a brand awareness tool, rather than as a direct sales driver, says Vincent Geraghty, EVP and Executive Director of Production at Leo Burnett, in a panel discussion for Beet.TV. “Purchase and sales is a tough thing. When you’re talking about ...

image
Video Not Ready For Programmatic Primetime: GroupM’s Wanck

Digital video won’t follow display down the “programmatic” ad-trading route until publishers are ready and willing, says one of GroupM’s digital division chiefs. “For video to truly become programmatic, the reach will have to increase, there needs to be more ...

image
Facebook Targeting A Boon for Marketers, Havas’ Social Lead

CHICAGO — Facebook is a marketer’s dream for video, but brands need to be smart about how to use the targeting, fan base, and types of video on the social network, says Len Kendall, Director of Social Marketing at Havas Worldwide, in an interview with Beet.TV. “Because of segmentation and ...

image
TouchCast Useful To More Than Just Publishers: Schonfeld

TouchCast, the interactive video platform co-founded by former TechCrunch editor Erick Schonfeld, wants advertisers to start using its new video format as an engaging new ad format. The startup counts broadcasters and newspapers amongst early adopters on the editorial side. “Their people on the ...

image
Brands and Distributors Should Look for Shared Goals in Branded Content

CHICAGO — When embarking on branded content, a marketer should consider what part of its story fits best in that format, Cristel Turner, Director of Brand Advertising, Strategy and Business Marketing at U.S. Cellular, in an interview with Beet.TV. “What doesn’t lend itself as easily to a ...

image
Ziff Davis Enjoying ‘Renaissance’: CEO Shah

When Vivek Shah took over at the helm of PCMag.com publisher Ziff Davis, the company was still recovering after emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, continuing to sell off properties. If he says so himself, Ziff Davis under Shah may has turned a corner. “Ziff is probably one of the more ...

image
Comcast Sees Big Growth in C3 VOD Viewing

While TV Everywhere tends to dominates the chatter about non-linear viewing, many cablers are actively marketing and delivering viewers for their existing VOD services. Comcast, for instance, logged its 30 billionth program viewed on demand in the last year and has seen 100% growth in time spent viewing in ...

loader