Monday, October 25, 2010

New York Times has fewer print readers than Twitter followers

New York Times has fewer print readers than Twitter followers

New York TimesAs we reported a couple of days ago the New York Times Company is celebrating an increase in traffic to one of its newspaper websites since the introduction of a paywall in August. Which bodes well for the success of the paywall planned for its flagship title.

Not so good for its print circulation figures is the news that more people are following the New York Times on Twitter than are actually buying the paper.

A study by Journalistics has ranked the top 25 US newspapers by Twitter followers. They looked at the primary Twitter account rather than combining several accounts run by the paper or any star reporter’s personal account.

The last set of figures released, on 31st March 2010, put the New York Times’ print circulation at 951,063 and reports this week say revenue from circulation is in decline.

However, with 2.6 million followers, the paper’s Twitter account is a roaring success. Particularly when you compare it to its rivals. It’s well ahead of the Chicago Tribune on 845,000 and the Wall Street Journal on 464,591.

So what does this tell us? That New Yorkers are into social media. That people around the world are interested in their stories. That they provide a steady stream of links to quality content.

Interestingly if you look at their website they don’t push Twitter at all; there’s nowt but the usual social bookmarking tools at the bottom of each article whereas Facebook is given a prominent top-right spot on the homepage.

So how do UK newspapers square up? Let’s use the same format of looking only at the primary Twitter account rather than the combined total of accounts to avoid distorting the figures; Caitlin Moran and India Knight of The Times have around 70k followers between them and The Guardian has more Twitter accounts than you could eat.

Here’s how the newspapers rank today in terms of Twitter followers.

Financial Times: 214,925

Telegraph News: 20,844

The Indy News: 15,229

The Guardian: 14,118 (this is their primary account, although Guardian news has 94,718)

The Times Live: 13,184

Daily Mail Online: 9,913

Telegraph: 6,816

The Sun News: 4,529

Daily Mirror: 3843

So the Financial Times comes out on top. But with not quite enough Twitter followers to beat its circulation figures of 390,227. Not just yet.

Posted via email from Digital Anthropology