The stats don't work - the news web audience in the UK

 by Martin Belam, 25 April 2003

Newmediazero has published another one of those web traffic stories where the figures don't add up. The headline is that "US news sites attract British users seeking Iraq war latest". But the figures they quote don't seem to have any clarity on geo-location. The large rise in users to and are the given reasons for this. Yet they give usage figures for which are a tenth of the usage figures they give for BBC News Online. Which doesn't square with the headline in my - obvious vested interest - book. I don't see in those numbers that more British people were looking at U.S. websites.

The article goes on to report that:

The news sector as a whole has benefited from surfers' thirst for war news, recording a unique audience of 6,038,147 for March, up 26% on the previous month, say figures from Nielsen//NetRatings

And then says that "the most popular newspaper site with 11,335,818 users" is guardianunlimited. So nearly twice as much as the figure quoted for the 'news' sector as a whole? Now, I love mediamonkey as much as the next new media geek, but if Newmediazero are claiming these are UK usage figures it implies that more people in this country read the Guardian Online than the 3.5 million that buy The Sun in print. Er, hello?

1 Comment

Oh dear, there they go again...

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