January 18, 2022

Report: “49% of Subscribers Didn’t Go to the Websites They Had Paid For Even Once a Month”

From the Medill School of Journalism/Northwestern University:

Nearly half of local news outlets’ digital subscribers are “zombie” readers who visit the website less than once a month, according to a data analysis in 45 markets by Northwestern University’s Medill Spiegel Research Center.

Spiegel found that 49% of subscribers didn’t go to the websites they had paid for even once a month, putting them in a category known in news-industry slang as “zombies.” Concern is growing about this problem because even though the living dead may still pay for local news, they seem like a weak foundation to build a future on.

Spiegel’s analysis found that while 49% of digital subscribers didn’t visit even once a month, 54% visited the website just one day a month or fewer, 58% visited two days or fewer, 69% visited seven days or fewer, and 79% showed up 15 days or fewer.

Read the Complete Report, View Charts (approx. 1080 words)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.