THE average time spent on newspaper Web sits stalled if not dropped in February. Many sites still maintain single-digit averages for an entire month.
The data is the latest from Nielsen Online. Nielsen defines time spent as the average time spent per person at a site during the month.
There were a handful of notable exceptions with some Web sites doubling the amount of time people linger. Boston.com, the site of The Boston Globe, grew its average time by almost 11 minutes to 19 minutes and 29 seconds compared to the same period last year.
In Phoenix at the Azcentral.com, visitors spent on average 24 minutes and 34 seconds in February up from 11 minutes and 43 seconds in February 2008.
The Detroit Free Press increased the average time spent per visitor to almost 18 minutes compared to about 15 minutes during the same month last year. The Free Press and its sister the Detroit News will drop its home delivery by four days at the end of March.
Newsday almost hit double-digit territory in February. The average time spent was 9 minutes and 24 seconds, up from 3 minutes and 49 in February last year.
There are many reasons why the average time spent per person can vary including news events or even the number of visitors. A big spike in uniques -- more people attracted to the site -- could account for a lower a time spent per person.
Below is the list for the top 10 newspapers ranked by uniques in February provided by Nielsen Online (owned by E&P's parent company).
Newspaper Web site -- Feb. '09 (hour:minute:second) -- Feb. '08
NYTimes.com -- 0:35:42 -- 0:33:29
USATODAY.com -- 0:14:53 -- 0:14:16
washingtonpost.com -- 0:16:53 -- 0:17:30
LA Times -- 0:08:55 -- 0:07:16
Wall Street Journal Online -- 0:09:51 -- 0:09:59
Boston.com -- 0:19:29 -- 0:07:47
New York Post -- 0:09:15 -- 0:09:46
Daily News Online Edition -- 0:05:52 -- 0:06:46
Chicago Tribune -- 0:08:25 -- 0:09:42
Politico -- 0:07:45 -- 0:12:29
Source: Editor & Publisher