the annual report of the industry released today by analysts The Bivings Group. The group reports that 58% of the biggest newspapers now make use of internet based "user generated content," up from just 24% in 2007.Use of the internet by the top 100 US newspapers changed radically in 2008, according to
That finding is just one of a number of interesting statistics in this report that details a dramatic transformation underway right now in media.
Other highlights include:
- 75% of newspapers now accept comments on articles, up from 33% in 2007.
- 100% adoption of RSS. All but three of the papers offered feeds in 2007 already, but this is a remarkable change in news delivery none the less.
- 92% of the newspapers now include buttons to bookmark articles in social bookmarking systems like Delicious or Digg, up from 7% in 2006.
- The brief experiment with required online registration is over. The number of websites requiring registration to view most content (free or paid) has decreased to 11%, compared to 29% in 2007 and 23% in 2006.
- 20% offer chatting options and 40% now offer SMS alerts.
What It Means
Mainstream news will never be the same again. You can now talk back to it, take part in it and interact with it along with countless other sources of information. Just as no software company can produce content or code as well as a world of users and developers collaborating can, so too can newspapers no longer keep us sufficiently informed all on their own. It's nice to see they aren't trying to anymore. These are changes for the better and show that while old media institutions are struggling to hold on to revenue in the face of the internet challenge, the fight is also doing them a lot of good at the same time.
You can read the full report here.
Photo: "Sharing a Paper" CC by Flickr user Pingu1963