“Everyone is reading blogs.”
“In the future, people will get their news from blogs!”
Blogs, blogs, blogs, blogs! Just saying it makes me feel empowered and tapped into the new media world.
You’d be forgiven if you thought people were completely abandoning traditional news providers and moving towards blogs as a source of news. If you believe it, todays news providers are becoming irrelevant and fast.
Why? Because people who have a vested interest in selling you their services are telling you that the world is changing. And who better to navigate you through the choppy waters of the new media world … them!
Anyway – cynicism aside … I am a big advocate of blogs. I read them. Hell, I write one. I understand their power and importance.
But at the same time I am aware of the wider mix.
One stat I’ve seen lately is x% of people in Australia are accessing blogs. I saw a figure recently that said there are 2m blogs in Australia. Is this true? I doubt it … problem is it’s a tough claim to quantify.
So … the two main blog aggregators in AU are Blogger and WordPress. These are the two overwhelmingly dominant blogging platforms.
Lets look at the usage habits around these two providers.
Blogger has 1.8m users. The average user visits a Blogger blog 3 times a month. Each month, they spend around 9 minutes total reading a Blogger blog. On average they read 13 pages per month.
WordPress has 726k users. The average user visits a Wordpress blog 2 times a month. Each month, they spend around 5 minutes total reading a Wordpress blogs. On average they read 8 pages over the month.
The unduplicated audience across the two is about 2m.
Sure, I am aware there’s other ‘blogs’ out there not on these 2 platforms. Allure Media’s Gizmodo, Lifehacker and Defamer; and Crikey’s Blogs are well known examples … but these are (in my humble opinion) professional operations with professional writers hence they’re not really blogs at all … they are publications and really not that different to traditional publishing companies (just leaner and often meaner – well Crikey anyway)
If you look at the News and Current Affairs section on Nielsen Netview it gives you the following data across the category.
The average user visits a News and Current Affairs site (ie SMH, The Age, BBC, ninemsn News, news.com.au) 9 times a month. Each month, they spend around 56 minutes total across these sites viewing 62 pages each. There are 5.73m of these people – up 100,000 from 12 months ago.
Across Blogger/Wordpress page views are around 28 million from 2m people, across News and Current Affairs it’s 355 million from 5.7m people.
Blogs are taking over traditional news sources. Hardly. People are still turning to news providers and they are turning to them often. Look at the numbers. Speak to editorial staff at ninemsn, FD and News.com.au and they’ll tell you their key numbers are increasing.
The only thing that will change this is if the news providers start believing the bullshit and changing their products to appease the minority. Stick to your knitting guys – the two areas can co-exist. The weird thing is the biggest danger to the news providers is themselves as they seem a little bit lost.
Blogs play a really important role – they offer in depth, independent analysis (or should) and passionate, expert opinion. They appeal to a certain audience. We talk about more engaged audiences on blogs but so far when you look at the data it doesn’t seem to be the case yet.
But lets not let the truth get in the way of a good salespitch eh …