It’s almost the end of June … and the end of the first month of News Digital Media’s thepunch.com.au experiment.
In terms of PR and bluster thepunch.com.au has succeeded. Trade press has been strong and the media community is well aware of the initiative and its intent.
My feeling is this is being positioned as an avenue for opinion that will draw in a more engaged reader. A reader that will spend more time on the site and will come back regularly as strong editorial and a lack of ‘vanilla’ copy will act as a unique draw.
First of all, I must compliment the guys at NDM for adding thepunch to Nielsen Market Intelligence in month 1. Many of its competitors haven’t taken this route, preferring to keep traffic figures private whilst they work out how to massage them to pump up the media buyers.
Unfortunately, the numbers aren’t that great.
The Punch is getting around 9,500 people a day.
This month (to 27/6/09) they have a total of 187,192 users. These users have viewed on average around 3.15 pages each.
Average session duration is 3 minutes, 59 seconds. A user returns on average .6 times.
So lets look at the important bits
– Daily traffic. Not great
– Page views. Flat. By my math they’re generating around 30,000 page views a day which probably equates to around $500-$800 a day in ad revenue at a reasonable sell through.
– Engagement. Shaky start. Most users aren’t returning. Time spent is under 4 minutes and pages viewed per person is around 3 which suggests users are barely scratching the surface when it comes to reading the content.
So what are the main issues probably causing some head scratching over at NDM
1/ Traffic. Given NDM claims an audience close to 10m you would have assumed through cross network linking and promo they could push more than 10k people a day to their very public experiment
2/ Engagement. Something isn’t right here. The content isn’t resonating with the users and the numbers around session duration and pageviews show this. Maybe it’s time to introduce slideshows eh …
3/ Revenue potential. Right now it’s not much … not even $1k a day. One would assume they have bills to pay – editors, journo’s, contributors, designers, coders etc.
I thought it’d be worth having a look at how Crikey has performed in the same period as the two are considered to be in competition.
Crikey is getting around 11,100 people a day.
This month (to 27/6/09) they have a total of 164,898 users. These users have viewed on average around 10.98 pages each.
Average session duration is 6 minutes, 40 seconds. A user returns on average 2.43 times.
I can already see the boasting now – theopunch beats Crikey in month 1 (for unique browsers) … and this is true. The Punch has more users than Crikey.
However in the key metrics and the metrics which indicate user interest and engagement Crikey is belting them.
Still, if thepunch can work out why it’s readers don’t seem to want to stay very long nor read very much they could pass Crikey as Crikey doesn’t have the volume generator that is the News Limited media network.