Variations between online and hardcopy readership

I’ve been playing this morning with a new source which gives a demographic breakdown for online audiences – Quantcast (I read about it on Read Write Web).

There’s some pretty interesting results too (albeit the demographics in question are concerned with US audiences only).

Take The Independent –  according to the Newspaper Marketing Agency, The Indy’s hardcopy audience is more male than female (with roughly a 60/40 split), and most readers range between the ages of 35-44 and 45-54.  In terms of class, ABC1 and ABC1C2 Adults predominate.

As for the Indy’s online audience (or at least its US audience), the readership is even more weighted toward male than female.  More surprising though is the predominant age-range of its readership – with a whopping tendency toward the 65+ range.

Proportionally more readers with a household income higher than $100,000 read the online Indy than your average website – which again seems out of step with its hard-copy audience over here.

Ethnicity is not covered in the NMA stats, but online there is an interesting anomaly – with only the ‘Cauc.’ and ‘Other’ groups ranking proportionally higher on this site than on your average website (there’s no help on what ‘Other’ might constitute here – do expats consider themselves as a different race from the host population?).

So how to account for these differences?  Well for me, that’s not so important as how journalists can use the source.  For example, there’s no denying it would be useful for freelancers when considering to whom and how to pitch online features ideas, or even when preparing for job interviews in the online MSM.

Anyways – as so often with these new sites – we look forward to these insights when rolled out to UK-based audiences.


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