Frequent readers of newspaper Web sites are more likely to make online purchases than other Internet users, according to a study released on Friday by the Newspaper Association of America.
Eighty-two percent of so-called power users - those who visit a newspaper Web site on an average day - have bought products online, compared with 55 percent who are less frequent visitors, the study said.
That is good news for newspaper companies, which are trying to revive their often profitable but flagging print editions, while pumping up revenue on their Web sites.
Newspaper Web site revenue tends to hover around 5 percent of total revenue, but that figure is rising as much as 30 percent a year, the association has said.
Attracting advertisers already interested in reaching the burgeoning U.S. Internet-using population is key to that growth.
The survey, which was conducted by MORI Research in Minneapolis, polled 1,501 Internet users by phone and 9,576 readers of 10 newspaper Web sites.
The survey was conducted on Web sites for several major metro daily papers, including The Arizona Republic's AZCentral.com, The Plain Dealer's Cleveland.com and the Sacramento Bee's Sacbee.com in California.
The association calls frequent newspaper Web site visitors power users, differentiating them from people who may use the Internet, but for purposes other than checking the news.
They tend to be younger than their less-Internet-attuned counterparts, with about 40 percent of their population falling into the 18-34 age range coveted by advertisers on- and offline.
They also stay online longer, are better educated and earn more money, the association said - $73,200 is the mean power-user income, compared with $65,900 for others.
The study also shows that 76 percent of power users browse for items in online sales, 43 percent download coupons and 78 percent use the Internet to check store hours and locations.
And more importantly for the publishing industry, 54 percent of power users check newspaper Web sites for local news, compared with 7 percent of others, the study said.
AZCentral.com and The Arizona Republic are owned by Gannett Co. Inc.. McClatchy Co. owns The Sacramento Bee and Sacbee.com. Privately held Advance Publications owns The Plain Dealer.