Extra, extra: A look at news readers’ top online purchases

 In Behavioral Analysis, Consumer Behavior, Trends

It’s official: print is old news. As news readers continue to rely on the web and their mobile phones for the world’s latest updates, news publishers are eager to keep tabs on their digital audiences. Publishers’ best products for advertisers are their audiences, and publishers can effectively convey their audiences’ appeal to advertisers by understanding their readers’ entire online journeys.

Advertisers have had a tough time getting a holistic understanding of news audiences across numerous newspaper or magazine titles, publisher verticals and platforms from publisher media kits. These media kits typically offer a look at their audiences through demographics taken from reader surveys, social followers, and web analytics. But these media kit components don’t show advertisers what online behavioral data can: actual user purchase behavior across domains. What’s more interesting to advertisers: that an audience is 25-35 with an average household income of $100k? Or that an audience favors certain hotels when they purchase travel, sway towards certain electronics brands over others, or have requested that specific automaker contact them for a quote?

We turned to our data to understand intent through behavioral trends from online readers of CNN, Huffington Post, The New York Times, The New Yorker and The Washington Post across e-commerce, automotive and travel.

Here are our top takeaways:


The Gray Lady’s readers are quite handy.

Readers of The New York Times’ online site are 96% more likely to buy products from the Patio, Home, and Furniture category on Amazon and 94% more likely to buy Black & Decker products. Their most popular purchase? Weed whackers.


Readers love room service.

HuffPo visitors were 52% more likely to book at Choice Hotels on Expedia, while The Washington Post’s readers were loyal to Hilton hotels. Readers of The New York Times were 71% more likely to book at Hyatt properties.


The New Yorker’s readers have refined tastes.

Ever dedicated to print, The New Yorker’s readers are 269% more likely to shop for books on Amazon, are 110% more likely to purchase from the Grocery and Gourmet Foods category.


Huffington Post readers love four-legged friends.

Dog lovers are fans of the Arianna Huffington-founded news site. HuffPo’s readers are 50% more likely to stock up on treats from Amazon’s Pet Supplies category, and are 30% more likely to purchase Taste of the Wild dog food for Fido.


Readers are more likely to purchase mid-priced cars.

Visitors coming to cars.com from the five news outlets we analyzed were 15% more likely to be interested in purchasing a car within the $25-50K price range. Teslas were a top choice for readers of The New Yorker (570%), Bentleys were a favorite for CNN.com readers (86%) and Mercedes Benzes were popular among readers of the Washington Post.


Bottom line: There’s much more to learn about news audiences than article clicks! Online behavioral data provides valuable audience insights for communication from pre-sales to post-performance recaps. This data is valuable for both advertisers and publishers because it provides them with a deeper understanding of their audiences.

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