The Magazine Publishers of America (MPA) disclosed what looked like good news for periodicals on the Web this week. Consumer magazine Web sites averaged more than 70 million unique monthly visitors during 2008’s first quarter, a nearly 12% increase over that time in 2007.
The MPA also noted that the total US Internet audience increased a paltry-by-comparison 3.7% during the first quarter.
The stats are from the organization’s analysis of Nielsen Online-supplied data from 337 consumer magazine brands online.
However, FishbowlNY says MPA’s announcement fails to provide any real context for the numbers. The New York Times Digital (which includes New York Times Digital, which includes Nytimes.com and other digital properties, the blog pointed out, received more than 47 million unique visitors last month, while Fox Interactive tallied more than 87.5 million visitors during April, more than all magazines accounted for in the Nielsen data.
In other words, magazines still have a lot of catching up to do.