The homepage is dead, and the social web has won—even at the New York Times
Traffic to the New York Times homepage fell by half in the last two years, according to the newspaper’s internal review of its digital strategy. Here’s the very stark chart:
That’s not necessarily a reflection of any problems at the Times but the reality of how news is now distributed on the internet. Homepage traffic is declining at most news sites as readers increasingly find links to news articles from social media, email, and other sources. (This may be a self-serving argument: Quartz barely has a homepage at all, in recognition of this trend.) Overall traffic to the Times isn’t falling; it’s just coming in through the “side door” more often.
The Times’ internal report was obtained by BuzzFeed, which the document describes as among a few “disruptive innovators” in the news business. (I was among a gazillion people interviewed for the report; they are listed on page 8.) The document describes the homepage situation this way:
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