Websites specialising in business news and market information are witnessing heavy increases in traffic, as investors worry about the impact of the unfolding global financial crisis. (from FT.com)
Financial news and research sites in the US saw a 30 per cent year-on-year jump and a 9 per cent month-on-month gain in September, according to comScore Media Metrix, the audience measurement group.
The boom has continued into October, according to Nielsen Online, which highlighted a 55 per cent surge in the US audience for Yahoo Finance, the largest site in the sector, in the four weeks after the collapse of Lehman Brothers.
The crisis has created a bright spot for media organisations, which are benefiting from interest in the US election campaign but are worrying about the impact on advertising revenues of a possible recession.
Business television channels, which have seen exceptional volatility in audiences, saw strong growth online, with CNBC and the one-year-old Fox Business Network seeing 20 per cent and 127 per cent monthly gains in September respectively, ComScore said.
Daily US unique visitors to financial sites, which never exceeded 20m in August, spiked above 30m on September 29, the day the Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered a fall of more than 774 points.
Among the highlights of the data was CNNmoney.com, up 56 per cent from August to September according to ComScore and up 77 per cent in the seven weeks to October 12, according to Nielsen.
WSJ.com, the Wall Street Journal’s site, had more than 24m visitors in September, up 137 per cent year-over-year, a spokesman said.
Pearson, owner of the Financial Times, FT.com and Mergermarket, said this week that its financial news operations “continued to build their audiences through the volatility in global financial markets”. Monthly unique visitors to FT.com were up 250 per cent from last year.
The rise in web viewing has yet to be felt among internet service providers. Euro IX, the European Internet Exchange Portal, found that European traffic rose 11 per cent from August to September and predicted a 6 per cent rise for October. Serge Radovcic, Euro-IX Secretary General, said the rise was normal as summer holidays ended.
Nevertheless, infrastructure providers said the longer-term growth in consumption of entertainment and information via the internet had continued last month.
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2008