Skip to main content
Journalist Fellows' Papers

Speed is not everything: How News Agencies use Audience Metrics

Reuters Institute Fellow's Paper

Christoph Schlemmer, a business reporter at the Austrian Press Agency, has done a detailed and comprehensive report on audience metrics and news agencies. The paper is called “Speed is not everything: How News Agencies use Audience Metrics”.

On the basis of five interviews with high ranking news agencies editors (AAP, AP, dpa, Kyodo, Reuters), two email statements (ANSA, TASS) and an analysis of analytics tools used by 31 news agencies this paper shows different and similar approaches to audience metrics by news agencies around the globe.

These are Christoph’s three main conclusions from his research:

  • Audience metrics can help news agencies to “reduce the waste” and encourage them to produce relevant and high impact content driving their business goals. Because of audience data, newsroom management can shift editorial resources temporarily or permanently to areas with high content demand and audience interest.
  • Beside quantitative audience data there is still high attention on qualitative feedback from customers, measured in calls, e-mails and meetings. Qualitative and quantitative audience feedback has to be combined.
  • News agencies need to link their audience metrics to editorial objectives. A few news agencies seem to experiment with generic analytics, not focusing on editorial analytics linking metrics to longer-term strategic decision making.

As with all Fellows’ research papers, any opinions expressed are those of the author and not of the Institute.