Study: 'Post' Web site leads US Jewish market

Independent study finds Jpost.com garners more than twice as many readers as closest competitor.

By REBECCA ANNA STOIL
March 18, 2010 12:47
3 minute read.

A recent study - not commissioned by The Jerusalem Post - has revealed that of all Jewish news Web sites, Jpost.com is the clear leader in the United States, garnering more than twice as many readers as its closest competitor, and almost twice as many readers as all American Jewish news Web sites combined.

Although the Post was unaware of the study until after it was published, the newspaper welcomed the data as a sign that it was maintaining a critical lead in the cutthroat world of Internet news. In mid-August, 4Wall, which operates the JInsider site, conducted what it called "the Jewish Internet Metric Study," borrowing from the practices of McKinsey & Company to analyze Internet use and its business implications and applications.

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The study found that Jpost.com hosted 1,454,649 unique visitors per month, while competitor Haaretz.com lagged far behind, with 691,467. All of the American Jewish news sources combined - including the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, The Jewish Journal, New York's The Jewish Week, the Forward, Philadelphia's The Jewish Exponent and The Jewish Press - received barely half of Jpost.com's traffic figures, with 808,516 unique visitors.

Not only did Jpost.com leave other sites far behind, but the study also found visitors spent "significantly more time per visit" on the two Israel-based sites, and that "many more of those visitors are 'regulars' [people who visit more than once per month] and addicts [people who visit more than 30 times per month.]"

"I think that our success can be attributed to a combination of great original content, a never-ending pace of news flow, the power of the brand name and the fact that every day at 3:30 p.m. Jerusalem time, as far as we're concerned, we enter US time," explained Jpost.com Managing Editor Shani Rosenfelder.

"We look at our North American audience in terms of what stories should be highlighted and what issues take center stage in those readers' eyes." Rosenfelder said the site would not rest on its laurels, but would continue to develop.

In the past three to four years, he said, traffic has grown by 120 percent as the site has added more and different types of content, with an increased eye to multimedia. In recent months, the site has begun to independently produce video clips, and has employed a fulltime film crew to produce news and feature clips.

He added that while he could not disclose specifics, Nielsen data that had been commissioned for JPost.com showed a much higher traffic figure than the one cited by the JInsider study. Mark Pearlman of JInsider and 4Wall said the survey's findings should serve as a heads-up for North American Jewish media.

"The takeaway point is this: The American Jewish media need to coordinate and combine their assets online," Pearlman wrote in an op-ed piece published on the Jewish Telegraphic Agency's leading American-Jewish news site .

He suggested that sites take steps such as increasing updates to encourage more frequent return traffic - but Pearlman's main conclusion is one step bigger. He said that all of the American Jewish news sites should "launch a Huffington Post-style (no politics implied) central Jewish news site. The site would house local brands and local coverage, as well as serve as a focal point for national and international Jewish news."

Other commentators on the study noted that American Jewish news tended to be "hyper-local," limiting potential interest in each individual site. The other big winner on the Jewish Net, according to the study, was Chabad.org, which Pearlman described as "an example of what a successful educational/informational Web presence can look like" and "a brand leader." Over the past year, Pearlman said, Chabad's traffic "rose by 37% and is now significantly above the other sites studied," including those of the Reform, Conservative and Orthodox movements.


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