Report Finds Death of the News Home Page is Greatly Exaggerated

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Visual Revenue releases data showing homepages to be main driver of page views; measures the impact of visitors, engagement and social media to the bottom line of news properties.

Visual Revenue, Inc.

Report from Visual Revenue, Inc.

The most impact for any online news organization still comes from their homepage – the front page – and the human editors that manage it.

Visual Revenue, Inc., the leading provider of tools to enhance the hand of online editors, today released new findings from its predictive analytics platform that show homepages and front pages continue to be the most important driver of audience activity on news websites. Front Pages drove more than 55% of the article views, while all other drivers (News Originators, Aggregators, Search and Social) hovered at or below 10 percent.

“We thought it important to share this data more broadly because it points out the fallacy of a conclusion that many have come to regarding news and the role of editors online,” said Dennis Mortensen, CEO & Founder of Visual Revenue. “That fallacy is that while there is a very significant impact from human sharing of news and information through social media, the most impact for any online news organization still comes from their homepage – the front page – and the human editors that manage it.”

Information in the report was compiled through an aggregate data sample of Visual Revenue’s customer base during the first half of January. These properties generate over 15 Billion article views per month combined, and represent some of the world’s leading news and information brands including Atlantic Media, Forbes, NBC Universal, Comcast, Le Monde and News International.

Visual Revenue’s predictive analytics tools are designed specifically for online editors, who operate amidst an endless torrent of data, opinions and activity and are called on to instantly whittle that down and determine how stories are delivered to their audience. The platform’s features, which include data-driven content recommendations and Instant Headline Testing, aim to reduce the complexity of managing content and increase audience engagement, all while maintaining a distinctive editorial voice.

Mortensen called the data only slightly controversial and equated its findings to those that Visual Revenue reported in 2011, when examining data and news organizations’ seeming fixation upon search optimization. “The dataset we have here is conclusive and I honestly think the data paints a very positive picture for publishers – news publishers in particular. Misperceptions arrive when you only take a cursory review of the data and do not examine and segment all of your channels. This leads to vastly overstating the impact of search and social for certain publishers, which sounds quite nice, but it’s just not there.”

The company says it plans to release a new social editorial suite to complement its offering in the coming weeks.

About Visual Revenue
Visual Revenue, Inc. provides media organizations with tools to enhance the hand of online editors and improve performance. The Visual Revenue Decision Support Platform helps editors to better place content, providing real-time recommendations and predictive analytics to more than 250 global online publishers, including Comcast, The Atlantic, Dallas Morning News, NBC Universal, Cox Media Group, Le Monde, The Independent, and News International. The company was founded by former IndexTools (now Yahoo! Web Analytics) COO Dennis R. Mortensen and is headquartered in New York. For more information, visit

News Aggregators: Websites where more than one-third of their Article Excerpts are outside content (collected or consolidated headlines – manually or automatically. This includes the Associated Press and other wire services). These sites include Google News, Drudge Report, Digg, and Techmeme.

News Originators: Websites where two-thirds of their Articles Excerpts are original content. These sites includes The New York Times, The New York Daily News, and Wall Street Journal.

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Rich Ullman
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