Dayparts: News Surfers' Changing Habits

A new study finds that news site surfers’ habits change throughout the day, with profound implications for the online news industry. “By morning, our users are almost as interested in news ? breaking, local, national, business and sports ? as they are in e-mail,” says Rusty Coats, whose MORI Research conducted the 2002 Online Consumer Study for the Newspaper Association of America. “By afternoon, with the importance of news waning, entertainment-category features such as movie times, maps and directions, and offbeat news are on the rise. In the evening, our ability to connect users with jobs, cars and homes becomes central, along with our ability to facilitate their online-shopping needs ? from researching products to actually purchasing products.” Coats points out that the findings could help online news sites become as important to nighttime, at-home users as they currently are for daytime, at-work users, and reports that many companies already have begun to redesign their Web sites based on these findings.

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