Yahoo ! , Times of India top Indian online news brands

Mumbai : comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today published a report on the top online news brands in India based on data from its comScore World Metrix service. The study found that traffic to online news sites reached a record 15.8 million visitors age 15 and older in October, up 37 percent from the previous year, and representing 44 percent of the online population in India.

“The number of online news and information consumers in India surged 37 percent in the past year, more than double the rate of growth of the total online audience in India,” said Will Hodgman, comScore executive vice president for the Asia-Pacific region. “As the world’s seventh largest Internet market and one of the fastest growing, India represents fertile ground for both local and multinational publishers hoping to expand their audience footprint.”

In October 2009, nearly 16 million people visited an online news site in India, a gain of 37 percent from the previous year. A look at the most visited news destinations in India revealed that local brands make up a significant portion of the top news sites – and some of the fastest growing. The Times of India captured the #3 spot in terms of visitation reaching 2.6 million visitors during the month (up 78 percent), while surged 148 percent to 2.4 million visitors. The Hindu Group, the fifth most visited news property in India, reached nearly 1.6 million visitors in October (up 19 percent).

Multi-national brands Yahoo! and New York Times ranked as the most visited destinations in the news category – also with high growth rates. Yahoo! News led all news sites with 4.2 million visitors, up 26 percent versus year ago, followed by New York Times Digital with nearly 3.9 million visitors, an increase of 67 percent.

In October, an average visitor to the news/information category spent 22 minutes on news sites and consumed 38 pages of content. An overall analysis of the category showed greater engagement with local news brands when compared with multi-national brands. Among the 10 most visited online news brands in India, The Times of India led as the most engaging news site with visitors averaging 14.3 minutes on the site, consuming 27 pages of content during the month.

Visitors to HT Media Ltd, which includes and, averaged 11.5 minutes on the site, consuming 24 pages of content in October. Visitors to India-based NDTV averaged 11.3 minutes during the month and consumed 15 pages of content, while visitors to The Economic Times spent an average of 10 minutes and consumed 20 pages of content.

“Online news is a fast-growing market segment among the increasingly technology-oriented Indian population,” continued Mr. Hodgman. “News sites offer advertisers a touchpoint for reaching millions of engaged consumers in a branded environment. Having a reliable third-party source such as comScore helps increase media accountability in this marketplace, which should help accelerate the growth of the online advertising market in India.”

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