Metrics and measurement

The American Press Institute offers publishers software tools and guidance to help them measure their content in new ways and form data-driven strategies. Read more about our Metrics for News program here, and see other recent insights about metrics and measurement below.

Harper’s publisher Rick MacArthur on why publishers should be less dependent on strict editorial goals

“You can’t calculate every morning what will work financially,” Harper’s publisher Rick MacArthur says. “I meet these people all the time who say, ‘If we just get our editors to think more digitally, or more about consumer category X, Y and Z, we will be successful.’ It doesn’t work that way and is very boring. […]

Internet video view metrics are mostly meaningless because of the ways the numbers are inflated

The way we’re measuring video views right now is essentially useless, Gawker’s Kevin Draper writes. If you were to measure BuzzFeed’s exploding watermelon live stream like Nielsen measures TV viewing with its “average minute audience” metric, its viewership would be closer to zero, Draper says. Facebook’s metrics also inflate audience numbers: It counts a user […]

How to assess the vibrancy of a community’s news ecosystem

Is there enough news produced by and for your community? How might you know? That question is increasing in both importance and difficulty, as traditional news sources falter or transform and new sources of information reshape the public’s behavior. During this time of large and uneven change in how much and what type of news […]

How to correctly and effectively use ‘likes’ as a metric

Measuring value on social media can be challenging, Neil T. Bendle and Charan K. Bagga write. Bendle and Bagga explain how digital marketers can correctly use “like” as a metric across social media platforms and what situations call for using “like” as a metric. Among their advice: Don’t use “likes” as a metric if you’re […]

For distributed content strategies to be successful, publishers will need consistent ways to measure their audiences

You might have heard: Some publishers, including BuzzFeed and The Washington Post, are going all in on distributed content strategies, following their audiences to the places they spend the most time online But did you know: Some publishers are jumping onto distributed content strategies with the idea that the business model will follow. But in […]

Twitter has a big influence on news organizations, but it only drives 1.5% of traffic for the typical news organization

You might have heard: Nearly 9 in 10 Twitter users say they use Twitter for news But did you know: According to a new analysis from Parse.ly, Twitter may not be as important as news organizations think it is. Taking data from its 200 client websites over two weeks in January, Parse.ly analyzed how much […]

6 metrics that can measure the impact of fact-checking

Fact-checking too often depends on anecdotes as evidence of its impact, Alexios Mantzarlis writes, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Mantzarlis suggests six metrics that fact-checkers can use to measure the impact of their work, including measuring the amount of times a fact-check is quoted or referenced in legislative bodies, measuring the web […]

Facebook is adding new daily video metrics for publishers, including a metric that shows how many people watched a video for 10 seconds or longer

You might have heard: Video on Facebook is booming, and Facebook says its users watch 100 million hours of video each day But did you know: Facebook announced Thursday that it’s adding new video metrics for publishers. Previously, publishers could only see metrics such as the number of views and number of unique visitors. The […]

The Washington Post created a tool to measure the speed of its breaking news email alerts

A new tool developed by The Washington Post called BreakFast is helping the Post measure the speed of its breaking news email alerts against other news organizations. BreakFast monitors alerts from the Post and nine other news organizations and parses the alerts to determine if the topic is the same as previous alerts. BreakFast then […]

How the Financial Times is helping the newsroom better understand its metrics

The Financial Times is trying to make its metrics more accessible to the newsroom with a tool called Lantern. The goal of Lantern is to help the newsroom understand metrics beyond just pageviews, giving them information such as average time on page, what type of device readers are on, retention rate and average scroll depth. […]