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.

Why HuffPo Politics gets inflated traffic numbers from the ‘Good News’ vertical

The Huffington Post’s “Good News” vertical launched in 2012 aims to “shine a much-needed spotlight on what’s inspiring, what’s positive, what’s working.” HuffPo has been categorizing the feature as “politics” on comScore, leading to a bump in traffic for HuffPo Politics. Stories from Good News also include a tagline saying, “Part of HuffPost Politics,” though […]

UK journalists are considering ‘industrial action’ over Trinity Mirror’s individual traffic targets

The National Union of Journalists is planning to poll journalists at local Trinity Mirror publications on the publisher’s individual digital traffic targets. Targets were introduced this summer at the Birmingham Mail and Coventry Telegraph to make journalists more focused on digital growth, but NUJ says the goals undermine public-interest journalism and encourage “click-bait.”

Twitter is removing share counts in its sharing buttons, a change publishers want reversed

Twitter share counts are being removed from its sharing buttons, a move that’s affecting publishers that used to show share counts on article pages. Since Twitter announced the change on Oct. 6, the share counts have been disappearing from the share buttons that often appear alongside similar buttons from Facebook and LinkedIn. Slate’s vice chairman […] finds that social media drove more traffic than search to 2015’s biggest stories

According to data from analytics company, social media drove more web referrals to the biggest stories of 2015 than search did. analyzes site traffic for more than 400 publishers, including The Atlantic, Business Insider and New Republic. identified seven top news events in 2015 based on the most-read stories in its network […]

How the Financial Times is building a new dashboard to help reporters better understand how readers interact with their stories

A new tool from Financial Times called Lantern will help reporters and editors better understand how FT’s audience interacts with their stories. Due out next year, Lantern will let anyone in FT’s newsroom see how their story is performing in real time, but also how the audience engages with it long-term. Head of audience engagement […]

Breaking News measures the relevancy of its push alerts by how often people visit the app and sign up for notifications

With each push alert it sends, Breaking News’ goal is relevance for its users, something that may not be easily tracked by click-through rates. Co-founder Cory Bergman says as a way to measure relevance, Breaking News looks at how many people sign up for more notifications and visit the app. The number of monthly push […]

TV executives say digital media’s video audience numbers are bogus because there’s no common metrics

If you ask 21st Century Fox executives, Snapchat’s 4 billion video views a day aren’t worth much. Joe Marchese, who works on digital advertising for Fox, says in a post on Medium that when digital platforms talk about metrics such as “views,” they’re all referring to different things because there’s no common metric. But Marchese also […]

Good decisions don’t always need to be driven by data

At the Association of National Advertisers Masters of Marketing Conference, Ken Wheaton writes he heard a McDonald’s representative say the decision to add all-day breakfast was prompted by social media data — but consumers have been asking for all-day breakfast in more informal ways for decades, without data collected by McDonald’s. While data can be […]

How to get more out of web analytics: Avoid shortcuts and match your goals to metrics

Web analytics can provide an onslaught of data without much context to understand them, but Filip Matous writes that changing how you look at your metrics can help you get more out of them. Matous writes that mental shortcuts such as mistaking correlation with causation can lead to misunderstanding what the metrics are showing. To […]

David Higgerson: Readers do want to get involved in serious stories, and metrics prove it

Audience metrics dispel the myth that readers are mostly interested in fluffy stories and don’t want to get involved in serious stories, David Higgerson writes. For local news organizations, Higgerson says this means your big, hard-hitting stories have a chance to resonate with readers and reach a wider audience. Higgerson writes: “[Metrics] tell us what’s […]