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.

Upworthy is using data to identify elements that engage readers as it moves past ‘clickbait’ and curation

You might have heard: Upworthy is shifting its focus from aggregation to original content But did you know: Led by editorial director Amy O’Leary, Upworthy is moving away from curation in favor of original content, using data to inform its storytelling strategy. In the data it’s collected, Upworthy found that humor and a suspenseful story […]

Why YouTube’s recommendation algorithm began prioritizing watch time instead of views

In 2012, YouTube made a change to its algorithm to prioritize watch time instead of view count, leading to a 20 percent drop in daily view count in one day. Prior to the change, the algorithm led to users clicking through several videos before finding what they were looking for. YouTube’s director of engineering for […]

How analytics should influence your smartphone app creation

When developing an app strategy, Sarah Riley says the best apps are ones that are based on analytics to cater to the audience’s needs and wants. Riley recommends using metrics to determine what challenge or opportunity you’ll be filling with the app, and determine which metrics will best serve you as you develop the product. […]

Trinity Mirror Midlands journalists rebel against individual audience targets

Following cuts in Trinity Mirror’s Midlands newsrooms, the company planned to give reporters individual online audience targets, a plan journalists in those newsrooms in Birmingham and Coventry are now working against. The National Union of Journalists said journalists in Coventry “believe the new targets will be a threat to journalistic quality, as easy, fluffy stories and […]

Digital audience targets can be good for local journalism by challenging newsrooms to make sure their stories are important to readers

David Higgerson says digital audience goals don’t have to be a bad thing for local journalism, if they’re carried out in the right way. Audience targets for analytics, such as traffic, force journalists to think about how readers will receive their content, and newsrooms have always been judged on how audiences receive their content, Higgerson […]

Robinson Meyer: Writers should have access to their analytics

As Washington Post and New York Times reporters will soon have access to web traffic data for their stories, Robinson Meyer says hiding traffic data from writers leads them to rely on “more oblique signals,” such as questioning whether praise from an editor is because the writing was good or because it performed well on […]

How six digital publishers measure their influence

With more and more analytics and data available to publishers, six digital natives share how they measure their influence. For example, Nicholas White of The Daily Dot says that in addition to tracking shares and likes, they track press mentions because it gives an indication of how you’re influencing the rest of the media.

News organizations are prioritizing mobile development and analytics over getting readers to pay

You might have heard: Mobile is now the majority of traffic for most news sites But did you know: Data from the International News Media Association World Congress shows that news organizations are easing off on paywalls in favor of focusing on mobile revenue streams and improving analytics. The top priority for news organizations was […]

More than half of all mobile location data is incorrect

A new report from mobile advertising company Thinknear shows that the quality of location data is starting to decline. Thinknear’s report found that only 37 percent of location data used to target mobile ads is accurate within 100 meters of the user’s true location, and over half of location data is not accurate within 1,000 […]

How to increase the time readers spend on your articles

Websites such as Medium focus on measuring how long users spend on site, slowly changing the way the industry interprets web metrics. To keep users on your site longer, use more multimedia such as photos and videos, and break up the story with subheadings. If possible, encourage traffic to your homepage — Chartbeat has found […]