The Times Media Co. broke its record for online traffic in 2017 and then set a new monthly record for digital readership in January.
"I’m pleased to announce that nwi.com set a new record the past month, generating 18.9 million page views, a 73-percent increase to last January’s 10.9 million page views," Group Publisher Chris White said.
The 18.9 million nwi.com page views in January included a record 3.1 million from the NWI Times app. Online readers read a record 3.95 pages per visit to The Times of Northwest Indiana website or mobile app.
"The majority of our audience growth comes from mobile users reading breaking news updates on their phone," White said. "Over the past year, we’ve focused on breaking news as it happens, and as a result we are reaching more people more often than ever before."
In 2017, the Times Media Co. got a record 170 million total page views, a 22.38 percent increase over 2016. Readers visited nwi.com or The Times app 23.5 million times, a 2.3 percent increase over the previous year.
An average of 1.4 million people visited The Times online every month, the third-largest amount ever.
"I’m proud of our team of professional reporters, photographers and editors who strive to produce must-read, relevant content, and especially breaking news as it happens," White said. "It’s been quite a transition moving from one deadline a day to a digital-first, always-on breaking news outlet, but our audience growth shows how determined they are. We will continue to work to improve our platform in order to provide the best possible user experience, but we know that it’s the information we provide that keeps our readers coming back."
In January, people visited The Times online 4.7 million times, the second highest monthly total in nwi.com history.
Times Local News Editor Marc Chase credited a team of "talented reporters, editors, photographers and digital staff."
"Our folks know Northwest Indiana better than any other entity," Chase said. "It shows in the demand we're meeting for readers."
Joe Battistoni, vice president of sales at The Times, agreed.
"Audience growth continues to be our top priority in Northwest Indiana," Battistoni said. "As our advertisers continue to want the best in class digital products its great to have more inventory available on nwi.com. We see double click-through rates on our site vs. the programmatic display campaigns we run locally. As a whole, digital services and display make up over 30 percent of our advertising revenue with over 300 websites hosted and 2,000 digital campaigns last month alone."
In January, 1.59 million unique visitors came to nwi.com, the second-highest monthly total since 2016 and the fifth-highest amount in The Times' history.
“There are three factors that have led to continued online growth at nwi.com," said Matt Schubert, Times senior online producer. "The first is the speed and reliability with which we report on news as it breaks in the community — from early in the morning to late into the night. The second is our consistent dedication to producing engaging and informative reporting on the people, places, institutions and issues that shape the Region. And lastly, it is our ability to connect with readers themselves and allow them to share their own stories."