A.M. Costa Rica reports 2010 readership increase of 5.9%

This online daily newspaper hosted 3.6 million Internet visitors in 2010, according to an independent statistical program.

Despite the financial crisis and other problems that have affected world interest in Costa Rica, Internet readers were up 5.9 percent in 2010.

The statistics come from Statcounter.com, a service based in Europe that measures every time an Internet visitor opens a page on the A.M. Costa Rica server. The action triggers a small code that is embedded in the page.

Both figures are slightly lower than the actual number of visits because A.M. Costa Rica subscribed to Statcounter only two years ago, so many editions that are searched and read from the 10-year-old archives were not counted.

Despite the increased number of visitors, the number of pages delivered declined. In 2010, the newspaper served up 9.4 million pages to visitors. That was less than the 10.4 million pages served in 2009, based on the statistical program.

The newspaper achieved an increase in readers even as traditional printed newspapers are experiencing a drop in readership.

There was more bad news for print papers over the holidays as an industry source said that newsprint would
go up from 25 to 30 percent in 2011. The price of paper is reflected in the cost of advertising and newsstand prices. Already advertisers are paying up to 70 percent for the paper on which their ads are printed.

Advertisers generally find that the instant delivery, free color and interactivity of online ads increases customer responses. However, some recent studies report that some readers disregard online advertising unless it is creative and targeted to their interests.

A.M. Costa Rica continues to be in the top 100,000 most-visited Web sites in the world, according to Alexa, a monitoring service operated by Amazon.com. Alexa usually places the online daily between 73,000th and 78,000th place in world ranking. U.S. and Canadian rankings are higher and the Costa Rican estimates says the newspaper is in 91st place in readership in this country.

Alexa results are not scientific because they are based on electronic reports from a toolbar Internet users self-install on their Web browser. Consequently the numbers can be subject to manipulation. However, the numbers do provide a broad indication. No other English-language Costa Rican news source is in the top 100,000.

A new U.S. survey reports that the average individual spends as much time online as watching television, but that includes time spent with social-networking sites like Facebook. That statistic probably is lower for Internet use in Costa Rica, but over the holidays Facebook confirmed that the country has at least a million users here.

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