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January 21, 2018

The Seven Percent Rule: Why A Ridiculously Small Percentage of Digital Audience Drives The Future of News



“Hmmm……interesting,” came the initial responses, usually followed by silence. Only Raju Narisetti, then managing editor at the Washington Post, knew offhand. “A surprisingly low number,” he responded quickly with a smile. “About eight.”

These days, Narisetti, now CEO of Gizmodo Media Group, isn’t alone in knowing that stat — which most newspaper executives say is between 2 and 12 percent of their visitors. The traffic pattern didn’t change. But, as the past decade’s gains in traffic didn’t produce proportionate increases in revenue, publishers started focusing on this core audience.

Only 7 percent of monthly unique visitors drive 50 percent of traffic on average, according to Piano data from hundreds of major media sites. Call them super-fans, super-users, direct and dedicated, the invested, and loyalists, or call them, as we do here, the “seven percenters.” Being able to serve and monetize this relatively small part of the audience now makes all the difference between success and failure……….

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