Factors of Reading Preferences of the Online Business Media Audience (a Case Study of the Rbc Website)

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Siranush V. Sharoyan

PhD Student at the Chair of Media Theory and Economics, Faculty of Journalism, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia

e-mail: siranush.sharoyan@gmail.com

Section: Sociology of Journalism

The media’s ability to accurately and quickly measure audience preferences has emerged through the development of web analytics tools and dramatically changed the operation of online media outlets and their relations with readers. Studying web metrics, editors and reporters are now becoming more aware of and adaptable to consumers’ tastes. The skill of analyzing and interpreting these data correctly is a factor of a media outlet’s survival in the face of growing economic pressure. In Russia, however, there is still no scientific quantitative research into media audience preferences. This paper presents the results of a study of the most popular articles on the RBC website, one of the largest Russian online media with a monthly audience of more than 25 million readers. The paper is based on an analysis of more than a thousand articles that within one year from July 2015 scored the highest number of views. For the first time in Russian scientific practice, the author carries out a regression analysis allowing to evaluate the influence of various factors on the potential popularity of the article among the readers of the website. The results show that the number of views largely depends on the rubric the article falls within, the number of words in the headline and the presence of key words in it as well as the article’s genre identity and the number of reposts on social networks.

Keywords: web metrics, web analytics, media audience, audience measurement, online journalism, news, articles

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