Factors Affecting Reading Time and Scroll Depth of Online Media Articles (the Case of Lady.mail.ru)

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Maria A. Lyubimtseva

Product Manager at Yandex Technologies Ltd, Moscow, Russia

e-mail: lyubimtseva.m@gmail.com

Section: Sociology of Journalism

This paper deals with the definitions of engagement and key indicators, such as reading time and scroll depth, which measure readers’ engagement in online media. The theoretical basis of the research includes different variations of the engagement concept and its metrics, and also an overview of audience engagement factors that, according to researchers, affect reading time and readability of content. The empirical base of the research is the results of the content analysis of Lady.mail.ru articles for sixteen factors, and ultimately the results of the regression analysis of this data set and the conclusions about the significance of the factors in terms of engagement. The engagement indicators, such as engagement rate and scroll depth percentage, are taken from Mail.ru Group analytics system and make it possible to compare articles of different lengths. The results of this research will help media managers and authors to improve their approach to design, text length and layout. It was found that engagement decreases with the increase in the volume of the text and its advertising nature. The lack of visual elements in the text negatively affects engagement. The popularity of the article contributes to the fact that it will be read down to the end, while the headlines do not affect engagement in any way.

Keywords: engagement, online media, audience, engagement indicators, audience behavior
DOI: 10.30547/vestnik.journ.2.2020.5384


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