MSN’s recent investment in local news production and global news and video content is paying off big time, with latest Omniture figures showing a whopping 48 percent year-on-year upswing in unique browsers (UBs) visiting MSN’s news portal, up 250,000 to 771,000. In contrast, over the same period, UBs visiting rival Yahoo’s news offering dropped more than ten percent, from 1.7 million to 1.5 million. (Source: Nielsen MI).
When it comes to increasing eyeballs, natural disasters are, rather perversely, usually good news for media owners. But where does the line get drawn? Is it acceptable for TV3 and Stuff to bid for search terms around the Christchurch earthquake? When TVNZ has committed to commercial free broadcasts from 6pm through to 12pm tomorrow and promised to make good on any campaigns impacted by the event and Google has set up a people finder (although it also benefits from the search purchasing), it seems awfully cynical to try and benefit from the disaster. As one media insider says, “this is not a time to increase traffic through to a website through paid means”.