LIN TV reported it has the number one television station web site in 15 of its 17 markets and the number one overall media web site in 12 of its 17 markets based on “visit time”, according to May 2008 data recently released by Hitwise. That marks an impressive increase over the same period in 2007, when LIN did not have a number one website in any of its markets.
“Time on Site is a critical measure because it indicates how engaged users are with our content and ultimately how deep they are going into our web sites,” said LIN TV’s Vice President of Internet Robb Richter. “We have seen a direct correlation in our internal multi-channel culture shift and our prominent growth in web traffic.”
For example, recently, a tragic story broke in Grand Rapids, MI, when a med-helicopter crashed on the roof of a local hospital during training exercises. WOOD-TV was the first station in the market to break the story and broke it online. The station provided nearly 2 hours of live streaming coverage and received hundreds of news tips and photos within the first hour of posting the breaking news at WOODtv.com. Online traffic soared on the day that the story broke, resulting in 250,000 unique visits and more than 1,000,000 page views. One of LIN TV’s Interactive media partners, CNN.com, also linked to WOODtv.com for complete coverage of the story.
WOODtv.com is consistently a nationwide top 25 Broadcast News and Media site in Hitwise traffic rankings.
In addition to focusing on content maximization at LIN TV’s top-performing television station web sites, the Company continues to roll-out new niche web sites. WTNH News Channel 8 and WCTX MyTV9 in Hartford-New Haven recently launched BeforeYouBuy.tv, a new, online video show, which gives local businesses a chance to showcase their products to highly-engaged consumers and provides advertisers a long-form venue to explain the benefits of their products. Each month, BeforeYouBuy.tv, premieres a new, multi-advertiser “webisode”. In addition to a new webisode of BeforeYouBuy.tv every month, previous versions will be available online for one year.
“We are capitalizing on the build-out of our web operations by hiring and training interactive/new media-only content, sales and research staff in an effort to continue our growth, sell more inventory and learn from our tremendous results,” added Richter.
As of June 2008, year-to-date Page Views for the LIN station web sites have increased nearly 100 million as compared to the same time period last year, averaging a 46% increase for each web site. In addition, Time on Site has increased by seven minutes or an average increase of 140%. LIN’s digital media strategy focuses on providing viewers with local, relevant content at-work, at-home, on-demand and ‘on the move’, 24 hours a day.