Outbrain Study Gives Insight Into Content Consumption Trends

Posted by at 11:16 am on April 18, 2011

Outbrain today released its inaugural Content Discovery and Engagement Report for the first quarter of 2011. Drawing on data from premium publisher sites where Outbrain’s platform is installed, the report paints a detailed picture of how readers are discovering and engaging with content online. Particular attention is paid to which sources — search engines, portals, social media sites and content sites — are referring the highest amount of traffic, and how engaged readers are from each of those sources.

The data in the report was collected from over 100 million reader sessions across more than 100 premium publishers using Outbrain providing a view into content discovery that no single publisher would have access to alone. Key findings include:

  • While search still reigns supreme in directing traffic to content pages (41% of external referrals), social is gaining share at 11%.
  • Of the six content verticals examined, stories in the news, entertainment and lifestyle categories were the most likely to receive traffic from social sources.
  • Traffic coming from social media sources has the highest tendency to bounce.
  • Readers who go from one content site to another (i.e. USA Today to The Daily Beast) are most likely to be engaged in what they’re reading, presumably, because they are already in content consumption mode.
  • Facebook delivers a more diverse audience than Twitter.

“Outbrain is in a unique position — with over 2 billion page views per month on content pages across a wide variety of premium publishers, we’re able to identify patterns in web traffic that paint an important picture of how people are discovering content, and how they engage with it post click,” said David Sasson, Outbrain COO. “With our inaugural report, we hope to help publishers and the wider industry understand how audiences are sourcing content.”

Outbrain helps online publishers better engage readers by placing tailored content recommendations on individual Web pages to increase site traffic and revenue. The company also provides marketers with a platform to promote their own content alongside publisher editorial. The Q1 report is the first in a series of quarterly reports from Outbrain.

The full Q1 report is available for download at: http://www.outbrain.com/res/etc/content_discovery_Q12011.pdf

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