Who Are You? CB Reader Survey Data

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I often get asked about the site, who reads it, how things have changed over the five years since it launched, etc. So, since we always ask you for survey data (which we don’t see — except for the one time we specifically asked for demographic data), and because we talk about ratings in just about every other medium, I figured we’d share what we know about our audience – you – and some stats.

How many people read the site?

There are three charts here– Unique (number of individuals), Visits (number of times those people come to the site), and Page Views (number of pages viewed during those visits– typically what advertising is based off of). All of these charts are broken down by quarter starting with the first quarter of 2010.

 

Uniques

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You’ll probably notice those two spikes, in the third quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of 2014. The one in 2013 came from the Riley Cooper story. The one in 2014, I think, came from all the shares on this ridiculous #AskNeal post. Typically, unique visitors spike when there’s a story that reaches outside our usual audience, as obviously those did. It doesn’t impact overall visits and page views as much, but just brings new, one-time readers to the site. It’s great when it happens, but it’s usually a short-term thing and doesn’t have much impact on advertising revenue. In fact, I usually back out these spikes when quoting visitor data to advertisers (a newspaper, conversely, would double it and invent some metric to dupe advertisers into thinking these spikes indicate exponential growth).

 

Visits

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This is more stable, and consistent. Despite the lull Philly sports are in, our now-steady readers are checking in more frequently.

 

Page Views

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The lull in 2012 stands out to me. It’s also the year I bought a house, went on a long vacation to Europe, got a dog, and got engaged. All the stuff I thought was distracting me from the site… well, yep it was. Things turned around in the second quarter of 2013, when we upgraded design and switched to WordPress, which improved the overall experience of the site.

 

Who reads the site?

Simply put: You’re probably a 28-year-old male, reading this at your desk in your 9-5 job, where you make about $70k per year. You also like long walks on the beach and watch a lot of Netflix.

 

Age

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Our audience is not as young as most people think it is. There are fewer college kids and more guys in their late 20s and early 30s. There are just about as many readers in their late 30s as there are in their early 20s. And there are more readers in their 40s than there are college-aged kids. To say we crush it in the most desirable advertising demo on the planet would be an understatement. The male-female breakdown is about 80-20.

 

Income

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Mike Missanelli once knocked our readers, referring to them as “juvenile” and “20-year-old douchebags” and “ingrates.” So, he’d probably be pretty surprised to learn that around 80% of our readers make over $50k per year, 50% make over $75k, and 30% make over $100k. I don’t know the income demographics of 97.5’s listeners, but I can all but guarantee you that the average income of CB readers is higher than sports talk radio listeners.

 

Technology

This, to me, is most interesting.

 

Visits by device

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As you see, sometime around the middle of 2012 mobile visits started taking over. We went from 73% desktop visitors in the second quarter of 2012 to 43% in the second quarter of 2015. That’s probably not shocking, but given that our audience is largely people sitting at work, I’m surprised how quickly this happened. Tablet usage peaked in early 2013 and has stayed around 8%-10%. Last quarter, 48% of visitors were on a phone. The vast majority of mobile visits, phone and tablet, are on iOS devices. Like, overwhelmingly so.

Ergo, I’m well aware that we need to focus even more heavily on mobile. The site is responsive and, I think, looks great on mobile and tablets. But, it’s just a different version of the desktop site, which means mostly all the same ads load, along with all the same images, all the same videos, and all the same, heavy code. It looks great, but, yeah, sometimes can be slow to load, especially on a cellular connection.

Why not make an app? We put together a simplistic Android one a few years ago but didn’t maintain it. I’ve toyed with the idea, and I’m certainly not against putting out $5k to build a really good one. The problem is, a good chunk of revenue comes from advertising networks, whose ads currently show up on mobile. With an app, we’d be limited in the amount of ad space and, worse, the rates those ads pay.

There are two problems with mobile:

1) Mobile advertising lags significantly behind mobile usage

2) Mobile web pages load more slowly

The whole industry is dealing with this. Apple and Facebook, to name a few, are trying to solve the problem(s) by launching native stories – through Apple News (in iOS 9) and Facebook’s Instant Articles (being tested by just a few large publishers) – that will allow publishers to publish stories directly to their platforms and insert (presumably higher-paying) ads. We’ll be up and running in Apple News (CB looks great in the beta version already!), but how many people will use those platforms and how much they can be monetized remains to be seen. And there’s also the issue of a few large companies controlling content, which probably sounds more nefarious than it will be in practice. Still, I’m well aware that the long-term solution probably isn’t a mobile page. Hell, it might take shape in many different forms– an app, Facebook, Apple, and other yet-to-be-seen platforms.

 

Percentage of device

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This is just a different way of looking at it, removing total visits. Mobile seemed to be flattening early this year, but it gained five points in the second quarter.

So that’s you. You’re a 28-year-old guy reading this at his office and then maybe checking it later on your iPhone as you head home to your nice urban apartment or new house that you recently bought with your wife or fiancée (congrats!).

I can only assume potential advertisers are drooling by this point, yes?

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70 Responses

  1. great stats….
    how do you obtain the age’s? ip address info? did I fill out a survey I forgot I took?

    1. A few months ago we did a demo survey. The age and income stats are based on those 1,700 or so responses.

      1. ahh, ok….then yeah I prob did do the survey….I’ve been hooked on this site since my friends daughter told me about it. (I think they/she knows you some how from out in Edgemont, PA or somehow)

          1. Does it matter that I lied on that multiple times?

            Does it impact anything if some people go out of their way to put in the most ridiculous results?

  2. I’m 28, read this on my 9-5 (err 10-6) job, but I don’t nearly make 70k.

    How the fuck do I make 70k?

  3. How accurate are those survey’s? Is there really any way to ensure the data from them is accurate? I will tell you that when I have to fill out the surveys every week to access this site I click as fast as I can and don’t even read the questions.

    1. This wasn’t a survey to unlock content, it was a optional survey. People are going to BS, sure, but 1,700 is more than enough to get an accurate sample size. So I’d actually say pretty accurate. The visit and tech data is from Google analytics, so that’s direct.

  4. I totally suck and should go to hell. I enjoy freezing myself and the page I popped up on. Again, I suck and should go to hell.

  5. Pat Gallen just got hired to be a sports anchor on CBS 3.

    That’s gotta sting.

      1. Pat will get to work with Erika Von Tiehl, Nicole Brewer, Kate Bilo, Katie Fehlinger, Vittoria Woodill and Lesley Van Arsdall.

        You get to work with Jim and his sweatpants.

        Advantage- Pat.

  6. Don’t bother with a mobile app. Most forums I frequent have them, and they are a pain. Same with news apps. I, like most people I know, just use our phones like our computers– browse multiple sites via bookmarks. It is a pain for me to go from one app to another when I can just browse to a site. So the 6ABC app, CNN, and a slew of many others I downloaded, go unused. Always.

    Just sayin’….. Save your money. Especially since you will have to maintain the app(s).

    1. I agree on apps. But I don’t know if more people prefer the browser either. The site is fine on mobile, but it can be a pain hopping in and out of posts or comment sections since it can be a little slow to load.

      1. I use the crackedlite app for cracked.com stories. It seems to load slower than this but has a lot more meme based articles.

        Also, how do I meet these 30 something men who make over 50k? Do you have a graph of attractiveness?

      2. I am a software dev trust me the mobile web is only going to improve… Apps are king but I don’t think for an indvidual blog it is worth it…you really don’t gain much by going with an app.

        people can always bookmark safari to your page which looks just like an app on the iphone home screen also… Unforunately I don’t know how many people know they can do that.

        1. Yeah, eventually ad networks will come up with a more suitable mobile friendly solution. I think part of it is the native content too.

  7. There are two problems with mobile:

    1) Mobile advertising lags significantly behind mobile usage

    2) Mobile web pages load more slowly

    Number 2 is complete nonsense. If more people are visiting on mobile they clearly don’t care about the page load times.

    What I take from this seems like a cardinal sin in trying to force people into the technology that makes you money. Basically, your advertising format is more important to you than your users experience. This has obviously long been clear, but good to see it in writing. Perhaps you should take a page from your favorite company and concentrate on the user. Perhaps that would make you more money in the long run.

    1. You just contradicted yourself. 2 is not nonsense. They do load more slowly. And I think people do care. Problem is: most don’t have a choice. Most mobile websites are slower to load. It’s not just this one. Readers suffer because ad networks have been extremely slow to pick up on the mobile trend and still use ads built for desktop.

      I’m not trying to force people into any technology. I’m well aware more people read on mobile. That doesn’t change the fact that an app or lighter mobile experience wouldn’t make much money, or maybe not even allow the site to continue to exist. Things will get figured out, but no one has really cracked it.

      1. There is no contradiction here. Mobile is growing, so your readers clearly don’t have as much of a problem about load times as you do. If they did, they wouldn’t be visiting on phones

        Apps are stupid for blogs/news, but by not creating a lighter mobile experience, you are clearly trying to make it more difficult for your readers to read on mobile devices and force them to desktops where you have all the garbage CPM ads. I think the contradiction lies in this sentence.

        I’m not trying to force people into any technology. I’m well aware more people read on mobile. That doesn’t change the fact that an app or lighter mobile experience wouldn’t make much money

        1. I am not trying to force people onto desktops. That would be dumb. But you can’t say readers don’t care about slow loading times and then chastise me for doing nothing about slow loading times. It’s a problem without a reasonable solution at the moment.

          1. And to clear things up. The ads exist on mobile as well. They’re just slower to load. So I make out just about the same regardless of device people use. But, on mobile, it’s slower.

            I think you’re interpreting my “mobile web pages load more slowly” as me trying to steer people away because I don’t make money with them. I do. The same ads are there. The point is, the ads make it load more slowly.

  8. be careful guys… if kyle scott doesn’t like your comments he will post your IP address publicly so you get harassed and stalked.

    you got aids!

  9. Kyle, this might be a good thread to bring up the topic of having a username sign in system. I’m on my third username due to handle thieves, and it I don’t visit the site as much as I used to because of this.
    In the past, you’ve stated that you haven’t implemented a sign in system because most of your readers don’t comment, and I’m not disputing that.
    But let’s take a look at Deadspin. Can we agree they are the gold standard of sport’s blogs? They have a simple sign in system which prevents handle stealing.
    This benefits BOTH the readers and the commenters, as it helps to form an identity and a community when commenters have usernames that don’t constantly change.
    I hope you’ll give it some serious consideration.

  10. Great post, this is very interesting to me.

    On a data related topic – how much access do you have to the comments data? Long story short, are you able to tell how many comments come form the same IP Address but under different names? Just curios

    1. Yes. I can basically see by IP address or email address. But most people use a fake email address. So basically I can see by IP, or just search for specific words or users.

  11. Page views dipped in Q4 2013 when you banned Candy from the Oak… Sad times

  12. like this site far more than other crappy single local team focused sites..but not as much as deadspin….I check this site 3 to 5 times a day since I am online 8 to 12 hours each day for work and also while watching tv, out eating, etc.
    I am an immature 50something …. income is in the red and purple slice of the pie chart

    1. Good to hear. Deadspin is a national website with a ton of backing and a huge staff. We’re not there yet.

  13. Incoming…

    Sorry buddy, I’m 24 reading this site most of the time from a desktop. I also follow you on twitter. Loved the subtweet earlier today about MM. My older brother introduced me to your website a few years ago.

  14. Kyle. I go to this site everyday and several times per day during the NFL season. I like you a lot. I like Jim but I also hate him too. I make 80k per year and have never used anything but my iPhone to view this.

  15. Any stats on where people are viewing the page from? Say a heat map of the U.S. or North America and a separate one for the rest of the world. I moved to Texas a while ago, and have some friends who moved around, it’d be interesting to see how spread out the unique page views are

    1. Yeah. 90% from US. Most of rest Canada and UK. Inconsequential amounts from all over the world, though. In the US, almost all in Philly, NJ or NY area. Locally, Philly, West Chester, KOP the biggest areas.

  16. Thought you might say you even got a site view from Antarctica from last December. Was there and needed to find if the Eagles beat Dallas. Took a while, but finally got an internet signal. They lost.

  17. For all sports talk radio hosts. It’s the best place to find out if you still have a job.

  18. You don’t even attempt to monitor the stupidity in the comments section, do you? You have that moron “Bob” who is making gay sex propositions to you and countless others on every article. The McNabb DUI article comments contains plenty of offensive stuff. Talk about “mailing it in”, the Phillies owners show more passion that this site with regards to attempting to facilitate civil discourse.

  19. I don’t have time to monitor every comment. This also isn’t a message board. I’m not trying to create civil discourse, I’m trying to keep the site updated with good blog posts. Didn’t see Bob’s comments in McNabb.

  20. 29 year old, White, Malvern grad making $72K. Damn right in your wheelhouse. Good info, nice work Kyle.

  21. I echo the comments by “a girl.” Did you get gender info? I’m sure I filled out the survey since I work with a website and appreciate demographics.

    Also, did you look into referring pages, direct entries? I know google has started to block some of this info but it would be interesting where people come from and keyword searches if they’re not blocked.

    1. What do we want? Single men who make good money who won’t try to talk to us during Eagles’ games!
      When do we want it? Before our eggs dry up!

      …..

      I mean….what are your thoughts on. Sorts blogging being more appealing to female fans?

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