Why publishers are shifting focus to engagement metrics over pageviews

Metrics is one of those words… one of those soulless new media words… Modern. Mechanical. Menacing. Say it out loud three times and you risk being forever haunted by a pivot-table demon summoned straight from spreadsheet Hell.

Some people have been known to get incredibly excited at the prospect of a day-long metrics review session, quite giddy at the prospect of custom dashboards, seasonal benchmarking and super granular behavioral analysis.

But love them or hate them, metrics matter — the problem for publishers is deciding which metrics matter.

A 2016 report from the Reuters institute emphasized that there is no one right way to do analytics. Instead, “How News Media Are Developing and Using Audience Data and Metrics” noted publishers need the right tools, an organization with the expertise to use them, and a culture that embraces data-informed decision-making.

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