State of Publishing: March 2018 –…

State of Publishing: March 2018 – US Market

Top 20 Publishers


A wide range of stories captured public attention in March, resulting in another shakeup of the publisher pecking order. USA Today dropped three spots in March, and lost significant visit share compared to last month. Meanwhile, BBC climbed in the rankings, thanks in part to a popular article memorializing Stephen Hawking.

Wall Street Journal and LA Times also regained traction this month after dipping in February. Reuters dropped several spots, and Newsweek squeezed out The Atlantic to join the top 20 for the first time since December.

US State of Publishing: March 2018 - Top 20 Articles

Trending Topics


This month’s top two articles were released by publications outside of the top ten. The New York Post’s bizarre article about a mysterious flying object spotted topped the list, while the New Yorker’s investigation on Christopher Steele garnered plenty of buzz (particularly amongst coastal readers, as we’ll see on the following page).

State of Publishing - Mar 2018: Trending Topics

Christopher Steele’s Trump Dossier


This month’s top political article was the New Yorker’s piece about Christopher Steele, an ex-spy responsible for the famous Trump-Russia dossier.

US State of Publishing - Mar 2018: Chris Steele Articles
US State of Publishing: Mar 2018: New Yorker Article

Readership of this story was relatively even across age groups, with the exception of 25-34 year olds. Regional differences, however, were starkly polarized. There were no US regions with “average” engagement levels, only a highly engaged West and East Coast, and strongly under-indexed Middle America.

US State of Publishing - Mar 2018: Map

Pennsylvania Elections


Pennsylvania’s tight special election in March was the second-most read political story. While the West and East coast always tend to be engaged in politics, the interest of Mountain and Southwestern regions was somewhat surprising considering their mixed party lines and distance from Pennsylvania.

US State of Publishing - Mar 2018: NY Times
US State of Publishing - Mar 2018: Penn Elections Coverage

Interestingly, although New York times readers tend to skew older (45+), readership of this New York Times story indexed heavily towards young people.

US State of Publishing - Mar 2018: Penn Elections Map

Dog Dies in United Overhead Bin


This month’s top human interest story garnered public outrage after a puppy died on a United flight. Coquito’s owners say flight attendants insisted they place him in an overhead bin, where he suffocated.

US State of Publishing - Mar 2018: United Airlines
US State of Publishing - Mar 2018: NY Post Article

Young people were major drivers of this story (particularly of the top New York Post article). A higher percentage of women read this piece compared to most NY Post articles. Unlike political stories, interest in the tragedy skewed heavily towards Southern, Mountain and Midwest regions.

US State of Publishing - Mar 2018: United Airlines Map

If you want to stay in touch with your audience, read more about consumer insights now.