Folha turns 100 years old with a consolidated leadership position in the digital market. This is shown by audience data from Comscore, an American company specializing in traffic analysis, and subscriptions from IVC Brasil (Instituto Verificador de Comunicação), the two audit institutes in this market.
The average monthly PV (pageviews) on Folha, which reflects the amount of content consumed by readers, was 220.6 million in 2020, according to Comscore reports in the Media Metrix -Multi-Platform panel.
In front of its direct competitor, O Estado de S. Paulo, whose monthly average PV was 77.3 million, Folha is 199% higher. In front of the Rio O Globo newspaper (179.7 million), it is 23% higher.
Cumulatively, views from January to December reached 2.6 billion in Folha, while Estado and Globo totaled 884 million and 2.1 billion respectively.
In views, Folha’s record at Comscore remains that of October 2018 electoral (457.8 million), followed by the figure of April 2020 (377.8 million), amid the worsening of the coronavirus pandemic in Brazil .
In addition to the volume of pages read, another engagement metric in which Folha leads is the so-called ‘time spent’, or time spent in Portuguese. It measures the total number of minutes people spend together on a website.
Folha readers spent an average of 274 million minutes browsing content in 2020, according to Comscore.
The number is 364% higher than what was spent in the state (59 million minutes on average, per month) and 36% higher than those spent by Globo readers (201 million minutes).
The maximum reading time was recorded in April, at 460 million minutes, following the news of Covid-19 and the crisis in the Bolsonaro government, when Folha reported firsthand the departure of the then minister. Sergio Moro. In the same month, Estado recorded 71 million minutes and Globo, 296 million.
The third key metric measured by Comscore is the number of unique visitors, which counts the number of people who have visited a website.
On average last year, 27.3 million users accessed Folha per month, a value 69% higher than that reported by the state (16.2 million) and 5% lower than that of Globo (28 ,8000000).
The peak of visitors to Folha was also recorded in April, at 40.2 million.
According to data from Google Analytics 360, an audience tool used internally, Folha had a record 73.8 million unique visitors in April. The difference is due to the different methodologies adopted – the Comscore metric is able to separate the overlap between mobile and desktop users.
Folha’s leadership also occurs in the Paid Audience, a position gained through the strength of the Internet.
In 2020, the monthly average of digital subscriptions, of which the newspaper remains the absolute leader, was 266,669, against 244,829 for Globo and 151,942 for the State. In December, there were 278,137,000 digital subscribers, above direct competitors, with 263,571 and 152,933 respectively.
In the general calculation of last year’s LCI, which includes print subscribers, there were 337,854 paid daily copies per month, a growth of 3% over the 2019 average. O Globo came in second position, with 332,176 (+ 2%), and O Estado de S. Paulo in third position with 239,395 (-1%). We are a family business.
In the exclusive classification of paid print distribution, Folha closed the year 2020 with a monthly average of 71,185 paying customers, against 87,346 of O Globo and 87,453 of the State. In December, the three numbered 65,385, 78,167 and 80,382 respectively.
Most subscriptions go through the so-called porous paywall, which has appeared in Folha reports and columns since 2012. The format for collecting content in the online environment has persisted until today, being adopted by other vehicles since then.
With this model, the growth in digital signature sales has been 200% during coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, for example.
“Paid Internet audiences are the key to good financial health for newspaper companies. Folha is on track to solidify the transition to a predominantly digital business. The possibilities that this world has opened up for professional journalism are immense, but the core remains the same: the provision of a service indispensable to democratic life, ”says Antonio Manuel Teixeira Mendes, Superintendent of Grupo Folha.
It is also because of the diversity of the activities of the Folha Group, in fact, that its financial stability is understandable.
“Turning 100 is already a rare occurrence in the news industry. Reaching this milestone with relevance and repercussion, in the context of the structural crisis our industry is going through around the world, is even rarer, ”says Judith Brito, Superintendent of Folha da Manhã, which publishes Folha.
Judith points to “the overwhelming invasion of major North American technology platforms over the past two decades,” as well as its competition for advertising revenue.
“This affected the financial health of many players in the industry, which eventually closed their doors. Folha has remained the most influential newspaper in the country and it can maintain its journalistic independence thanks to its adherence to its editorial principles and to the economic and financial balance of Grupo Folha ”, she adds.
Among the companies in the group are, for example, Folhapress, a news agency that distributes content produced by news companies, and Datafolha, one of the leading research institutes in Brazil.
Grupo Folha also holds minority, indirect and non-voting shares in UOL, a company which is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2021.