Experienced media practitioner and consultant, Colin Morrison, has pointed to the vital role currently being played by web analytics in helping to keep afloat what he sees as an increasingly beleaguered UK newspaper industry.

Morrison cites the example of the Daily Mail Online website, which, he claims, remains the most viewed newspaper website in the world purely because stories are prioritised according to whether or not the subject matter is currently receiving strong pick-up among web users.

In what he describes as ‘a slavish use of live web analytics’ by Daily Mail Online, he predicts that:

“if Britney is trending right now, you will find the Mail Online going big on Britney”.

The implication of this trend, Morrison argues, is that newspapers in future could lose much of their brand and political identity in the area of news provision, and will increasingly need to find other vehicles such as e-commerce for re-establishing brand identity:

“Post-internet audiences are increasingly choosy about what they want to read but agnostic about the source”.

Meanwhile, the growing relevance of web analytics to businesses is also the subject of a new study by Reportlinker.com.

The study predicts that the worldwide market in web analytics will undergo continued growth on a substantial scale until at least 2017.

The study, which focuses on the activities of the main international players in web analytics – Google, Adobe, Webtrends, IBM, and Yahoo! – also predicts that web analytics will swiftly expand into new areas of analysis on behalf of its business clients.