What do subscribers really read?

RZ-Online GmbH and the University of Trier (faculty for media science) are in the middle of exact studies of the application benefit of E-Paper.

The logfiles have been thoroughly analysed since November. For this purpose RZ-Online devised a tool to export the titles of the texts read most frequently as well as their location and size into an Excel-table - for a simple evaluation.

The logfile-analysis however is just a part of the investigations: Three groups of experimentees were observed in Trier under laboratory condition as they were reading E-Paper - a technique was used here which was developed by Professor Hans-Jürgen Bucher and which evaluates mouse movements, video recordings and spoken comments. The groups of experimentees consisted of readers who have subscribed both the Rhein-Zeitung and E-Paper, of those who were subscribers of the printed newspaper only and of those who didn't know the Rhein-Zeitung at all.

In addition to these two methods, a survey of the E-Paper subscribers was carried out with the participation of more than a quarter of the well 2000 subscribers at the time of the survey.

First results will probably be published in February. The scientific work was considerably supported by the state of Rheinland-Pfalz. The IFRA has also been integrated in this project.

First substantial result (apart from the surprising logfile-evaluations) is the completion of a tool transferring logfile-evaluations to HTML-pages in real time. So the workers in the newspaper business can find out anytime which contents of their newspaper are momentarily in particular demand.


E-Paper in operation at the Rhein-Zeitung

Rhein-Zeitung started E-Paper on June 01 2001. From June 2001 to the end of January 2002 the subscribers of the Rhein-Zeitung could test E-Paper free of charge. At the end of the testing period more than 8700 subscribers had registered.

Since February 2002 E-Paper has been subject to charge for the subscribers. The subscriber pays 2 Euro for the same issue as the print version, one additional issue (online only) is 5 Euro. The Rhein-Zeitung has currently (November 2002) more than 2200 subscribers, 345 of then are subscriptions at 5 Euro.

On a workday E-Paper has between 20.000 and 40.000 page impressions. The most frequent demand for pages is at the beginning of the week. The peak period for use is between 7 and 9 a.m.

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