Until yesterday, the only statistics available for the Google Reader user base was based upon site traffic, and to a lesser extent click-throughs from Google Reader (although that data doesn’t tell you from whose feed currently).
Yesterday it was announced that Google have managed to untangle their various crawlers and can now report feed usage stats to services like Feedburner. Further coverage on Techcrunch, Mashable, SearchEngineLand and Techmeme.
FeedBurner Readership Prior to Inclusion of Google Reader Stats
It is unfortunate that I don’t have screen captures of all of the following, although I am sure the specific sites I mention will be reporting their own data shortly.
For my own stats it is much easier because I have a FeedBurner Pro account
“Reach” currently seems to correspond with how many clicks you have on the site, and not how many unique readers or how many page views on the site.
Here are my MyBlogLog stats from the same day:-
FeedBurner Readership After Inclusion of Google Reader Stats
Whilst my estimate of previous reported subscribers might be out by 10K, overnight Techcrunch have gained approximately 100K subscribers. This is close to a 60% gain
Mashable seem to have gained around 10K subscribers, or approximately a 20% gain
In this case I have more detailed information
The addition of Google Reader Stats represents a 32% gain
There seems to be a huge variation in the demographics for each site which is actually very refreshing. Techcrunch obviously have a very high population of Google Reader subscribers, and they have given Google Reader significant coverage. Mashable have also given Google Reader significant coverage, but their readership is potentially different, with more emphasis on social networks, and potentially a younger audience.
My own site is relatively new, and also caters for a different demographic audience, of people relatively new to blogging, and also a lot of people who are less familiar with reading RSS feeds.
Whilst the information I have isn’t conclusive, and such figures might only be forthcoming if Feedburner aggregate their statistics and make them public, it seems to me that Google Reader may well have the largest user base in the Feed Reader market, less than 6 months after they updated their user interface.
Google Reader certainly seems very popular among new adopters, and that is actually the largest potential market.
With B5 media it will be interesting which properties gained the most overnight. I have a similar but slightly different demographic to Problogger.net.
Darrens subscribers seem to have shot up by more than the average for B5 Media – Before the Google Reader statistics were introduced, Darren had quite significant gains in readership, and was approaching close to 12K readers.
He is now approaching 19K subscribers:-
This is close to a 60% gain overnight
Jeremy also gave a very interesting breakdown of the top subscription method by each demographic audience:-
One of the great things, though, is that we can actually break these numbers down by some vertical-specific info. I wonâ€™t do this for all our channels, but to give a brief view into some different demo/psycho-graphics, here are 3 of our largest channels with their top 3 feed readers:
Business: Google Feedfetcher, Bloglines, Firefox Live Bookmarks
Technology: Google Feedfetcher, Bloglines, Firefox Live Bookmarks
Entertainment: Firefox Live Bookmarks, Google Desktop, Google Feedfetcher
And a few of our smaller channels, with diverse interests?
Arts & Crafts: Google Feedfetcher, Bloglines, My Yahoo
Personal Development: Google Feedfethcer, Bloglines, Firefox Live Bookmarks
Travel & Culture: Bloglines, Google Feedfetcher, unidentified (followed by Firefox Live Bookmarks)
I wonder if other blog networks will be so open with their information, as I find this fascinating, especially the lack of IE7 users in Jeremy’s stats, despite its supposed lead over Firefox.
I should also link over to the Feedburner blog, because they explain how their statistics work.
Duncan Riley just linked through to this post in an article on Techcrunch, so I thought it would be appropriate to make a small update.
The initial stats listed above are from 4 months ago, lets see how things have changed.
The obvious thing looking at the follow statistics is that my subscriber base has more than doubled, in fact I could claim my number of subscribers is growing faster than Techcrunch!
The fact that Techcrunch gain more subscribers per day than I have in total is just a minor issue of very little importance.
Among my own readership, Google Reader’s market share has actually increased to 38%, and because my subscriber base has increased, those numbers are now from a bigger market sample, though admittedly still a very heavy technology focus.
I should also note that those numbers are not influenced at all by default subscription packages from many feed readers, which can have a dramatic effect on subscriber number balance and the total number of active subscribers that are reported.