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ArticlesCase Study

How OpenWeb Helped SNY Increase Time On-site by 20X

By OpenWeb

As the official television home of the New York Mets, Jets, and all things New York sports, SNY’s audience is full of loyal readers. Sports fans are notoriously passionate—and they make a lot of noise. SNY knew there was a significant opportunity to create a vibrant community. They also knew that harnessing and mining community data for indicators of what the fans really cared about would give them a competitive edge. They just needed the right partner to do it.

SNY’s goals:

  • Better understand their audience desires 
  • Increase time onsite
  • Increase return visitors 

For SNY, this is where OpenWeb came in. Our real-time conversation tools helped turn a sprawling audience into a cohesive community—one that sent clear signals about what it was and wasn’t interested in. Along the way, we helped improve performance across a variety of important metrics. 

It’s another testament to a theme we’ve hit over and over again on this blog: namely, the central place of community in today’s media ecosystem.

Use Conversation to get people to stick around

Let’s start with the comments themselves. Infamously, publisher commenting systems can be somewhat clunky. OpenWebOS’s tools were designed to correct for this blindspot. They allow conversations to take place in real-time. They also let commenters interact the way they’re used to over text or on social—with a steady supply of gifs, images, embedded tweets, etc.

These enhanced features—coupled with OpenWeb’s best-in-class moderation technology—kept the conversation both vibrant and respectful through a number of major sporting events. 

Notably, the active users spent 20X more time on-site than the average visitor—a full twenty minutes. Meanwhile, those who engaged with the comments spent nearly 8X more time on-site, while those who just observed them spent 7X more

That’s what Conversation does: it sucks you in. The human desire to connect is boundless—and it’s a potent tool for publishers.

Analyze that conversation to optimize your content

In our partnership with publishers, OpenWeb uses Conversations to drastically increase the level of activity on your site. In addition to comments, this includes likes and dislikes, reactions to articles, clicks, registrations, and more. The idea is to give readers as many opportunities as possible to passively or actively communicate their preferences to publishers. 

The second part of the approach, of course, is making sense of all that data once it’s rushing in. While no editorial team has the capacity to sift through hundreds of thousands of comments for potentially usable insights, OpenWeb helps teams more easily dig into user behavior data such as daily comments, likes, dislikes, pageviews and registrations, along with customized reports on top performing articles. In SNY’s case, these insights helped them optimize their editorial content to better-align with their loyal audience’s interests and needs.

Keep active users coming back 

It’s those close relationships that sustain a publication in the long run. And in fact, in SNY’s case, those who commented were 3X more likely to return the following week. And once again, those numbers applied to everyone who encountered those comments: 84% of engagers and 82% of observers returned the following week, vs. 31% of regular visitors.

But really, you should take a look for yourself: right now, there are hundreds of exciting conversations happening on SNY’s site. Just make sure, before you click over, that you’ve got twenty minutes to spare.

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