Traffic to consumer magazine Web sites grew 8.1 percent during the fourth quarter of 2007, according to a new data released by the Magazine Publishers of America released today.

According to the MPA, the growth of these sites is “more than three times” the growth rate of the overall U.S. Internet audience, which increased 2.4 percent during the same period.

The MPA commissioned Nielsen Online to analyze the data of 320 magazine
brands with Web sites according to MPA president and CEO Nina Link. The
MPA only included Web sites “branded with the name of a consumer
magazine or a former hard copy consumer magazine” or aggregate sites
representing a number of titles, such as Epicurious.com and
CNNMoney.com. (Only parts of sites like National Geographic and ESPN
directly related to their print brands were included, Link says.)

The study also showed that reach and time spent online per user increased during the quarter.

“I think what’s important here is the magazines’ traffic has grown during this period while core readership has increased,” Link says. “It’s been additive.”