A Digiday post on volume of content per full-time staff member has been doing the rounds today:

Digiday looked at several publications — from stalwarts like the New York Times and Forbes to upstarts like Buzzfeed and The Awl — to see how much content they pump out on a daily basis compared to the size of their full-time editorial staffs. Here are the numbers:

New York Times: 1,100 newsroom: 350 pieces of content per day (per September 2010): 17.4 million pageviews per day.

Huffington Post: 532 full-time editorial staff: 1,200 pieces of editorial content per day. 28 full-time blog editors: 400 blog posts per day: 43.4 million pageviews per day.

Buzzfeed: 100 full-time editorial staff: 373 pieces of editorial content per day: 6.4 million pageviews per day.

It’s an interesting piece of analysis undermined by a poor first paragraph that is just wrong:

Winning in digital media now boils down to a simple equation: figure out a way to produce the most content at as low a cost as possible.

And then reinforced by a later sentence:

The quality vs. quantity debate will never subside in certain media theory circles. But it’s clear quantity does matter; otherwise, brands wouldn’t waste their time spending precious dollars across the beefed-up traffic sites as well as the higher-brow sites, like the New York Times or Slate.

These statements are made without much supporting fact. Certainly there’s no benefit to the sites that derive the majority of their income from paywalls or membership to just producing ever-greater volumes of content. It mainly works where there’s a clear link between traffic volumes and revenues – and that’s principally page impression-based generalist ad models. That’s a brutal and competitive space, and one characterised by thin and thinning margins. I wish you the very best of luck if you want to compete there. You’ll need it.