Most popular websites for news in the UK: Monthly top 50 listing

Top 50 newsbrands in the UK: Ladbible sees fastest growth in June with Metro and Independent biggest winners in top ten

Metro website

Metro and The Independent saw the biggest month-on-month growth in June of the UK’s ten largest newsbrands by audience size.

Both newsbrands grew their audiences by 7% compared to May, with Metro reaching 19.1 million people while The Independent reached 22.3 million, according to Ipsos iris. 

They were followed by the Daily Express (16.3 million people reached, up 3%) and last month’s fastest growing top ten site Sky News (18 million, up 3%).

Of the four top ten newsbrands that saw a month-on-month fall in audience (BBC, Mirror, Manchester Evening News and Mail Online) none dropped by over 5%. 

For our list, we used Ipsos’ ranking of the top online brand groups and selected the 50 biggest which, in Press Gazette’s view, have a significant news or journalistic offering. Although some of the brands on the list such as Apple and Google are well-known names in news, given the wide reach of their other non-news content we have excluded them from our custom list. The list does not include Google News and Apple News because they are not reported in this level of data as separate entities.

Among the 50 newsbrands in our list this month, the fastest growing was Ladbible which reached 9.2 million people over 15 - 36% more than in May. Its publisher, Manchester-based LBG Media, grew turnover by 81% year-on-year in 2021. One of the group’s other brands Sportbible also made the top 50 in 48th position with 3.2 million visitors (up 3% month-on-month).

Second-fastest growing was ITV (15 million people, up 22%). It was followed by Bristol Live (4.1 million people, up 21%) and The Financial Times (3.3 million visitors, up 15%). 

Two newsbrands reached over half of the over 15 population in June. The BBC was the biggest newsbrand reaching 39 million people (79% reach), while second-biggest was The Sun (27.8 million visitors, 56% reach). 

The Mirror’s reach was slightly lower in June compared to May, with 24.7 million visitors (a reach of 50% compared to 51% in June). 

The fourth biggest newsbrand was Mail Online (23.6 million visitors, 47% reach), The Independent was fifth while The Guardian, whose publisher Guardian Media Group this month posted its highest revenue since 2008, was sixth (20.4 million visitors, 41% reach). 

Ipsos’ data measures the total unduplicated number of people who used a brand’s websites and apps in a given month and includes all traffic, not necessarily just news. This will inevitably increase the audience to brands such as the BBC and ITV which have a strong entertainment offering in addition to news content. 

Several household names in consumer finance and consumer choice also made the top 50. Money Saving Expert came in fourteenth place with 13.7 million visitors (down 1% month-on-month) while Money Super Market, part of the same group, was ranked 37th (4.3 million visitors, down 17% month-on-month). Product review and consumer rights brand Which meanwhile came in 35th place (5.3 million visitors, down 10% month-on-month).

Most brands saw less engagement in June but there were a few notable exceptions. ITV saw a large jump in total time spent with the brand in June (799.5 million minutes, up 76%) possibly due to the return of its hit programme Love Island, as did Hello! Magazine (85 million minutes, up 39%) and Ladbible (72.1 million minutes, up 20%). Financial Times (53.9 million minutes, up 15% month-on-month) and Bristol Live (12.8 million minutes, up 11% month-on-month) were the two other brands to see double-digit growth on this engagement metric in June.

Daily Star (65.1 million minutes) and Sky Sports (158.5 million minutes) saw the biggest drops in time spent (both down almost a quarter). 

The BBC as in past months ranked top for both minutes spent with its online content (8.4 billion) and for page views (5.2 billion). 

In January Ipsos increased the sources of embedded browser traffic (web content viewed within a mobile app) counted in its data. Its monthly data now includes webpages consumed within other mobile app embedded browsers such as Linkedin, Twitter, Google News and Instagram, as well as Facebook which has been counted in its data since 2021. Ipsos has also updated its total internet population figures to align with the latest Pamco survey estimates.

Year-on-year changes will become available once there is a full year's worth of comparable data from Ipsos.  

Ipsos iris replaced Comscore as the industry-recognised standard in 2021. Ipsos iris data is partly derived from a panel of 10,000 people aged 15 and over that is designed to be nationally representative. The participants have meters installed across 25,000 personal devices to passively measure website and app usage.

This is combined with data from participating websites that are tagged so all devices visiting the site can be identified and logged.

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Continue reading for previous months' coverage of the top 50 websites for news in the UK:

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5 thoughts on “Top 50 newsbrands in the UK: Ladbible sees fastest growth in June with Metro and Independent biggest winners in top ten”

  1. “Ipsos’ data measures the total unduplicated number of people who used a brand’s websites and apps in a given month and includes all traffic, not necessarily just news.”

    So traffic from Sky and The Sun’s betting apps is included? Doesn’t that render the figures a bit redundant? Should it not be a like for like comparison across ‘news’ brands and the news parts of their online presences?

  2. Its amazing to see The New York Times featuring in these lists and in a high position.
    More amazing because its behind a pay wall.

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