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

Top 50 newsbrands in the UK: Half of ten biggest sites grow audiences in May

Sky News website homepage

Half of the top ten newsbrands in the UK saw month-on-month audience growth in May.

Of the ten largest newsbrands by audience size, Sky News saw the biggest month-on-month growth compared to April reaching 17.4 million people (up 7%), according to data from Ipsos iris. It was followed by the BBC (39.9 million visitors, up 4%) and The Telegraph (16 million visitors, up 4%). 

The audience to the Manchester Evening News, the only top ten newsbrand to see any audience growth in April, was in contrast down 12% to 16 million. 

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 of 500 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.

Across the top 50 as a whole, the fastest-growing list was dominated by regional newsbrands. Reach’s Nottinghamshire Live (ranked 43rd for audience size) was the fastest-growing name in the list, up 46% month-on-month to reach 3.6 million people. National World’s Yorkshire Post was second-fastest growing (3 million people, up 28%, rank 49 ), while Lancs Live was third (3 million people, up 20%, rank 50). Eight of the ten fastest growing brands were local or sub-UK level titles.

Three newsbrands reached more than half of people in the UK over 15: the BBC (80% reach), The Sun (54%) and The Mirror (51%).

As in previous months, the BBC reached more people than any other newsbrand in the UK. Its content was accessed by 80% of internet users aged over 15. It was followed by The Sun (27.1 million people, down 1% month-on-month), The Mirror (25.4 million people, down 2%), and Mail Online (24.1 million people, down 1% month-on-month). 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.

There were a number of specialist brands in the top 50. Best-ranked in 17th place was US-based Healthline Media, publisher of sites including and (12.3 million people). It was followed by Digital Spy (7.1 million people, ranked 27th), and Which? (5.9 million people, ranked 32nd).

The majority of brands saw engagement up, with 30 of the top 50 brands seeing  audiences spending more time with them in May compared to April. While audiences spent most time with the BBC overall (8.5 billion minutes), Sportbible saw the biggest month-on-month gain in total time spent with the brand (16.2 million minutes, up 59%).

Among the minority of brands that saw large month-on-month falls in minutes spent were CNN (47.5 million minutes, down 16%), Sky Sports (210.8 million minutes, down 19%) and InYourArea (41.2 million minutes, down 21%).

While it ranked sixth for audience, The Guardian came in fourth for number of page views (271.1 million), behind the BBC (4.7 billion),  Mail Online (534.5 million) and The Sun (429 million).

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.

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

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4 thoughts on “Top 50 newsbrands in the UK: Half of ten biggest sites grow audiences in May”

  1. . Many REACH news websites are utterly sodden, right from check-in,
    with multiple, aggressive, tenacious, data-harvesting, list-sharing
    tracker cookies, without any functional ‘Reject ALL’ working
    . Reach is a palpable intrusive and invasive public pest.
    . So, clog up and slow down your home PC … with ‘list-dominating’,
    ‘fast- growing’, miracle REACH!
    . – PG Promotions latest clunky pin-up.

  2. “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?

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