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

Top 50 newsbrands in the UK: Manchester Evening News only top-ten brand to see growth in April

Manchester Evening News website homepage

The Manchester Evening News was the only top-ten newsbrand to grow its audience in April compared to the month before.

The Reach “big city” brand was accessed by 18.1 million people in April  – 36% of people in the UK over 15 – an increase of 4% month-on-month, according to data from Ipsos iris.

It was the only top ten UK newsbrand by audience size to see more visitors in April than March as the rest of the country’s leading news brands saw fewer visitors than last month.

Its recent run of audience growth means that the Manchester Evening News, consistently the best-ranked regional name, moved up the table again to become the seventh most popular UK newsbrand in April. The MEN, which was ranked eleventh in February, entered the top ten last month (in ninth place). 

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 BBC, the UK’s biggest name in news, reached 38.4 million people in April, a figure largely unchanged from last month (its audience fell by less than 1%). 

The rest of the top five newsbrands by audience size also saw small declines in unique visitors in April. The Sun, the UK’s second-biggest online newsbrand, reached 27.4m (down 1% month-on-month), the Mirror reached 25.9m (down 2% month-on-month), Mail Online 24.6m (down 3% month-on-month) while The Independent reached 22.4m people (also down 3% 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. 

Among the top ten, the Daily Express saw the biggest audience fall. The tabloid’s digital offering reached 16.8m people (down 13% month-on-month). 

Three newsbrands reached more than half of people in the UK over 15: the BBC (77% reach), The Sun (55%) and The Mirror (52%).

Among the whole top 50, Reach’s Irish Mirror - the Dublin-based sister title to the UK daily - was the fastest growing. The website and apps of the tabloid reached 2.9 million people - a 54% increase compared to March. It was followed by the Huffpost (audience of 3.7m, up 11%) which was the only other newsbrand to see double-digit growth in April. 

Reach’s local news aggregator In Your Area (audience of 9.7m, up 4%) was third-fastest growing. They were among just nine newsbrands that had more visitors in April than March. 

The month-on-month performance of the top 50 newsbrands this month is in contrast with March when over half of the names in the list saw an increase in traffic. As with the sites in our global and US rankings, this increased interest in news was likely linked to the Ukraine war and the cost of living crisis. 

There were 11 local newsbrands among the top 50. After the Manchester Evening News, the next best-ranked were fellow Reach titles, Liverpool Echo (audience of 10.4m, rank 19) and Birmingham Live (10.3m, rank 20).

In Your Area was the best -ranked aggregator on the list, this month overtaking DMGT-owned Newzit which featured above it in the list last month. The list does not include Google News and Apple News because they are not reported in this level of data as separate entities. 

Reflecting the fall in audience, engagement also fell in April. Just seven news brands saw an increase in total minutes spent with their content compared to last month. They were led by Irish Mirror (4.1m minutes, up 93% month-on-month) and Healthline Media (37.9m minutes, up 31%). 

ITV and Sky News were among the household names that saw the biggest falls in time spent with their sites and apps. UK audiences spent 433.1m minutes with ITV (down 29%) and 520.6m minutes with Sky News (down 29% also). 

Despite seeing an increase in visitors, audiences spent less time with Manchester Evening News this month (115.2m minutes, down 6% month-on-month).

Overall, UK news consumers spent most time with the BBC (7.8bn minutes), followed by Mail Online (1.9bn minutes) and The Guardian (799.7m minutes).

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

March 2022

Two of the top three fastest growing newsbrands in the UK in March were from America, continuing a strong run for US newsbrands in the UK in recent months. 

The Washington Post was the second-fastest growing title in March (3.9m people, up 59%). It was followed by News Corp’s US title Wall Street Journal (3.7m people, up 55%). 

In February, the New York Times, likely helped by its acquisition of popular word game Wordle, was the fastest growing newsbrand in the UK, more than tripling its month-on-month audience. This month the publisher saw a more modest gain of 5% to reach 1.2m people.

March’s audience growth for Manchester Evening News, consistently the best-ranked regional newsbrand, saw it move up the table. Its audience increased 16% month-on-month to reach 17.5m people - 35% of the UK internet population aged over 15.

The Reach ‘Big City’ brand, which was ranked eleventh in February, entered the top ten this month in ninth place. Earlier this month, Press Gazette reported on the wide reach of some local newsbrands such as MEN outside their local areas.  

Reach’s Leeds Live was however the newsbrand that saw the most month-on-month growth as it increased its audience by 66% compared to February to reach 3.2m UK internet users aged over 15. 

Birmingham Live (11m people, 22% reach) and Liverpool Echo (10.8m people, 22% reach) were two other local newsbrands that made the top half of the UK ranking, given their large reach outside of their immediate local areas. 

Likely driven by the search for content on Ukraine, 14 newsbrands saw double-digit month-on-month growth in the number of people accessing their sites and apps. 

Of the ten brands with the biggest audiences, Reach’s Manchester Evening News saw the most growth. It was followed by The Independent (2% growth, audience of 23.2m) and The Guardian (2% increase, audience of 22.5m). 

None of the other top ten newsbrands by audience size saw month-on-month growth in March, however. Last month’s fastest growing top ten newsbrand, The Mirror, saw an audience that remained largely unchanged (26.4m people, 53% reach). The Sun’s audience fell by 5%  to 27.7m people (55% reach). 

As in previous months, the BBC was the UK’s biggest newsbrand by a large margin reaching 38.7m people (78% reach). It was followed by The Sun, The Mirror and Mail Online (25.4m people, 51% reach). Together they were the four newsbrands in the UK with a reach of over 50%. 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.

DMGT-owned Newzit was the best-ranked news aggregator in the list, which does not include Google News and Apple News since they are not reported in this level of data as separate entities. Newzit was used by 12.8m people (26% reach). Reach’s local news aggregator InYourArea was accessed by 9.3m people (19% reach).

Likely also driven by the war in Ukraine and other big stories such as the cost of living crisis, the biggest newsbrands did well on engagement metrics in March. The BBC was the most engaged-with brand in March based on total minutes spent with its sites and apps.  Audiences spent 9.2bn with all BBC content in March (an increase of 8% compared to February), 2.1bn minutes with Mail Online (an increase of 15%), 940m minutes with The Guardian (up 12%) and 735m minutes with Sky News (up 13%). 

February 2022

The New York Times more than tripled its audience month-on-month in February, making it the UK’s fastest-growing news brand. 

The websites and apps of the US publisher reached 11.7m people (23% of internet users aged over 15) in February - more than three times the 3.5m people it reached the previous month, according to data from Ipsos. 

Its growth put the title, which hit 10m subscriptions in February, in the top half of the table in seventeenth position. It was the second best-ranked non-domestic newsbrand in the list one place behind US group Healthline Media, publisher of Healthline.com, Medical News Today and Psych Central.

Reuters, which last year put its content behind a paywall, was the second-fastest growing news brand, reaching 4.6m people (up 25% month-on-month). 

The New York Times and Reuters were two of five news brands that saw double-digit month-on-month growth in the number of people accessing their sites and apps, alongside Tom’s Guide, National World and CNN.

Among the ten biggest news brands by audience size, The Mirror was the fastest-growing. The Reach title was accessed by 25.6m million people (up 5% on January). It was followed by three brands that each saw a 2% month-on-month gain in audience: The Sun, Sky News and Mail Online. 

As in past months, the BBC was the UK’s biggest newsbrand by far reaching 39.3m people (79% reach). It was followed by The Sun (29.1m - 58% reach) , Mirror (26.5m people - 53% reach and Mail Online (26m people - 52% reach). They were the only UK news brands to reach over half of internet users. 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.

Eleventh-place Manchester Evening News, published by Reach, was the leading local news title (15.1m people). With a 30% reach the brand has a large audience outside of its home city, although it experienced a significant (12%) month-on-month fall in audience. 

A number of Reach’s other regional brands, although featuring in the top half of the list for audience, also had large month-on-month falls in traffic. Among them, visitors to Birmingham Live were down 12% (10.6m people) and visitors to the Liverpool Echo were down 21% (9.7m people). 

Reach’s local news aggregator InYourArea also saw a smaller audience in February than January (8.7m people, down 15%).

For our list, we used Ipsos’ ranking of the top 500 online brands and selected the 50 biggest which, in Press Gazette’s view, have a significant news or journalistic offering.

As of January, Ipsos has 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. 

As well as commanding the biggest audience, the BBC was also the most engaged-with news brand by far. Audiences spent 8.5bn minutes with its sites and apps in February, although this includes not just its news content but entertainment, education and sports content as well. 

It was followed by Mail Online (1.8bn minutes) and The Guardian (838m minutes) in a top three unchanged from last month. This month however, Sky News overtook The Sun to become the fourth-most engaged with news brand in terms of minutes spent with its content  - 653m minutes compared to 641m minutes with The Sun. 

January 2022

Four UK newsbrands reached more than half of the UK online population in January, according to data from Ipsos iris.

The Sun’s websites and apps reached 28.4m people (57% of internet users aged over 15), putting it narrowly ahead of Mail Online which reached 25.6m people (51% reach).

The BBC - the UK’s biggest newsbrand by far - reached 38.7m people (78% reach), while fourth-place Mirror reached 25.1m people (50% 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.

Coming in eighth place overall, Sky News (19.2m people, 38% each) was the next best-ranked broadcaster after the BBC.

Tenth-place Manchester Evening News, one of Reach’s best-known regional brands, was the leading local news title (17.1m people, 34% reach).

A number of Reach’s other regional brands featured in the top half of the list, including the Liverpool Echo (12.3m people, 25% reach), Birmingham Live (12m people, 24%), Daily Record (10.4m, 21%), aggregator InYourArea (10.3m people, 24%) and MyLondon (9.1m people, 18%). 

For our list, we used Ipsos’ ranking of the top 500 online brands and selected the 50 biggest which, in Press Gazette’s view, have a significant news or journalistic offering.

The best-placed aggregator, DMGT-owned Newzit, ranked 13th with an audience of 14.5m people (29% reach).

As of January, Ipsos has 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. As a result, Press Gazette has not made comparisons with previous monthly data.

When it comes to engagement, the BBC was the most engaged-with news brand, with audiences spending 9.1bn minutes with its sites and apps in January. It was followed by Mail Online (1.9bn minutes), The Guardian (971m minutes) and The Sun (600m minutes). 

A number of newsbrands that came lower down the ranking for reach did much better for engagement per person. Users spent an average of 21 minutes with The Financial Times putting it in 11th place on this metric compared to 47th for reach,  21 minutes with news app Upday (14th for engagement; 49th for reach) and 18 minutes with Buzzfeed (15th for engagement but 46th for reach).

December 2021

News aggregation platform Newzit was the fastest-growing news site in December while Reach titles also saw impressive growth, according to Press Gazette's latest ranking of the biggest English-language news sites in the UK.

DMGT-owned Newzit was visited 25.8m times in December - a 65% increase year-on-year from December 2020 (15.6m visits), according to data from digital intelligence platform Similarweb. Last September Press Gazette reported that Newzit had "come from nowhere to overtake The Times, Standard and i on UK page views".

Although missing the top spot, Reach-owned titles featured prominently among December's fastest-growing sites accounting for seven of the ten sites with most visit growth over the year. MyLondon was the second fastest-growing site in December (9.4m visits - up 41%), while third fastest-growing was the digital offering of two the publisher's Scottish titles, The Daily Record and Sunday Mail (14m visits - up 24%).

Other Reach titles among the top ten for year-on-year growth were walesonline.co.uk (17.2m visits - up 16%), examinerlive.co.uk (8m - up 14%), dailystar.co.uk (24.4m - up 12%), leicestermercury.co.uk (5.5m visits - up 7%) and manchestereveningnews.co.uk (30.1m visits - up 6%).

Of the biggest ten sites in the top 50 by volume of visits, none saw year-on-year growth in December. Mirror.co.uk saw the smallest decline (61.2m visits - down 7%). The biggest declines among the household names were recorded by thesun.co.uk (65.1m - down 22%) and telegraph.co.uk (37.3m visits - down 25%).

In December 2020, a new coronavirus lockdown in the UK dominated the headlines, likely contributing to increased interest from readers.

The BBC was as usual the leading site by far for number of visits in December (669.1m). Its closest online competitor, Mail Online, had 155.8m visits. In third place, and the only other site to break 100m UK visits in the month, was theguardian.com (125.1m visits) while the Express site came in fourth place with 85.1m visits last month.

The leading sites largely saw a month-on-month uptick in traffic in December, after many saw a slump in traffic over the third quarter of  2021.

As has been the case for much of 2021 most sites among the top 50 saw year-on-year falls in traffic in December. Just 13 recorded an increase in traffic . Year-on-year comparisons are affected by the surge in interest in digital news during the pandemic and the run-up to the US election.

November 2021

The Sun was the UK’s biggest newspaper brand in November, according to Press Gazette’s new UK news ranking.

The Sun’s websites and apps reached 25.7m people in the UK (51% of adults over 15 who used the internet during the month), putting it second to only the BBC (38m people - 76% reach). Close behind the Sun were the Mirror’s group of sites and apps which reached 24.8m people (50% reach). 

The BBC, Mirror and Sun were the only three news brands to reach at least 50% of the UK population, according to Ipsos iris, the UKOM endorsed UK standard for online audience measurement.

Fourth place Mail Online reached 22.5m people (45% reach), while the Independent reached 19.3m people (39% reach). Eighth-place Reach-owned Manchester Evening News was the leading local news brand (17m people - 34% reach). 

For our list, we used Ipsos’ ranking of the top 500 online brands and selected the 50 biggest which in Press Gazette’s view have a significant news or  journalistic offering. The figures measure the total unduplicated number of people who used the websites and apps under the organisation in a given month and include all traffic including distributed content, not necessarily just news.

While the top of the list was largely dominated by legacy media, Newzit, DMGT’s news aggregator which has seen quick success since being launched in 2019, came in twelfth place with an audience of 13.4m people (27% reach). Reach’s local news platform InYourArea had an audience of 11.3m people - 23% reach.

Bloomberg’s sites and apps saw the biggest month-on-month growth with November audiences up 31% compared to October. Nine other names saw double-digit growth, among them ITV (12.8m people -up 24% month-on-month), Which? (8.3m people - up 20%) and TechRadar (4.8m people - up 18%). 

Manchester Evening News was however, the only brand among the top ten for audience size to see month-on-month growth (up 5%). 

October 2021

Microsoft's news platform MSN was the only major news site among the top 50 to record year-on-year growth in the number of visits, according to Press Gazette’s ranking of the biggest English language news websites in the UK.

This time last year the US election and the expected imposition of a new coronavirus lockdown dominated the headlines.

The rest of the top ten news sites by volume of visits in October, all saw year-on-year falls in traffic, according to data from web analytics firm Similarweb.

Of this leading group of sites, Mirror.co.uk saw the biggest fall (visits were down 30% year-on-year at 49.7 million). The Sun Online (54.9 million visits- down 28%), Sky News (35.2 million visitors - down 27%) and The Guardian's site ( 111.5 million visits - down 27%) also saw significant falls of over 25%.

The BBC was again the leading site by far for number of visits in October (619.9 million) - counting five times as many as to second-place dailymail.co.uk (133.1 million visitors). In third place was theguardian.com while the Express site came in fourth place with 70.1 million visits last month.

Of the leading  five sites by volume of visits, all have seen a slump in visits over 2021, although the Guardian saw a small 1% uptick in traffic between September and October.

Comparing year-on-year growth in audience for all top 50 sites, regional and local news sites featured prominently among the sites with the fastest growth, making up five of the top ten: mylondon.news (7.6 million visits in October - up 29%), kentonline.co.uk (5.9 million - up 9%), leicestermercury.co.uk (5.4 million - up 7%),  examinerlive.co.uk (6.7 million visitors - up 7%) and walesonline.co.uk (15.8 million - up 6%). Four of the sites (not Kent Online) are owned by the UK’s largest regional publisher Reach which has in recent years seen rapid growth for its online regional brands.

In line with the global picture, a minority (10) of sites saw year-on-year traffic increases compared to last October. Year-on-year comparisons are affected by the surge in interest in digital news during the pandemic and the run-up to the US election.

September 2021

For the second month running, celebrity and showbiz brand Entertainment Daily was the fastest-growing news website in the UK in September with year-on-year visits up 123% from 1.9 million to 4.2 million in September. 

It was followed by inews.co.uk which saw visits up 51% to 9.7 million. This month's data continues a strong run of growth for the Daily Mail and General Trust-owned brand which was July's fastest-growing site in the UK.

Next were two further sites owned by Reach. MyLondon was the third fastest-growing site in August with visits up 50% from 5.4 million to 8.1 million. It was followed by  Examiner Live (7.5 million visits - up 35%). 

Two other regional sites (kentonline.co.uk and walesonline.co.uk) also featured in the top ten fastest-growing sites year-on-year.

Established international and news brands were among those that saw the biggest year-on-year falls in traffic. Visits to CNN's sites (cnn.com and edition.cnn.com) were down by 33% to 13.9 million, while visits to newyorktimes.com were 28% less than in September 2020 at 7.7 million. Visits to the Sun.co.uk were down 29% to 56.9 million.  Like-for-like comparisons will be affected by the surge in traffic to news sites in 2020 due to a particularly intense news cycle last year.

Growing fastest month-on-month was the website of Reach-owned Hull Daily Mail  - visits to the site were 5% higher than in August (4.4 million visits in September). MSN.com saw similar growth in visits (up 5% to 44.1 million). Only a handful of sites however, saw more traffic in September compared to August (among them ft.com, heraldscotland.com, entertainmentdaily.co.uk, walesonline.co.uk and nottinghampost.com).

This month Press Gazette's analysis includes for the first time visits to MSN.com and Yahoo! News.

When it comes to the leading sites for volume of visits, the BBC’s digital properties, bbc.com and bbc.co.uk, remained ahead in the UK.  The two sites together racked up 628.5 million visits in September. Second-placed dailymail.co.uk counted 137.6 million visits during the month while third-placed theguardian.com had 110.3 million visits. Similarweb data for the BBC however includes visits to both the BBC’s main website as well as BBC News. Its data for MSN similarly covers visits to the portal, rather than just its news section.

Half (25) of the current top 50 sites had year-on-year traffic increases, while half saw a decline. 

August 2021

Celebrity and showbiz brand Entertainment Daily was the fastest-growing news website in the UK in August with year-on-year visits up 120% from 1.9 million to 4.1 million. 

It was followed by last month’s fastest-growing website, the Daily Mail and General Trust-owned inews.co.uk which saw visits up 66% to 10.1 million.

The third fastest-growing was aljazeera.com which was up 29% to 4.6 million visits according to Press Gazette’s exclusive ranking of the country’s most popular news websites.

As in previous months, visits to several local and regional news sites were also significantly higher year-on-year. Reach-owned MyLondon was the fourth fastest-growing site in August with visits up 27% from 6.4 million to 8.2 million, while another Reach property WalesOnline was sixth (16.4 million visits - up 19%).

Edp24.co.uk, examinerlive.co.uk, thenorthernecho.co.uk, leicestermercury.co.uk and kentonline.co.uk were other local titles among the top 15 sites for year-on-year growth in August. 

At the other end of the table, buzzfeed.com saw the biggest year-on-year fall with visits down 30% to 6.1 million. It was followed by nytimes.com to which visits were down 28% to 8.2 million. 

Growing fastest month-on-month was the website of Qatari international broadcaster Al Jazeera - visits to aljazeera.com were 28% higher than in July (3.5 million visits that month). Completing the top five for monthly gains were four Reach sites: dailyrecord.co.uk (14.6 million visits - up 8%), Leicestershire Live (6.4 million - up 7%), dailystar.co.uk (25.7 million - up 7%) and Yorkshire Live (7.6 million visits - up 2%). 

When it comes to the leading sites for volume of visits, the BBC’s digital properties, bbc.com and bbc.co.uk, are clear leaders again. The two sites together racked up 663.6 million visits in August. Second-placed dailymail.co.uk counted 145.5 million visits during the month while third-placed theguardian.com had 117.7 million visits. Similarweb data for the BBC however includes visits to both the BBC’s main website as well as BBC News.

As in previous months, rounding out the top five for number of visits are express.co.uk and thesun.co.uk.

Of the current top 50 sites, 20 had year-on-year traffic increases, while 30 saw a decline month-on-month. Just 11 sites saw more visits in August compared to July.

July 2021

Daily Mail and General Trust website inews.co.uk was the fastest growing UK news website in July with year-on-year visits up 87% from 7.2 million to 13.5 million, according to data from Similarweb.

As in June, local and regional news sites also made strong showings when it came to year-on-year growth in audience.

Reach-owned Wales Online was the second-fastest growing site in July with visits up 61% from 12.2 million to 19.5 million, while alternative video news platform, Bitchute was the next fastest growing site (3.9 million visits - up 55%), according to data from web analytics firm Similarweb.

Eight local and regional titles made the top 15 fastest growing sites. Reach-owned mylondon.news was the sixth fastest growing site with year-on-year visits up 49% from 5.7 million to 8.5 million. It was followed by Examiner Live, one of several "Live" brands launched by Reach in recent years, with year-on-year visits up 39% from 5.4 million to 7.4 million.

The site got a boost after it was rolled into the company's broader Yorkshire Live brand. Other local offerings in the top 15 included kentonline.co.uk and Reach brands liverpoolecho.co.uk and manchestereveningnews.co.uk.

Among the sites with the biggest year-on-year falls in traffic were several US newsbrands. Visits to the CNN”s sites were down 37% to 15.9 million in July, while visits to nytimes.com were down 26% to 8.4 million.

When it comes to the monthly growth in visits, inews.co.uk was again the leading site with visits up 48% on June 2021’s figure of 9.1 million. Also in the top five was kentonline.com (6.5 million - up 36%), manchestereveningnews.co.uk (30.9 million - up 29%), hellomagazine.com (26.4 million - up 30%) and thescotsman.com (6.3 million - up 2%).

Leading the list for volume of visits were the BBC’s digital properties, bbc.com and bbc.co.uk - clear leaders. The two sites together racked up 747.3 million visits in July. Second-placed dailymail.co.uk counted 156.8 million visits during the month - a little over a fifth of the BBC’s figures. Similarweb data for the BBC, includes visits to both the BBC’s main website as well as BBC News.

As in previous months, rounding out the top five for number of visits are theguardian.com, express.co.uk and thesun.co.uk.

Taken as a whole, the 50 leading news sites in July had a combined 1.8 billion visits, which is in line with the total in recent months. Year-on-year traffic is, however, slightly up - by six per cent. Of the current top 50 sites, most (33) had year-on-year traffic increases, while 17 saw a decline. The picture month-on-month is similar: 38 sites saw a gain in visits compared to June, while 12 had less visits in July.

June 2021

Local and regional news platforms dominated the list of sites that saw the biggest year-on-year growth in audience in the UK last month.

The website of Scottish free-to-air broadcaster STV was the fastest-growing site between June 2020 and June 2021, according to data from web analytics company Similarweb, which combines traffic to both news.stv.tv and stv.tv.

11 other local and regional titles made the top 15, including seven from the UK’s biggest regional publisher Reach.

Examiner Live, which was rolled into Yorkshire Live and is one of several “Live” brands launched by Reach in recent years, was the second fastest growing site, with year-on-year visits up 64% from 4.6m to 7.5m.

It was followed in third place by celebrity and entertainment-focused news site entertainmentdaily.com, which saw visits increase by 63% from 2.9m to 4.7m.

Other Reach sites in the top 15 included national titles walesonline.co.uk and dailyrecord.com, as well as cornwalllive.com, birminghammail.co.uk, liverpoolecho.co.uk and mylondon.news. Two Newsquest sites (lancashiretelegraph.co.uk and telegraphandargus.com) also made the leading 15 sites for growth.

Among the sites with the biggest year-on-year falls in traffic were several US newsbrands that had benefitted from a particularly buoyant 2020 for traffic due to the US election and the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Visits to the site of The New York Times were down 33% to 8.5m, while visits to cnn.com and edition.cnn.com were down 43% to 15.5m.

When it comes to monthly growth in visits, stv.com was again the leading site with visits up 167% on May’s figure of 2m. Also in the top five was cornwalllive.com (5.5m, up 16%), devonlive.com (5.2m, up 7%), thesun.co.uk (69.5m, up 7%) and walesonline.co.uk (18.2m, up 7%).

As in previous months, the BBC’s sites were the outright leaders for news in the UK. BBC.co.uk and BBC.com together counted 758m visits in June.  Second-placed dailymail.co.uk counted 148.6m visits during the month - five times less than the BBC.

Also in the top five when it comes to number of visits are the sites of three other established news brands: theguardian.com, express.co.uk and thesun.co.uk.

Combined visits to the current top 50 sites saw very little change on May’s list. The leading 50 sites in June had a combined 1.8bn visits - the same as in May. Overall, year-on-year traffic saw a slight boost with combined visits up 5% compared with June 2020. Of the current top 50 sites, 29 had year-on-year traffic increases, while 12 saw month-on-month gains.

April 2021

Local news sites were among those that saw the biggest year-on-year growth in audience in the UK in April.

Hellomagazine.com was the single fastest growing site according to data from Similarweb, but four Reach titles were among the ten sites that saw the most growth in audience between April 2020 and April 2021.

Leicester Live, one of several digital newsbrands launched by Reach in recent years, was the second fastest growing site, with year-on-year visits up 70% from 3.2m to 5.4m. It was followed in third place by another Reach brand, Birmingham Live, which saw visits increase 67% from 8.4m to 14.1m. Examiner Live, which got a boost after it was rolled into the company's broader Yorkshire Live brand, came in sixth with visits up 52% to 5.7m. Also in the top ten was Reach national title the Daily Star.

Among the sites with the biggest year-on-year falls in traffic were several national newsbrands. The Financial Times saw visits fall 32% to 11.2m, while the audience to metro.co.uk was down 37% to 22.4m.

When it comes to monthly growth in visits, local news sites again led the way. Visits to the website of Reach title the Liverpool Echo were up 10% on last month at 15.8m, while the 24.4m visits to the website of the Manchester Evening News, the UK’s most popular online local news brand, represented an 8% increase on March. Russian state-funded English news site RT.com also made the top five for growth with its 4.8m visits in April – an increase of 5% on last month.

When it comes to the leading sites for volume of visits, the BBC’s digital properties, BBC.com and BBC.co.uk are clear leaders. The two sites together racked up 689m visits in April – almost five times more than second-placed dailymail.co.uk, which counted 144m visits during the month.

Rounding out the top five when it comes to number of visits were the sites of three other established news brands: theguardian.com, express.co.uk and thesun.co.uk.

Combined visits to the current top 50 sites were slightly down compared with March. The leading 50 sites racked up 1.7bn visits between them in April – 6% lower than the previous month. Overall, year-on-year traffic saw a slight boost with combined visits up 6% compared with April 2020. Of the current top 50 sites, 27 had year-on-year traffic increases, while just six saw month-on-month gains.

Note: Press Gazette will be updating this page on a monthly basis. See our previous coverage here:

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Comments

4 thoughts on “Top 50 newsbrands in the UK: Manchester Evening News only top-ten brand to see growth in April”

  1. . REACH websites are also sodden with multiple, aggressive, tenacious,
    data-harvesting, list-sharing tracker cookies, with no functional ‘Reject ALL’ working alternatives.
    . Reach is an intrusive and invasive public pest.
    . Clog up and slow down your home PC … with miracle Reach !

  2. . REACH news websites are also sodden from check-in with multiple,
    aggressive, tenacious, data-harvesting, list-sharing tracker cookies,
    without functional ‘Reject ALL’ working alternatives.
    . Reach is a palpable intrusive and invasive public pest.
    . So, clog up and slow down your home PC … with ‘dominating’, ‘fast-
    growing’ miracle Reach!
    . – Press Gazette’s pin-up of the year!

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