View all newsletters
Sign up for our free email newsletters

Fighting for quality news media in the digital age.

  1. News
September 3, 2021updated 30 Sep 2022 10:34am

Mail Online is biggest UK newspaper brand online, new official industry audience data shows

By Charlotte Tobitt

Mail Online is the most-read online newspaper brand followed by the Sun and the Guardian, according to data from the industry’s new official audience data provider.

Mail Online recorded 518m page views in July, according to the Ipsos Iris metric for measuring online audiences, which became the industry-recognised standard earlier this year.

The Sun had 335m page views although this increases to 372m when the,, and are all included rather than just the main UK site – according to one version of the data seen by Press Gazette.

The Guardian was on 305m while the Mirror, which tussled with the Sun to be top on unique visitors under the previous industry-standard metric Comscore, was fourth on 247m.

Mail Online shared the Ipsos Iris figures with Press Gazette. Other publishers are understood to be waiting for the methodology to bed in before commenting on them publicly.

In May this year, both the Sun and the Mirror claimed to be the most popular UK news websites by unique visitors, citing data from Comscore.

The last Pamco data in December 2020, under different methodology, made the Sun the most popular news brand in the UK.

Content from our partners
Cannes Lions: The world's best creativity all in one place
L'Equipe signs content syndication deal with The Content Exchange
Journalism can be relentless: But overworking could be fatal

The new Ipsos Mori data only includes newspaper brands as well as Mail-owned aggregator Newzit which has come from nowhere to overtake The Times, Standard and i on UK page views.

Mail Online’s top status is confirmed by separate data collected by Press Gazette on the top-50 news websites in the UK. According to this Similarweb data, Mail Online is second only to the BBC.XXX

Mail Online was particularly pleased with its engagement, boasting that British audiences had spent almost as much time with it in July as they did with the Sun, Guardian and Mirror combined.

The data suggests users spent some 1.7bn minutes with the Mail Online brand in the UK in July, compared with around 2bn minutes online with its three nearest rivals combined. The Guardian accounted for 909m minutes of that, the Sun 688m minutes, and the Mirror 417m minutes.

These figures include apps, Apple News and all related brand domains. Looking at the newspaper websites only, 964m minutes were spent on Mail Online, 422m minutes were spent with the Sun and 378m with the Guardian.

The Mail's average dwell time per month was 75 minutes compared with 48 minutes on the Guardian, 27 minutes on the Sun and 16 minutes on the Mirror.

DMG Media publisher Martin Clarke (pictured) said: "Our highly engaged UK audience consistently identifies Mail Online as their number one destination for news, showbiz, sports, crime, health and lifestyle, with our audience spending twice the amount of time on our site than any other.

"We are delighted with the results and remain dedicated to providing trusted breaking news and comprehensive analysis."

Mail Metro Media (DMG Media's commercial division) claimed 34% of all time spent online with national newspaper publishers was with its brands. It said the Ipsos Iris data showed it was the organisation with the most engagement, with 1.99bn minutes spent in July, followed by 1.44 billion minutes with Reach and 1.06bn minutes for News UK.

Mail Online was also top for average daily visitors, with 4.1m per day on its website and app, followed by the Sun on 3.7m, the Guardian on 3.5m and the Mirror on 3.1m.

However, The Sun had a higher average daily audience of 5.2m in July when,, and, along with its other branded sites, are all included.

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 their personal devices to passively measure website and app usage. This data is combined with tagged data.

Ipsos Mori, which runs the Ipsos Iris service for UKOM, has ranked the top online entities in the UK showing how the BBC reaches 81% of the UK's online population. It has come fifth below only Google owner Alphabet, Facebook (including Instagram and WhatsApp), Amazon and Microsoft.

Reach is the biggest newspaper group by audience size, reaching three-quarters of the online population, followed by Mail Metro Media on 62% and Sun and Times owner News UK on 59%.

Picture: DMG Media

Topics in this article : ,

Email to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network