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Brexit, Trump and Piers Morgan: Hitwise reports ‘incredible’ growth in UK online news consumption

By Dominic Ponsford

UK news consumption online has grown “incredibly” over the last year according to online readership analysis company Hitwise.

It said in a new report: “In the UK, news consumption online has grown
incredibly over the past year and continues to do so in 2017.

“This is largely due to key events, namely Brexit and Trump, which have dominated the headlines.”

It said that one in nine visits online were to news and media sites in 2016, up from one in ten in 2015.

It also revealed a league table of the newspaper websites where readers spend the most time.

This shows that Mail Online readers spend the longest per visit by some margin, at 7 minutes and 48 seconds on average.

Mail Online is also the UK’s most popular newspaper website, attracting more than 15m unique browsers per day (according to ABC).

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A Daily Express story about Piers Morgan being “fired” from Good Morning Britain was the most third most-read UK newspaper story online in February, according to the report.

The lighthearted piece did not quite fulfil the promise of the headline and revealed how Morgan was shifted to the side of the sofa when comedian Jon Culshaw appeared on the programme and mimicked him.

A Guardian report on Donald Trump’s US travel ban was the most-read story.

Guardian live blogs on UK politics took places four and five. Further Trump stories were the eighth and ninth most read UK newspaper online articles, according to Hitwise.  The research from Hitwise also offers insight into how news content is consumed throughout the day by readers of the top seven UK newspaper brands online: Mail Online, Telegraph, Sun, Express, Mirror, Independent and Guardian.

And it reveals how canny use of the right search terms in headlines can help news providers grab the most clicks on trending news topics.

In early February The Independent’s coverage if the relaunch of Nokia’s 3310 mobile phone was the most popular because, according to Hitwise, it made use of popular search words “relaunch” and “reliable” in its headline.

UK news websites ranked in terms of their share of traffic to stories about the relaunch of the Nokia 3310:

Download the Hitwise News in 2017 report here

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