GB News chief digital officer Geoff Marsh has told staff the broadcaster has set itself up on a “launchpad to explode” its online audience.
Since then, he claimed in a missive to staff on Friday morning, GB News saw record audience numbers in November, December, January and February – increasing visitors by almost 400% in that time. He described GB News as having “vast digital ambitions” and growing “rapidly”.
“We’ve built the foundations to truly compete with some of the biggest broadcasters and digital publishers on the planet and we’re on the launchpad to explode the triple-digit growth we’ve had in recent months,” Marsh said.
According to Similarweb, the broadcaster’s previous URL gbnews.uk had 3.5 million visits in December, 5.4 million in January and 6 million in February. A GB News spokesperson told Press Gazette this month it now reaches more than ten million people each month online.
GB News moved from its gbnews.uk URL to gbnews.com at the start of March to help build its presence outside the UK.
Marsh told staff the new website address “enables us to compete much more aggressively, much faster, globally. The United States is already our second biggest market, closely followed by Australia, Canada and Ireland, proving there’s a clear appetite for GB News across the English-speaking world.”
The new website also includes new features such as dedicated pages for each show and a full catch-up service that means all programmes are available on-demand on the website, as well as the app, for the first time. Marsh also teased a new phone app to come in the next few months.
“The launch of gbnews.com marks an ambitious new chapter. But it is just the beginning,” he said.
GB News digital team restructure
Also coming soon is the addition of user comments on the website, including on the livestream of the channel. Marsh said: “This is vital because it’s the first step in building our GB News digital community… More than ever, we’ll be the channel that not only talks to the people but one that allows them to talk to us.”
Marsh told staff GB News was creating a new structure for its digital team “to ensure we can scale fast on both new and established social platforms”.
Senior digital producer George McMillan is being promoted to the interim head of digital output, overseeing all parts of digital video production including clipping up highlights from the TV channel to help it reach more people online.
Carl Bennett, also a senior digital producer, is taking on the role of interim head of new digital platforms to lead the creation of “edgy, creative, market-leading content and consistent daily growth” on Tiktok, Instagram Reels and Youtube Shorts. On Youtube, GB News now has 710,000 subscribers, which Marsh said means it is “on track” to reach one million within a few months.
Marsh also said he would be bringing in “more top talent from across the industry to help drive these plans forward” in the coming weeks.
Elsewhere, Marsh said GB News is “growing at a record pace” on big screen apps Fire TV, Apple, Android TV, Roku, Samsung and LG, while it is soon launching on smart TV platforms and apps Freeview Play, You View and Sky Go.
GB News financial filings published earlier this month revealed it made a £31m loss in its first year on air on revenue of £3.6m. Digital revenue made up 16% of the total – £564,000 – compared to £2.97m from advertising and £105,664 from sponsorship.
Last month GB News chief executive Angelos Frangopoulos told staff the channel was now entering its “third phase”, which he said meant “pivoting sharply towards financial sustainability and profit”. The first two phases, he said, were launched in June 2021 and, later, “investment in people, talent, and programming while we relentlessly built a loyal audience”.
He said GB News’ business goal was to become “the number one news channel in the United Kingdom by 2028”.
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