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September 25, 2014

Mail Online plans to charge £65k for a single sponsored article

By Dominic Ponsford

Mail Online has plans to charge brands £65,000 for single sponsored article in the UK.

The revelation was made following an interview with Mail Online publisher Martin Clarke in the Financial Times

Last month Mail Online carried some high-profile sponsored editorial on its home page for the Home Office. Written in the Mail Online house style, by a news reporter, it was also formatted like a news story – but clearly labeled as sponsored.

The FT reports that Mail Online believes UK advertisers can be guaranteed 450,000 page views for such content.

Mail Online told Press Gazette the £65,000 figure is for UK sponsored advertising only and that there is different pricing in place in the US and Australia.

Mail Online now has more than 400 editorial staff, according to the FT. It made revenue of £41m last year and is said to be on course to make £60m this year.

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According to ABC, Mail Online attracted an average of 11.3m daily global browsers in August and 179.4m across the monthly. ABC measures different devices accessing the site, rather than people. Across the month some 124m browsers came from outside the UK, with 55m inside the UK.

Clarke told the FT that Mail Online has cost parent group Daily Mail and General Trust £35m so far and that without investment in the US, Australia and “soon elsewhere” it would be profitable.

He told the FT: “But we don’t want to be a bit profitable in Britain, we want to be very profitable globally.”

News UK chief executive Mike Darcey was damning in his criticism of Mail Online in February when he said it "shouldn’t be confused with a business based on professional journalism" and questioned whether revenue would ever outgrow the ever-rising costs. Total headcount for Mail Online is now said to be more than  600.

Clarke told the FT: “Why don’t you ring Mr Darcey and ask him how much longer The Sun paywall is going to be up? And when he brings it down, would you ask him to give me a call because there are a couple of bones I’d like to pick with him? I’m not like Darcey, I don’t spend my time telling other people how to run their businesses.” 

Sponsored message

On October 16 many of the UK's leading figures from digital journalism will gather at The News Building, London Bridge, to discuss new ways of making journalism work on mobile.

News on the Move III is organised by Press Gazette and held in association with News UK. Speakers include: News UK chief executive Mike Darcey, Guardian mobile editor Subhajit Banerjee, BBC news mobile editor Nathalie Malinarich, Buzzfeed UK editor Luke Lewis and former head of digital at (now digital director of City AM) Martin Ashplant.More details here. 

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