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January 23, 2017

Online ABCs: Telegraph decision to charge for premium content sees website overtaken by fast-growing Sun

By Dominic Ponsford

The Sun has climbed into fifth place in terms of UK newspaper website traffic, overtaking the Telegraph which has dropped down to number six.

The Sun was the fastest growing UK national newspaper online in December, according to ABC, growing its traffic by 132 per cent year on year to 3.5m unique browsers per day.

Meanwhile, the Telegraph was the biggest faller – down 13.2 per cent year on year to fall around 30,000 behind The Sun.

The Sun dropped its paywall in November 2015 and has since then invested heavily in the site and targeted a volume audience.

Meanwhile, The Telegraph is apparently feeling the affects of a new online business model whereby it charges readers to view premium content.

Most of the Telegraph’s columnists are now categorised as Premiun content, only available to subscribers.

Previously The Telegraph allowed readers to view 20 articles per month before inviting them to subscribe in order to read more.

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Mail Online remains the UK’s most popular newspaper website with an average of 14m global unique browsers per day in December. This compares with the record 15.2m daily browsers it hit in August 2016.

The Guardian is not currently audited by ABC but is believed to be in second place with around 9m unique browsers per day.

ABC counts different devices accessing websites (rather than people).

UK newspaper website traffic for December 2016 (source ABC)

Average daily unique browsers

 Title   Dec 16   MoM%   YoY% 
 MailOnline            13,991,063 –     5.5        6.1
 Mirror Group Nationals               4,959,702 –   10.7      24.2
 The Independent               3,592,622 –   22.1      28.5
 The Sun               3,535,199        2.0    131.7
 Telegraph               3,507,340 –   28.7 –   13.2               1,411,097 –     7.4      32.5
 Metro               1,354,922 –     4.0      21.3                  744,876        5.4      25.4
 Manchester Evening News                  652,881 –   10.6      17.0
 Evening Standard                  544,339 –   21.6      23.6
 Liverpool Echo                  456,622 –   17.3        8.1
 Wales Online                  292,824 –   23.6      13.1
 Birmingham Mail                  277,760 –     0.8      41.1
 Chronicle Live                  213,447 –   12.6        4.9
 Hull Daily Mail (Web)                  104,163 –     6.7      13.3
 GazetteLive                  103,268 –     4.1        1.9

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