The Sun has remained the top commercial newsbrand in the UK for the second month running, after overtaking Mail Online in April.
According to the latest Comscore figures, the Sun Online saw 31.7m unique visitors in the UK in May, up from 30.2m in April. The figure includes associated websites like Sun Bingo, Sun Bets and Dreamteamfc.com.
The Sun said Harry and Meghan’s royal wedding, plus the build-up for Love Island and the World Cup, had helped it reach a record month.
Mail Online, which has its Comscore figures combined with the Metro, had 28.9m unique visitors, followed by ESI Media brands the Independent and Evening Standard combined on 25.9m.
The News UK web operation also claimed it is now bigger than Twitter, which recorded 29.6m unique visitors in May, according to the Comscore figures shared by The Sun.
The Sun has been growing fast since it scrapped its online paywall in November 2015 and began investing heavily in a free site aimed at a “more diverse” mass UK audience.
Keith Poole, editor of the Sun Online, said: “This is a richly deserved acknowledgement of the extraordinary work the digital team have put in since coming out behind the paywall three years ago.
“We are particularly pleased to have secured top spot – again – in a month including the royal wedding, when we were at the top of our game.”
Tony Gallagher, editor-in-chief of the Sun, said: “To lead the way for the second month in a row is testament to the work we’ve put in to get to the top spot.
“The Sun’s bold and brave DNA runs through both our print and digital operations and it’s no surprise that our mix of news, showbiz, sport and lifestyle is still such a hit.”
Press Gazette understands the BBC remains the top news site in the UK in terms of its monthly reach.
Three of the top nine commercial news websites lost unique visitors month-on-month from April to May.
The Guardian dropped from 23.9m to 23.7m, the Daily Star from 6.6m to 5.1m, and the Times, which is behind a paywall, fell from 4.2m to 4.1m.
UK news website traffic for May 2018 by total unique visitors (Comscore, via The Sun):
- The Sun Online: 31.7m
- Mail Online and Metro: 28.9m
- Independent and Evening Standard: 25.9m
- Guardian: 23.7m
- Telegraph Media Group: 23.7m
- Mirror Online: 18.9m
- Express: 15.3m
- Daily Star: 5.1m
- Times: 4.1m