The Mirror Online has overtaken The Guardian to become the second most popular multi-platform news website according to recent Comscore data.
Mirror.co.uk saw unique visitors to their site in November climb by 2 percent when compared to the previous year to 22.1 million. During the same period The Guardian saw traffic fall by 10 percent down to 21.6 million. This decline also saw The Sun, enjoying renewed success outside of their formerly restrictive paywall, climbing above The Guardian with 21.8 million unique visitors.
Despite growth at The Mirror and The Sun, they still lag behind the UK’s most popular multi-platform news site. The Mail Online continues to come out on top with 27.4 million unique visitors across desktop, laptop, mobile and tablet devices.
A spokesperson from The Mirror told journalists the sites success was “partly driven by the popularity of the Mirror’s mobile platform”.
Pete Picton, editorial director for The Mirror Online, said: “We’re really excited by the strength we’re seeing from Mirror Online. Across mobile and desktop, November has been a record month, and we’re working hard to carry this momentum into 2017.”
Mobile growth was also key in the ongoing success of The Sun, reaching 20.1 million visitors via mobile devices in November and making them the second most read newspaper on mobile in the UK (again playing second fiddle the Daily Mail).
Meanwhile, The Times, still languishing behind a metered paywall, recorded just 2.2 million unique visitors. However, it should be remembered these are revenue generating readers and in an age of ad-blockers high volumes of traffic do not guarantee high volumes of advertising revenue.
The real questions publishers need to ask themselves is: Do high visitor numbers equate to financial success and is this an exercise of vanity over sanity?
As PR professionals we’re probably more interested in the volumes online news sites can provide but we still need to provide a long term financial solution to protect and enhance an industry which we ultimately need to survive and thrive.
Will 2017 be the year the commercial model is finally fixed? I wouldn’t hold my breath.