UK readership: Mail Online still most-viewed news site, but only Guardian increased daily web audience

Recently-released reports show that Daily Mail’s combined print and digital circulation dominates that of other British publications, but The Guardian was the only major publication to significantly increase daily web viewers for the month of February.

by WAN-IFRA Staff | March 22, 2013

According to February ABC data, Mail Online led with 110.7 million unique visitors in February, which reflects a 21 percent increase from last year and signifies a 75 percent growth in visits for the year, a Daily Mail release says. The Guardian brought 43 percent fewer viewers than Daily Mail with 77.4 million for the month.

The Telegraph and The Guardian have been grappling for top circulation in the National Readership Survey’s “quality” publication category. According to, in September The Guardian led, but in November The Telegraph won. February data shows the two remain neck-and-neck for top spot: The Guardian had a monthly web and print audience of 12.7 million, and The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph together just under 12.5 million. This contrasts to Daily Mail’s 20 million combined readership and The Sun’s 17.4 million.

February usually brings a slump in online viewers, as was the trend for Mail OnlineThe TelegraphThe SunThe Mirror, and London Evening StandardThe Guardian reported. However, The Guardian increased daily viewers for the month by 6.3 percent, compared to a 4.69 percent month-to-month drop for Mail OnlineThe Independent remained relatively consistent with a 0.18 percent increase, and Metro saw 4.52 percent more viewers.

Writing in the The Guardian, Jemima Kiss attributed the traffic increase to the paper’s coverage of Pope Benedict’s resignation, the Oscar Pistorius trial and the Russian meteorite landing.

“We are seeing record digital traffic across our online platforms and our journalism is being read by more people than ever before,” Guardian Chief Commercial Officer David Pemsel told He added that the data “reaffirms our position as Britain’s most successful quality newspaper brand.”

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