Associated Newspapers' Mail Online was close to having 100 million readers in January, and growth doesn't appear to be showing signs of slowing down. The Associated Newspapers network of websites drew 99,218,476 monthly browsers, a 17.88% increase compared with last December, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations numbers published today. Mail Online's daily users rose 19.57% during January to 5,784,946.
According to the Guardian, in January they remained the second largest online newspaper in the UK, with daily users rising 22.31% to 3,592,387. The Guardian News & Media website network as a whole, that includes MediaGuardian, recorded 63,171,662 monthly online users. UK's Independent took a big hit in the same month, losing 17.09% viewership to 13,126,707. Daily unique users dropped by 20.52% to 602,856.
Mail Online was also the most popular online newspaper in the world, for the second month in a row, according to comScore data, with 51.7 million unique users in January, ahead of The New York Times' 47.9 million. News International's Sun website continued to exhibit growth with 1,471,788 daily users and 24,055,155 monthly users, with increases of 9.9% and 8.69% respectively. The UK Telegraph was up 14% in usership to 2,458,826 for the month, with 48,292,476 total hits in 2011.
One might wonder how the Mail Online, which reads like a lower-middle brow tabloid became more popular than The New York Times on the web. After quick inspection, at least to me, most things on the site are clickable. Meaning, OF COURSE I want to know about Jennifer Aniston's new obsession with laser therapy. What does that even mean? For her mind? After scrolling down a bit, it is clear that I want to read almost everything I'm seeing, which wouldn't demand much concentration. And there are a lot of nice colors too. Very contrasty. But none of this mail is really "news," for that matter. The opinions are fairly vague, there's not much to see by the way of politics, and the stories are all acceptably offensive, meaning, I don't see a reader actually getting angry and being put off by the content. The page seems detached to anything really, which is likely why it's so popular. I like how this guy just grew out of his blueness: