The UK’s most read regional newspaper website also experienced the highest percentage increase in unique users in the second half of 2014, according to the latest ABC figures.
Today’s statistics for the period July to December 2014 reveal the Manchester Evening News website had an average of 414,810 daily unique users – a year-on-year increase of 194.3pc.
Fellow Trinity Mirror title the Newcastle Chronicle posted the next highest increase with 155,831 average daily users – up 173.3pc – followed by the Teesside Evening Gazette whose 116.8pc rise gave it a daily audience of 72,230.
In terms of the highest number of browsers after the MEN, the Liverpool Echo placed second with 264,693 and scotsman.com third with its audience of 182,499 up 33.0pc on the previous year.
Of the main newspaper publishers, Trinity Mirror’s regional network saw the largest increase overall at 112.9pc, with an average 1,403,930 daily visitors to the group’s sites.
David Higgerson, digital publishing director for TM’s regional brands, said: “The growth reported here shows the impact taking a digital first approach to content is having across our regional newsrooms.
“This latest growth comes on top of significant growth in 2014 v 2013. We are seeing substantial growth on mobile, as is to be expected, but also growth on our desktop sites too.
“The increasing use of digital analytics to inform and determine content decisions is helping us deliver more of the content people want, when they want it, especially among local users.”
Newsquest’s overall audience figure of 1,099,427 represented a 50.3pc year-on-year increase, while a 69.5pc rise for Local World put its daily online readership at 1,054,478.
A total of 950,679 unique daily users visited Johnston Press websites, a percentage increase of 32.7pc.
Commenting on Local World’s results, digital director Matt Kelly said: “This strong growth in browsers represents just one facet of how we are increasing in value to our audiences and advertisers.
“Our total focus is to continue growing as a meaningful part of people’s lives – emulating in digital what we have always managed in print; genuine relevance in the communities we serve.”
Mark Smith, Newsquest’s digital director said: “Coming on top of 46pc growth in the first half of 2014 we’re delighted with the results we’re seeing. It’s a vindication of the investment we’re making in our digital team and products and the increasing focus our editorial teams are placing on digital across the UK.
“We’re seeing a lot of growth from mobile devices, particularly smartphones, but desktop audiences are still increasing too. We expect to see more growth as we continue to develop our products and content in 2015. ”
Figures provided for other regional publishers include the Midland News Association network’s 140,367 unique daily users (a 32pc rise), and the KM Group’s Kent Online network at 87,459 (a 78.4pc boost).
KM Group editorial director Ian Carter said: “This huge leap in audience is a credit to everyone who contributes to KentOnline, be that our journalists, advertising staff or technical team.
“KOL is firmly establishing itself as the first port of call for anyone interested in news, sport or entertainment in Kent.
“It is important we continue to develop KentOnline to ensure our audience continues to grow. We are rapidly expanding our video content and have just relaunched our entertainment platform.”
The full list of audience figures for newspaper online platforms and group-wide networks is as follows:
|Manchester Evening News||414,810||194.3|
|Daily Post, North Wales||42,343||116|
|Trinity Mirror Regional Network||1,403,930||112.9|
|Huddersfield Daily Examiner||38,818||96.1|
|South Wales Evening Post||48,943||93.7|
|Local World Network||1,054,478||69.5|
|Hull Daily Mail||74,123||58.4|
|Newsquest Media Group||1,099,427||50.3|
|Johnston Press Network||950,679||32.7|
|Midland News Association Network||140,367||32|
|Cambridge News (Web)||39,281||20|
|Nottingham Post (Web)||58,572||16.5|
|Gloucester Citizen/Gloucestershire Echo||27,953||2.1|
|East Anglian Daily Times||18,246|
|Eastern Daily Press||43,571|
|Great Yarmouth Mercury||7,048|
|Kent on Sunday||2,603|
|North Norfolk News||2,385|
|Norwich Evening News||10,887|
|The Herts Advertiser||2,980|
|Welwyn Hatfield Times||7,448|