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ABCs: Johnston Press scores web growth one-two

Johnston Press scored a one-two in the latest web growth figures produced by ABC.

The Belfast News Letter and Peterborough Telegraph’s websites had the highest number of daily average unique browsers in the first six months of 2016, compared to the corresponding period in the previous year.

Both sites were among a number to receive a makeover by JP in recent months.

However, the company did not top the overall regional publishers’ charts – with the independent KM Group claiming the highest growth between January and July.

Belfast News Letter

The News Letter, pictured above, scored an average of 20,365 daily average UB, representing a 73.4pc year-on-year rise, while the Telegraph’s 31,998 meant a 69.1pc increase.

Trinity Mirror weekly the Southport Visiter came in third, while the sith-placed Glasgow Evening Times was the highest placed Newsquest website.

Of those reported, only four websites – The Scotsman, the Derby Telegraph, the Cambridge News and the Scunthorpe Telegraph – experienced a year-on-year daily average UB decrease.

The full list of audience figures for individual newspaper online platforms is as follows:

Website Daily average UB Y-on-Ypc
Belfast News Letter 20,365 73.4
Peterborough Telegraph 31,998 69.1
Southport Visiter 14,363 54.9
Wigan Evening Post 26,669 52.7
Glasgow Evening Times 73,207 51.2
Wales Online 392,220 50
Yorkshire Post 37,917 48
Lincolnshire Echo 32,996 38.7
Huddersfield Daily Examiner 66,281 38.4
Manchester Evening News 747,713 30.4
Oxford Mail 38,973 28.3
Express & Star, Wolverhampton 151,754 26.8
The Press, York 55,922 26.4
Bristol Post 110,419 24.8
Lancashire Telegraph 59,116 23.9
Bolton News 62,214 23.8
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 76,166 23.7
Eastern Daily Press 65,478 23.2
Nottingham Post 89,058 22.8
Hull Daily Mail 104,167 21.5
Sunderland Echo 55,897 20.3
Lancashire Evening Post 34,021 20
Leicester Mercury 82,874 19.6
The Sentinel, Stoke 83,520 19
Shields Gazette 27,064 18.7
The Star, Sheffield 73,248 17.5
Northampton Chronicle & Echo 36,116 16.5
Ipswich Star 22,327 16.2
North Wales Daily Post 81,423 15.4
The Herald, Glasgow 96,080 13.7
Local World Network (Web) 1,393,400 13.4
Hartlepool Mail 21,288 13.2
Shropshire Star 56,392 12.9
Birmingham Mail 239,863 12.7
Teesside Evening Gazette 106,074 12.7
Liverpool Echo 524,549 12.1
The News, Portsmouth 50,081 11.5
Swindon Advertiser 34,463 10.6
East Anglian Daily Times 23,264 10.6
Gloucestershire Live 38,116 10.1
Norwich Evening News 16,344 9.9
Chronicle Live, Newcastle 237,111 8.6
Blackpool Gazette 33,086 8.3
Coventry Telegraph 62,938 6.7
The Argus, Brighton 54,365 6.4
Yorkshire Evening Post 74,166 6.1
Plymouth Herald 80,777 5.9
Edinburgh Evening News 61,123 5.7
Grimsby Telegraph 40,830 4.4
Southern Daily Echo 84,877 4
South Wales Evening Post 58,212 3.2
Northern Echo 65,188 2
Scotsman 104,001 -2.4
Derby Telegraph 71,585 -2.7
Cambridge News 44,546 -6.3
Scunthorpe Telegraph 24,384 -18.3

The full list of audience figures for regional publisher online networks is as follows:

Publisher Daily Average UB Y-o-ypc
Kent Online (KM Group) 132,744 25.6
Newsquest 1,575,714 24.1
Midland News Association 203,153 23.5
Johnston Press 1,189,674 22.3
Trinity Mirror Regionals 2,471,236 19.4
Local World 1,393,400 13.4


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  • August 25, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    Absolutely pointless and meaningless statistics. Johnston Press shares are now regarded as junk stock and fell again today to 9p.

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  • August 25, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    And in two sentences Harry B dismisses the hard work of embattled journalists the length and breadth of the country.
    Thanks, mate.

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  • August 25, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    Johnston Press scored a 1-2 in web growth,fantastic,get out the champagne,put out the flags,the only problem is the shares have plummeted to 9p the reality is its a free service,and figures will always rise when it costs nothing.The powers that be still haven’t latched on to the obvious web sites don’t generate income,if they did and with the fantastic rise in wed site viewing figures why are JP on the brink of going bust.

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  • August 25, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    Can anybody enlighten me if “Unique Browsers” create any form of revenue streams…………………..?

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  • August 25, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    You can give away all the news you want on t’internet but getting ads around it to make it pay isnt easy. When will JP realise that local weekly type advertisers dont want to know. They think if it’s on the net then everyone will follow. Maybe ok with National/world news but locals prefer print. If it aint broke dont fix it!! Go Jason with his new werkly. JP …lions being led by donkeys!!!

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  • August 25, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    DAVE. Glad to help.

    You’re toiling away on what you know is a thankless and pointless charade. Nobody is going to pay to read newspapers online and that means all of these hits, likes and UPVs are just ifs, buts and maybes, floating around on a summer breeze.

    Have you considered what it is you are trying to achieve and whether it’s working? You obviously haven’t.

    It was the same bull that I used to hear more than 15 years ago. Unlike most journalists these days, I told the ‘suits’ they were talking rubbish. I refused to offer more than a ‘token’ web presence until someone explained to me how web traffic was going to cover the cost of lost paper sales. I’m still waiting.

    You and your colleagues may be working hard. Sadly, a man trying to dig up a 100-year-old oak tree with a teaspoon, is also working hard. Futile effort but hard graft.

    Why not think and look at the facts and figures before trying to defend this nonsense?

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  • August 25, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    old snapper – yes they do. That was an easy question. Got any others?

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  • August 25, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    I suppose if the top dogs are telling everyone to keep digging up that oak tree with their teaspoons there’s not a huge amount the grafters can do.
    The issue is very clear… Content is touted as being ‘king’ on the web, and indeed it is if you want traffic. But traffic (in truth) only just about wipes it’s face when monetised through display ads.
    The elephant in the room is classifieds – there needs to be a realisation that their business is not about content. Content is simply a hook to pull in UBs but those UBs need to then be monetised.
    Leadership in this industry needs to understand that their business is not about content; it is about connecting readers with services and retailers, and those connections when correctly monetised through the provision of relevant and PROFITABLE solutions for those service providers and retailers are the only route to long term maintainable profit for the industry.
    Johnston Press needs to take a good look at who earns the real money online, and who are their lunch in the first place – indeed, autotrader, rightmove to name but a few.

    Bring back the relevance for the local businesses and provide them with a reason to engage. Then there might be some hope!

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  • August 25, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    For goodness sake..AH a d JP really need to get a grip!! They are in a unique position tl dictate where locsl news goes from here! Digital is nice and clesn and cheap, but as a money making model…well its a complete and utter failure as far as LOCAL weekly news goes . SO. Take back the powet of the press and tell people thst print is king and thats all about it. Forget your big imaginary savings on print snd distribution costs. Bottom line is that DIGITAL DONT WORK.. print has proved itself. Yout greed is blinding you to the tteality!!

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  • August 25, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    Zenithar. If unique browsers create revenue, how come Johnston Press share prices have fallen from over £14 to less than 10p.

    How come companies have had to get rid of hundreds of journalists this year already?

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  • August 25, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    Zenithar: You appear to have inside info on how super-successful the interweb is for newspaper giants. In which case, could you explain why so many journalists are being made redundant, their offices flogged off and share prices are at rock bottom?

    Where is the money going from these fabulous internet income streams? I think we should be told.

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  • August 25, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    Several ‘local’ newspapers in Northern Ireland this week entered the make-believe world of Newsroom of the Future. Such drivel. Readers were invited to make a splash in Paris (full page); were told how to be nice to their knees; how to avoid sprains and strains; how to face pet emergencies; told about school buses; and lots more irrelevant rubbish. If they were free sheets, the readers would be overcharged! But they cost £1.50. Unsold copies are piling high in newsagents and shares are under 10p, despite the recent x50 move! Well done, ye suits…

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  • August 26, 2016 at 7:55 am

    Obviously my question to Zenithar wasn’t as easy as the other one he smugly answered

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  • August 26, 2016 at 10:07 am

    Harry – I can’t answer your question to Zenithar, but I believe UBs DO make money. Not enough, however, to keep overbloated dinosaurs like JP afloat in their current form for much longer and not nearly as much as print still does. Nobody has told us how big these revenue streams are, because I think if they did, we’d all die of fright.

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  • August 26, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    To Harry and ex-JP sub – the answer is quite simple. The web makes money, but it doesn’t make as much money as print. Eventually there will come a time when the web makes more money than print. It is inevitable. But it won’t make as much money as print did in its heyday, unless something radical happens (it might – lots of radical things have happened in the last few years alone).

    Should we fight the inevitable by offering a “token” web presence and damaging our brand by being last with the local news? Or should we prepare for the future and try to build a new audience?

    It’s going to be painful, and there are going to be job losses, but there will always be a demand for news – and if there is a demand, there is a business opportunity.

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  • August 26, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    Zenithar, the major news groups seem paralysed by the scale of the task ahead, only able to introduce new ways of working to cut jobs. I am struggling to think of any new innovative initiative to either boost print or online audiences. I’ve long thought that a newspaper website should be a portal to all sorts of interesting content, and by that I don’t mean cat videos and advertising dressed up as news. If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got. New thinking and ideas are critical. Good luck.

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  • August 26, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    Zenithar. You say the web makes money. Really? The evidence suggests that it doesn’t cover the costs. That’s why JP shares dropped again to 8.2p. They entire company is worth less than a nice house in Notting Hill.

    You say there’ll be job losses. Did you miss the hundreds already gone this year? Every time costs are cut (because there is no money to be made from the web) the quality of the printed product and web offering is damaged.

    I’m afraid you’re either delusional or very, very optimistic.

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  • August 27, 2016 at 10:56 am

    Zenithar, thank you for your reply, would you now care to expand on that…..?

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  • August 29, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    So JP – purveyors of newspapers whose circulations are draining away like water out of the bath -.are boasting of ‘hits’ on their website! The drowning ‘suits’ are grasping at straws. Website news is free. Advertisers are not enthused. The share price – like those circulations – is sinking fast at just over 8p. Stupidity and greed are the reasons. The JP Newsrooms of the Future (with terrible ‘stories’) are the latest manifestation of these insane policies. An unmitigated disaster.

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  • August 29, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    Zenithar…what planet are you living on? It must be planet clanger along with the soup dragon and Ashley Highfield!! As far as LOCAL news is concerned digital is and always will be a failure. With LOCAL news publishers are wasting their time going digital. Put out a good hyper local product, do the opposite of what JP have done and advertisers and readers will come back. The only thing the net is useful for LOCALLY is promoting what’s in this week’s paper and teasing with breaking news…full story and pictures in Friday’s Gazette.

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  • August 30, 2016 at 11:34 am

    JP will collapse in early 2017. It is in the process of collapsing now but the whole ship will fold in on itself Feb/Mar next year. It is broken.

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  • August 30, 2016 at 6:56 pm

    Yes, Ken of the North. The JP Iceberg of doom (in the form of Digital) is straight ahead for all to see, except that Captain Ashley refuses to recognise it. He’ll give the instruction ‘FULL STEAM AHEAD’ and this version of the Titanic will sink without trace.

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