Publishers unique audience figures have shown a significant dip with only two publications reporting gains in November, according to Nielsen’s Monthly Digital ratings.
ABC News Sites and Melbourne masthead the Herald Sun were the only top 10 mainstays to make gains, increasing unique audience by 5 per cent and 2.2 per cent respectively.
Comparatively, The Daily Telegraph saw a decline of 24 per cent – around 600 000 – compared to October, dropping from seventh place out of the top 10. A measurement error by Nielsen affected the data set with two days’ worth of user interactions unable to be recorded due to the masthead’s website moving to the secure https platform.
In a response to the result, The Daily Telegraph published a piece in December in which digital editor Peter Brown said the result was expected.
“In October, to quote a literary giant, ‘we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave’ on the back of the NRL Grand Final, a historical Bathurst 1000 and the already iconic $10 million Everest at Randwick,” Mr Brown said.
“But November was a remarkable month for us in terms of reinforcing the value of our journalism. Page impressions and unique browsers are seductive, and vital, for our free counterparts but we’re more than happy sacrifice audience size to build a robust and secure foundation for loyal paid subscribers.”
The Daily Mail Australia was hit with audiences falling 8.9 per cent to 2,553,000. The result is the weakest from the website in the past year.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported a unique audience reduction of 8.5 percent, however, average time spent on site and page views per person did increase.
The ranking of the top three mastheads remained the same, despite first-placed News.com.au dropping 4 per cent and third-placed Nine.com.au falling 3.4 per cent.
The Guardian maintained fifth place despite a 6.5 per cent drop, while Yahoo7 News Websites edged out the Daily Mail Australia to move from seventh to sixth place.
MSN News made its first appearance in the rankings for 2017 in 10th place.