takes top place in rankings as Daily Mail and Guardian continue to surge

The latest online news numbers have seen topple for the first time this year while the new local operations of UK newspapers the Mail Online and The Guardian have posted record audience results.

The May numbers saw traffic surge on the back of federal budget coverage with the numbers suggesting that more than 10 million Australians accessing a news website with the, ABC and The Guardian, the main beneficiaries of the increases.

Nielsen Nielsen Online Ratings sees ahead of by almost 200,000 readers with an estimated monthly audience of 3.8m. New overseas challengers MailOnline, which two weeks ago rebranded as the Daily Mail Australia when it moved to anAustralian newspage, and The Guardian, which last month celebrated its first year of operation in Australia, both posting record audience results coming in at sixth and ninth with audiences of 2.25m and 1.86m respectively.

Nielsen gathers its numbers based on a combination of a representative panel of c0nsumers and tracking codes on web sites.

The result for Daily Mail Australia also comes amid a growing fight with News Corp over copyright, with both sides throwing accusations of plagiarism and poorly attributed use of copy and images at each other.

While News Corp’s and Herald Sun both saw month-on-month online declines in audience, both the Courier Mail and the Daily Telegraph recorded increases. The Courier Mail was up 14 per cent to 1.72m while the Telegraph was up 10 per cent 1.66m. The Australian was up 15 per cent month-on-month with an audience of 1.38m.

Other players such as Buzzfeed and The Conversation both also posted increases, with the US viral site up 12 per cent with 1.63m while the university funded news website, which only entered the Nielsen rankings last month, was up 44 per cent with an audience of 446,000.

In terms of engagement has the longest time per person with an hour one hour and 27 minutes per month while The Age was second with one hour and 21 minutes followed by on one hour and two minutes.

Nielsen has also released online data for the food category which had a unique audience of 6.2 million in May and showed News Corp’s was the leader with a unique audience of 2.2m, while Domino’s Pizza is fourth in the category.

Screen shot 2014-06-15 at 2.56.31 PMNic Christensen 


  1. Charlie
    16 Jun 14
    8:13 am

  2. Is this the start of audience leaking from to the Mail Online – hardly surprising since they both pursue the same brand of schlock journalism. News corp is obviously worried – hence their frenzied campaign against the Mail for plagiarism (even though News are clearly guilty of the same practice).

  3. Stan the man
    16 Jun 14
    10:55 am

  4. I wonder if smh numbers are helped by people clearing their cookies to get around their paywall. Regardless , I agree with Charlie that the arrival of the Mail Online will (possibly already is) hurt more than any other site. have taken a leaf right out of the MO playbook (ie very little real news, an obsession with celebrity gossip and clickbait yarns) so it now comes down to who does that best.

  5. Forest Nahm
    16 Jun 14
    11:02 am

  6. On you smh. Goes to show Fairfax are on the right path. The editorial team there remain committed to quality and the audience follows.

  7. argo
    16 Jun 14
    12:12 pm

  8. While one monthly result does not a trend make, that is a sizable gap that smh has opened up on — and all the more significant, given smh is a paywalled site (ie restricted access) while is not.

  9. Nic
    16 Jun 14
    2:13 pm

  10. so who gets to call Rupert?

  11. You might also like
    16 Jun 14
    2:20 pm

  12. I think that the SMH will stay well ahead of The Guardian while The Guardian continues to send users to SMH through “More from around the web” links at the bottom of all articles.

    I don’t see the sense in this. Could someone explain?

  13. Steve
    16 Jun 14
    2:51 pm

  14. Great win by SMH by a state publication vs a national.

    My insulin levels are falling back to normal now News’ over sweet journalistic junkies are finally being bailed up by the low GI and sustainably responsible journalism of Fairfax!!

  15. Jamma
    16 Jun 14
    3:27 pm

  16. wow, would hate to be the editor on now?

    Bet you Bruce Guthrie is a-smiling today

  17. Concerned of Cheltenham
    16 Jun 14
    5:01 pm

  18. Great numbers for – but concerning that people are spending more time on Dominos than any of the other food sites! Stay Classy Australia!

  19. Hi
    16 Jun 14
    10:32 pm

  20. Can someone plz point to a good explanation of how ‘Nielsen Online Ratings’ works?


  21. redditor
    17 Jun 14
    2:30 am

  22. fuck tony abet

  23. Ian McClelland
    17 Jun 14
    2:44 pm

  24. Linking out to SMH and other publications from related articles, as with referring to sources via hyperlink, is part of the practice of Open Journalism, . All major news sites in Australia have recently blocked this kind of linking to but we are committed to our readers rather than our shareholders ( a benefit of not having any) ; so we will continue to link out where it is relevant and useful to our readers.

  25. Anonymous
    18 Jun 14
    8:09 am

  26. Um, I’m pretty sure the links from The Guardian to others through “More from around the web” are CPC ads and not an altruistic approach – revenue rather than anything else?

    Eg Forget red lips and thick brows, here are the new beauty rules of 2014
    (Yahoo!7 Lifestyle)

    Surely not Open Journalism?

  27. stan the man
    18 Jun 14
    10:22 am

  28. @ Anonymous: You’re right — these are indeed links to other sites for which the Guardian gets paid per click. They’re supplied by a third party called Outbrain. You’ll see same thing on Fairfax and News sites, also supplied by Outbrain. Most publishers don’t allow links to what could be termed competitor sites, but the Guardian doesn’t seem to have such qualms. Many of the links in its “More from around the web” section are to Fairfax sites….

  29. John Grono
    28 Jun 14
    5:57 pm

  30. Hi Hi.

    In a nutshell the Nielsen Online Ratings uses a panel of around 8,000 people to ‘convert’ the traffic data (collected via tags) into audience ratings. That is, it derives duplication rates, age/gender profiles etc. A panel will always under-report audiences because of issues with sampling organisations like banks, government, defence, as well as public place access such as schools, universities, coffee shops, airport lounges etc. Conversely, a tag based system will always over-report audiences because of cookie deletion, location duplication (home and work access) and device duplication (PC, laptop, smartphone, tablet).

    Lots of people fall for the trap of comparing their internal website metrics – which is traffic and not audience – with the Online Ratings which is measuring audience.

    Does that help?