News retains lead at top of online ratings in February as closes gap logoFairfax Media’s has closed the gap on its rival News Corp’s with the News Corp title’s unique audience only ahead by 162,000 but still top of the latest Nielsen online news figures for February.

Its audience of 3.578m unique users put it just ahead of’s audience of 3.416m unique users while ABC News websites were further behind in third place with a unique audience of 2.887m.

All three websites saw a boost on last months audiences as the school holidays ended and the official TV ratings season and online sites saw a boost in their entertainment news traffic.

Commenting on the results, head of media at Nielsen Monique Perry said: “With the start of the new TV ratings season and increases in new programming, the commercial TV networks have been successful in driving incremental unique audiences to their online portals. More and more we’re seeing audiences look online to complement their offline viewing and continue their engagement.

“Despite the shorter month, we saw a slight increase in unique audiences to the overall Current Events & Global News category,” added Perry.

The Daily Mail remained stable with a unique audience of 2.464m as the Ninemsn news websites boosted their audience from 2.195m in January to 2.227m in February.

Yahoo!7’s group of websites remained in the sixth spot with a relatively stable audience of 2.023m while The Guardian boosted its audience by 206,000 users to a unique audience of 2.018m.

The Age also boosted its audience, posting a unique audience of 1.828m, while the Herald Sun and The Daily Telegraph also posted very modest increases.

The Couriermail’s website just missed out on the top 10 with a unique audience of 1.691m while Buzzfeed posted a unique audience of 1.555m.

The Huffington Post, which last month announced a partnership with Fairfax to launch a local site, attracted an audience of 1.202m, down slightly on January’s audience of 1.252m.

It was still ahead of News Corp’s The Australian which had a unique audience of 1.188m, up on January’s audience of 983,000.

Smaller player The Conversation attracted a unique audience of 378,000.



Miranda Ward 


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