The latest online news numbers have seen smh.com.au topple news.com.au 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 smh.com.au, ABC and The Guardian, the main beneficiaries of the increases.
Nielsen Online Ratings sees smh.com.au ahead of news.com.au 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 news.com.au 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 news.com.au 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 smh.com.au 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 taste.com.au was the leader with a unique audience of 2.2m, while Domino’s Pizza is fourth in the category.