JOHNSTON Press, the parent company of Sussex Newspapers whose titles include the Eastbourne Gazette & Herald, along with the Hastings, Bexhill and Rye & Battle Observer, is now the biggest and fastest-growing regional online publisher, according to latest figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC).
Our websites attracted a total of 560,721 browsers on average every day during the first half of 2012 - an increase in our digital audience of 29.3% year on year. Trinity Mirror recorded a 14.9% increase (538,152 average daily unique browsers), Northcliffe 6.3% (347,319) and Newsquest 9.4% (499,292).
The ABC figures also show some of our websites for daily titles posted the biggest year-on-year increases in average daily unique users. The Portsmouth News website was up 48.4%, the Yorkshire Evening Post 46.8% and the Yorkshire Post 38.7%. The Sunderland Echo saw an increase of 35.9% and all bar one of the 10 newspaper websites audited showed double digit growth (see table below).
The Scotsman remains the biggest regional newspaper title online with 105,959 average daily unique users.
Henry Faure Walker, digital & business development director, attributed the growth in digital audience to both the launch of mobile-specific versions of the company’s websites and a greater focus across the Group on the quantity and quality of digital content.
He said: “The strong increase in the number of people coming to and engaging with our local websites is very encouraging, and is an essential part of our strategy to provide advertisers with an unrivalled reach to this unique local audience. There is much more we can be doing in terms of digital content and improving the way our websites look and work, but we’re making good progress and the momentum is really starting to build.”
Some 10 million visitors a month come to the Johnston Press network and audience on mobile has doubled from one million last December to more than two million by June.