It was a good start to the year for a number of news titles, all of which recorded their best ever web traffic in January, according to the latest figures published by the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC).
Mail Online broke though the 200 million mark, up 12.8 per cent on December's traffic to reach just under 225 million monthly unique browsers.
The Guardian also achieved more than 120 million monthly unique browsers for the first time, up 12.4 per cent on December's traffic and 5 per cent on its previous record of 113.9 million uniques, which it achieved in September last year.
Mirror Group Nationals, which includes Mirror.co.uk and Daily Record, saw the biggest month-on-month growth after reaching 83.7 million monthly unique browsers in the first month of the year, up 27.8 per cent on December's traffic and 80 per cent year-on-year.
With December traditionally being a quiet month traffic-wise for many news sites, all national outlets audited by ABC saw a leap in month-on-month traffic at the start of 2015.
Meanwhile The Independent topped the 50 million milestone for the first time in two months, recording 52.6 million monthly unique browsers in January, up 15 per cent from 45.7 million the previous month.
This is a more than 50 per cent year-on-year growth for the outlet, which also announced today it is to open a new "digitally focused" office in the US.
Speaking to Journalism.co.uk, digital editor Christian Broughton said the American expansion had been motivated by traffic from the US growing "pretty quickly", comprising around a third of total unique browsers to independent.co.uk in January, according to internal figures.
Traffic is "pretty much exactly 40 per cent UK, so after the UK it's a pretty big chunk of what we get," he added.
The Independent's new digital team builds on its existing team of reporters across the pond, headed up by US editor David Usborne in New York.To really make the best content online that you can, it pays to be thinking that [way] from the get-goChristian Broughton, The Independent
Andrew Buncombe, formerly the outlet’s correspondent for Washington, later Asia, has moved to the role of US digital editor, while former Vice journalist Payton Guyon has also joined the team.
Broughton said that while the US reporting team was already "very social media literate" there was "a huge benefit in having people with little bit more expertise in digital specifically".
"They would previously be sending copy back [to the UK digital team] and we would enrich it, put in video, embed tweets and Facebook posts, galleries and in-line images," he explained.
"But to really make the best content online that you can, it pays to be thinking that [way] from the get-go, from the moment you begin to write your copy."
"It's what we've done in London and it's worked for us really, really well."
The Independent's i100, which launched last July, was also going "from strength to strength" said Broughton, receiving 5.2 million uniques in January – figures which are absorbed into the overall ABC stats for the outlet.
Elsewhere, The Daily Star and The Evening Standard saw increases of 21.1 per cent and 20.6 per cent respectively, while The Telegraph and The Express registered a rise of 17.2 per cent and 11 per cent.
Metro was the only site where traffic remained more or less static, registering an increase of just 0.3 per cent.
- The Independent will be adding a number of new positions to its London and New York offices over the coming months. For more details contact Christian Broughton.
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