The Mail Online, the website for the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday, has leapfrogged Telegraph Online and long-term market leader Guardian Unlimited to become the most-read newspaper website in May, according to the latest ABCe figures.
The figures show that Mail Online has knocked the Telegraph into second place after it ousted the Guardian from the top spot in last month’s figures. There is now less than 400,000 users separating the top three websites: Mail Online at 18,712,533, Telegraph Online at 18,497,944 and Guardian at 18,323,824.
Mail Online has seen a 3.73% rise in users compared to April while Guardian Unlimited and Telegraph Online saw numbers fall -1.20% and 0.79% respectively.
Mike Moore, general manager at The Telegraph, points to the group’s 150% growth rate year-on-year, making it the fastest growing newspaper website in the UK.
Today’s audit also marks the first time Independent News & Media decided to make its online figures public for the Independent, posting 6,533,795 unique users.
Elsewhere, News International’s Times Online saw 3% increase in users to 15,877,693 still ahead of its tabloid stablemate Sun Online despite a 6.25% lift to 14,948,080.
The audit comes amid an industry review of web metrics and digital channel measurement standards being conducted by JICWEBS (the Joint Industry Committee for Web Standards) after concerns were raised surrounding the differing analytics methodologies applied by the newspaper groups.
Although the current figures are in full compliance with current industry agreed standards, the evolution of the analytical approaches means that minor variances can occur depending on the analytics tools being used to count traffic.
Zach Leonard, the National Newspaper representative to JICWEBs, said: “Audit standards must evolve alongside the fast moving digital publishing sector. Working closely with JICWEBS and ABCe, we’re confident that our efforts in this area will continue to provide robust and transparent data on national newspapers online, so that publishers can continue to trade competitively and fairly with agencies and advertisers.”