The figures come as debate continues over whether consumers can be persuaded to pay for online content, particularly news, and what is the best mechanism for doing charging. News Corp has signalled that it intends to charge but Guardian News & Media has flatly ruled out doing so.
News International’s Times Online saw the smallest percentage drop month-on-month by 0.72% to 18,738,550 but it did also fall year-on-year by 4.84%, the only website to see a year-on-year drop. The Sun Online fell 5.14% to 23,803,426 but rose year-on-year 48.91%.
The drop in August traffic is most probably attributable to the disruption in normal media browsing patterns caused by the summer holidays. Mail Online saw a drop of 3.98% in unique browsers for the month to 28,683,926 but traffic to the site was up 64% year-on-year.
Guardian.co.uk took the second position with 26,656,444 users, down 1.24% on July but up 15.34% year-on-year. The Telegraph came in third with 24,847,184, down 6.16% but up 12.63% year-on-year.