ABCe: National newspaper websites slump in December

All five the national newspaper websites that publish their ABCe audits ended 2007 with substantial year-on-year readership gains despite slumping in December, typically a low-traffic month.

Mail Online performed best among the five sites that published new ABCe figures today, losing just 5.45 per cent of its traffic to the holiday drift and ending the year with 13.6 million unique users – a 115 per cent increase over December 2006.

Guardian Unlimited remained the most-visited UK national newspaper website, but lost 8.82 percent to end the year with just under 16 million unique users in December, a figure up 21.17 percent on the same month in 2006.

Times Online lost 9 per cent relative to November, and attracted 11.1 unique users in December. This was up 29.72 percent year-on-year meaning it overtook the Telegraph to become the third most popular UK newspaper on the web.

Telegraph.co.uk was hardest hit by the holiday slump, losing 17.59 per cent of its November traffic, to 10.55 million unique users. Despite dropping down the readership league table, the Telegraph performed well in 2007. While Telegraph.co.uk did not publish an ABCe certificate in December 2006, the Telegraph claims internal figures show that its traffic was up nearly 86 percent year-on-year, up from 5.67m unique users in December 2006.

The Sun Online grew 45 percent year-on-year, but lost 9.77 of its November traffic. It remains the fifth-largest of the national newspaper websites.

The Independent, which relaunched its website yesterday, did not publish an ABCe certificate. The site has been expected to publish its traffic figures for several months.

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