Newsquest Scotland hits record 6m unique monthly users as Facebook drives traffic

Picture: PIxabay

Newsquest’s portfolio of Scottish websites is receiving more than six million unique monthly users, the publisher has revealed.

The record figure includes traffic to The Herald and Evening Times in Glasgow as well as online marketplaces s1cars, s1homes, s1jobs and Exchange and Mart.

In total, more than 35m monthly page views were recorded across Newsquest’s portfolio of 29 Scottish websites. Facebook was said to be a driver of traffic across online platforms.

Volumes for display advertising are said to have increased by 316 per cent in the year to April, while the company has continued to build its classified business.

Newsquest Scotland said the figure reflected “outstanding growth” across its Herald and Times Group titles and included an “excellent” performance by regional titles acquired last year from the Romanes Publishing Group.

The takeover of Scottish-based publisher Romanes saw Newsquest gain 19 paid-for weekly newspapers, nine free titles and one daily, the Greenock Telegraph last year.

Gordon Stevenson, head of digital at Newsquest Scotland, said: “Our increased investment in training, real-time content analytics, digital product improvement and a belief in the power of social media has helped accelerate our ambitions to way beyond our initial audience targets.”

Stevenson said a “huge” percentage of traffic to the company’s websites came from Facebook referrals across all device types.

“This provides a two-way opportunity for engaging in meaningful, relevant dialogue with readers,” he said.“It’s about delivering the right content at the right time on any device the reader chooses.”

Newsquest revealed in January that it was proposing to cut another 25 journalism jobs on its Glasgow-based daily titles – the fourth round of redundancies on the titles in 14 months.

The tiles affected include the Herald, Sunday Herald, The National and the Evening Times.

The cuts come despite the fact that the US-based company has seen growing profits in Scotland.

The latest accounts for Newsquest (Herald and Times) Ltd show that it made an operating profit of £11.9m in 2014 (up from £9.1m) on turnover flat year on year at £53.7m.

Picture: Pixabay

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