Regional press group's national entertainment website hits 1m monthly users

A national entertainment news website launched by regional group Johnston Press has celebrated exceeding 1m unique browsers per month.

According to Wow247 general manager Steven Thomas the site is profitable and 94 per cent of its readers are new  to Johnston Press. Launched in 2012, the site has three full-time editorial staff (one in Leeds and two in Edinburgh). It also has a network of paid contributors and bloggers based in eight key cities around the UK.

The site has seven sales staff and makes its money from a mixture of display and native advertising.

Its editorial coverage is focused around the key cities and towns for touring entertainment productions around the UK.

Through the “Wow Academy” it encourages students to contribute words, photos and videos to the site on work placements.

The site works independently of the Johnston Press regional newspaper network – but also makes it content available to be re-used by other titles in the group.

The site was relaunched three months ago on a mobile-friendly responsive design platform.

Thomas told Press Gazette: “A lot of the content we are producing is well thought out by people who are living and breathing it and people are starting to trust the site a lot more.

“Compared to sites like Time Out and Ents24 we are producing an awful lot more content and it's of a really high standard.”

Wow247 is planning to branch out into six new cities this year.

The site reached 1,035,753 unique users (different devices) in July 2015, up 177 per cent on the total for May.

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