Most popular websites for news in the world: Monthly top 50 listing

Top 50 global news sites in July 2021: Australian news brands dominate growth again

For the second month in a row Australian news sites dominated the list for the top five fastest growing sites in June according to Press Gazette’s new ranking of the biggest English language news websites in the world.

The website of celebrity and royalist news magazine Hello! was the fastest growing site, with year-on-year visits up 34% from 46.3 million in July 2020 to 62.1 million in July 2021 according to data from web analytics firm Similarweb.

Three of the top five, however, were Australian national news sites. The second-fastest growing site year-on-year was that of leading commercial Australian news broadcaster, 9news.com.au which saw visits increase 33% from 42.6 million to 56.7 million. It was followed by abc.net.au, which saw visits up 31% from 103.4 million to 135 million, while news.com.au was the fifth-fastest growing site with visits up 16% to 113.1 million.

American news site The Daily Beast, described by its editor-in-chief Noah Shachtman as a “high-end tabloid”, saw the biggest month-on-month gains in July with visits up 26% to 36.2 million visits compared to June 2021.

The three Australian news sites that grew well year-on-year were also among the fastest growers on a monthly basis, as were hellomagazine.com (up 23%) and apnews.com (46.2 million visits - up 21%).

Once again BBC.co.uk and BBC.com combined to come out on top in terms of total visits with 1.3 billion website visits in July. Next placed CNN racked up just under half the number of visits as the BBC sites (630.1 million), although the BBC’s lead over the CNN in July has reduced slightly compared to June when the BBC had over 700 million more visits than CNN. Similarweb’s data for the BBC does however, include visits to both BBC’s main site as well as its news offering.

The next largest websites belonged to the Mail Online (348.8 million visits, down 7% year-on-year), New York Times (342.7 million visits, down 18% year-on-year), The Guardian (317 million, no change year-on-year), and Fox News (298.4 million, down 25% ).

Most of the top ten sites saw slightly more traffic in July than June. Of the top ten sites only BBC.co.uk and BBC.com, express.co.uk and finance.yahoo.com saw small falls in the number of visits.

Overall, there was little change in the combined amount of visits to the current top 50 most popular news websites in July (6.8 billion visits) compared to June (6.6 billion visits). Combined year-on-year traffic remains 10% lower than in the same month last year, when there were a combined 7.6 billion visits to these leading 50 sites.

SimilarWeb generates its traffic data by applying machine learning and modelling to the statistically representative datasets that the company collects. Datasets are based on direct measurement (i.e. websites and apps that choose to share first-party analytics with SimilarWeb); contributory networks that aggregate device data; partnerships and public data extraction from websites and apps.

Visit data is based on desktop and mobile web visits. A visit (session) means that a visitor has accessed one or more pages in a website. Subsequent page views are included in the same visit until the user is inactive for more than 30 minutes.

Press Gazette uses SimilarWeb data for its digital traffic analysis stories so we can compare figures across publishers, who differ in how they measure their own audience data.

June 2021

Australian news sites 9News and ABC were among the fastest growing sites in June.

US-based technology news site theverge.com was the fastest growing site in June 2021, with month-on-month visits up 22% from 43.4m to 52.8m according to data from web analytics company Similarweb.

It was followed by the website of leading commercial Australian news broadcaster 9news.com.au, which saw visits increase 18% from 38.6m to 45.8m, and abc.net.au, which saw visits up 13% from 100.7m to 114.2m.

Among the sites that saw significant falls in traffic that month were sites from India. The timesofindia.com saw visits fall 18% from 211.4m to 147.1m between May and June, while visits to indiatoday.in were down 9%, falling from 81.7m to 63.5m.

Right-leaning video news platform BitChute saw the biggest year-on-year gains in April: up 78% to 40.1m visits.

Also among the top ten fastest growers year-on-year were hellomagazine.com (50.5m visits, up 25%), finance.yahoo.com (288.5m, up 21%) and usnews.com (56m, up 15%). Three Australian sites (9news.com.au, abc.net.au and news.com.au) also made the top ten.

BBC.co.uk and BBC.com combined came out on top with 1.3bn website visits in June. This was 10% more than in June last year, when both sites combined received 1.2bn visits.

Next place CNN had 599.7m sessions on its websites (CNN.com and edition.CNN.com). Visits to CNN.com and edition.CNN.com sites were 30% lower than the 857.6m visits that the two sites received in June 2020.

The next largest websites belonged to the New York Times (336.9m visits, down 20% year-on-year), Mail Online (325.6m, down 6%), The Guardian (304.6m, down 12%) and Yahoo! Finance (288.5m, up 21%).

Overall, the current top 50 most popular news websites saw a combined 4% fewer visits in June (7.2bn) versus May (7.5bn), and traffic remained 10% lower than in June last year, when there were a combined 8bn visits to these leading 50 sites.

April 2021

Hello magazine and The Times were among the fastest growing sites in April.

Hellomagazine.com was the fastest growing site in March 2021, with month-on-month visits up 117% from 27.9m to 60.6m according to Similarweb. It was followed by right-wing video news platform BitChute, which saw visits increase 83% from 20.3m to 37m and thetimes.co.uk, which saw visits up 35% from 27.6m to 37.3m.

Among the sites that saw the falls in traffic year-on-year were politics-focused news site The Hill, right-wing news aggregator Drudge Report and business news site Forbes.

The websites of two Canadian brands, CTV Television Network and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, saw the biggest month-on-month gains in April: up 17% to 87.6m and 8% to 84.3m, respectively.

Also among the top ten fastest growers month-on-month were dailystar.co.uk (35.3m visits, up 5%), nypost.com (109m, up 1%) and the website of Russian-state owned RT (131.8m, up 0.5%).

BBC.co.uk and BBC.com combined came out on top with 1.2bn website visits in April. This was 8% more than in April last year when both sites combined received 1.1bn visits.

As a result the BBC has widened its lead slightly over next place CNN with 636m sessions on its websites (CNN.com and edition.CNN.com). Visits to CNN.com and edition.CNN.com sites were 35% lower than the 979m visits that the two sites received in April 2020.

The next largest websites belonged to the New York Times (363m visits, down 18% year-on-year), Fox News (269m, down 30%), Mail Online (320m, down 13%) and The Guardian (301m, down 23%).

Overall, the current top 50 most popular news websites saw a combined 5% fewer visits in April (6.6bn) versus March (6.9bn), and traffic remained 15% lower than in April last when there was a combined 7.7bn visits to these leading 50 sites.

Note: Press Gazette will be updating this page on a monthly basis. See our previous coverage here:

Biggest news websites in the world archive data

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