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Reach claims UK first as it tops 40m unique visitors across digital network

Reach is the first UK news publisher to cross 40m unique visitors in a single month, according to new Comscore web figures.

The news group collectively reached 41.05m unique visitors in October, amounting to 82 per cent of the UK digital population.

The figure encompasses Reach’s entire editorial digital network, which includes the Mirror, Express, Star and OK websites and some 50 regional titles such as the Liverpool Echo and Manchester Evening News.

Reach group editor-in-chief Lloyd Embley said: “This is a big milestone for us and a real vote of confidence in our journalism.

“We now have a digital reach comparable to the biggest tech players, putting us in a strong position as we prepare to expand our network even further in 2020.”

According to figures from Comscore, Google sites totalled 49.66m unique visitors in October – or 99 per cent of the UK digital population. Facebook reached 44.34m people.

Reach saw a major expansion last year when it bought the Express, Star and OK titles in a £127m deal.

It was expected to expand its portfolio further by buying a large number of regional titles from JPI Media after confirming in July it was in the “early stages” of talks to acquire “certain assets” from the rival publisher.

But Press Gazette understands Reach has now pulled out of the race.

The Financial Times reported last week that Newsquest is now the frontrunner to buy JPI Media’s 200 regional titles, which include The Yorkshire Post and The Scotsman.

News UK, which publishes the Sun and the paywalled Times website, saw the biggest year-on-year growth by 30 per cent in October, bringing it to 38.43m – fewer than 3m unique visitors behind Reach.

Individually, the Sun’s family of apps and websites had 35.9m unique visitors in October while the Times brands reached 9.9m.

Reach’s Daily Star website saw the largest individual month-on-month growth of 29 per cent.

The Telegraph was the only national newspaper publisher to see its online reach dip in October, falling four per cent to 20.57m.

UK news group website traffic for October 2019 (Comscore, via Reach):

Newspaper group Total monthly unique visitors (000) % change month-on-month % change year-on-year
Reach 41,048 5 10
News UK 38,432 9 30
DMGT (inc Mail Online) 37,585 13 18
Mail Online/Daily Mail 35,291 15 15
ESI Media (Independent/Evening Standard) 27,791 8 10
The Guardian 25,581 8 3
Telegraph Media Group 20,569 4 -4

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