The decline in visits since The Sun put up a paywall on 1 August means that the Mirrror’s website has overtaken its rival for the first time, with an estimated 22.8m visits in August, according to the Israeli analysts.
The Mirror seems to be the biggest beneficiary of The Sun’s decision to make its content paid-for. Weekly visits rose to a high of 6.1m in the week commencing 25 August, having been between 3.9m and 4.3m throughout July.
The average time browsers spent on The Sun site has also fallen since July, dropping from 3 minutes 59 seconds in July to one minute 18 seconds in August, according to SimilarW. The bounce rate, which measures the proportion of visitors who enter the site and leave without looking at another page, grew from 47.5 per cent to 68.9 per cent.
It is the first time data has emerged showing the effect of The Sun’s paywall over a full month.
Last month, an analysis from Experian Marketing Services showed that the News UK title had lost more than one third of its market share of visits in the first ten days of August. However, the web analytics company said the result “should be viewed positively”, given that any move to put content behind a paywall would result in a drop in visitor numbers.
SimilarWeb bases its data on information from software installed in the computers of millions of web users around the world.
The last official UK website traffic data from ABC was for July (pre-paywall).
Then, the Mirror had 29.8 million unique 'browsers) across the month versus The Sun on 31.8m.