As MediaWeek reports, MailOnline’s unique visitors rose 27% between February and March, up to 39,635,000. Despite seeing a 20% rise itself, The Huffington Post was pushed into third place with 38,429,000. Meanwhile, the New York Times saw an epic 41% increase, taking it to a record 61,964,000 global unique users.
With the New York Times’ paywall having kicked in during mid-March, that lead could well be reduced in ComScore’s next set of figures. However, in the short-term, the prospect of MailOnline or the Huffington Post actually overtaking the New York Times seems slim. Casual readers can still access twenty pages on the Times’ website each month without paying, while clickthroughs from blogs and social media sources like Twitter and Facebook are currently unlimited
Still, the rise of the Daily Mail’s site shows that its formula of freely accessible, celebrity-focused news and carefully crafted scandal pieces is working wonders. In fact, as we’ve noted before, it’s a very blog-like formula. With this in mind, and the fact that the most-definitely-a-blog Huffington Post is so high in ComScore’s league table, it’s worth questioning “What is a newspaper website anyway?” and should ComScore’s definitions be revised?