eAudiences and local global news

Friday 23 October 2009, 09:40

Kevin Marsh Kevin Marsh is director of OffspinMedia and a former Today editor

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It's worth keeping an eye on these stats each month. The ABCe figures - the ones that measure the performance of newspaper websites.

Unfortunately, you'll have to do it second hand - or pay up. But you'll usually find the headlines here on the editorsweblog or here on the Guardian Media.

Unlike the traditional ABCs that have told a story of not so gentle decline for four decades, the ABCe figures tell a story, mostly, of remarkable growth.

Guardian.co.uk, for example, broke 30 million unique users in September - close to 33 million, an annual increase of over a third. The Telegraph and Mail also passed 30 million ... the Mail up two thirds on the year. A few - Times Online - actually lost ground, but the overall numbers are surging upwards.

Of course, this is a double-edged sword - the increase may be impressive ... but it's for content that's free and can only increase the drift from paper advertising to the web.

There's another side, too, to the latest numbers.

Most of the increase in traffic to UK newspaper sites over the past year hasn't come from UK readers; it's come from abroad. Total uniques for UK newspaper websites increased 13 million between August and September - but only 2.4 million of those were readers in the UK.

An illustration that the web really doesn't know the boundaries we once assumed for our news output.   

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