Mail Online overtakes New York Times to become world's no 1

Mail Online, the website for the Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday, has become the world's largest English-language "newspaper" site after leapfrogging the site for The New York Times, according to comScore.

Mail Online: overtakes The New York Times to become world's no 1
Mail Online: overtakes The New York Times to become world's no 1

ComScore data for December 2011 reports that Mail Online reached 45.348 million people, compared to The New York Times' 44.787 million.

The change at the top follows The New York Times adopting a metered-access model for its website at the end of March 2011, and an ongoing expansion strategy by Associated.

Known to carry more gossip and celebrity news than its print product, Mail Online has expanded its international footprint over the past 24 months, by opening offices in New York, Los Angeles and, most recently, India.

Debates over how reliable comScore's data is could already be heard rumbling around NMA's newspaper awards, the ANNAs, last night, but the Mail Online's trajectory is apparent to all.

Actual figures could potentially be higher, with comScore confident it does not include people accessing the site via any mobile device.

Furthermore, the online metrics specialist claims to avoid duplications by combining its own panel-based sample of more than two million people with its Unified Digital Measurement (UDM) tagging system placed on publishers' websites.

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Total unique visitors (000s) to online news sites

Oct 2011 Nov 2011 Dec 2011
Total internet audience: age 15+ 1,431,939 1,438,877 1,444,092
Newspapers 579,865 578,515 573,757
Mail Online 43,320 45,323 45,348
The New York Times Brand 48,769 45,883 44,813
USAToday Sites 33,447 33,725 37,166
Tribune Newspapers 32,291 31,336 32,830
Guardian.co.uk 34,024 32,690 29,152

ComScore data, published 26 January 2011.