Figures show Grantham Journal’s parent company is biggest regional online publisher

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JOHNSTON Press, the parent company of the Grantham Journal, is now the biggest and fastest-growing regional online publisher, according to latest figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC).

Company websites attracted a total of 560,721 browsers on average every day during the first half of 2012 - an increase in our digital audience of 29.3 per cent year on year. Trinity Mirror recorded a 14.9 per cent increase (538,152 average daily unique browsers), Northcliffe 6.3 per cent (347,319) and Newsquest 9.4 per cent (499,292).

The Journal’s own digital performance is impressive with a year-on-year (August to August) increase of 45 per cent in browsers and a 24 per cent year-on-year increase in page impressions. Facebook and Twitter activity has also increased well above the industry average.

Editor Paul Richardson said: “Our digital audience growth means the Journal is now reaching out to more people than ever before.

“We will continue to work hard to engage with the community in as many ways as possible, so they can make the most convenient choice to suit their lifestyle.”

The ABC figures also show some Johnston Press websites for daily titles posted the biggest year-on-year increases in average daily unique users. The Portsmouth News website was up 48.4 per cent, the Yorkshire Evening Post 46.8 per cent and the Yorkshire Post 38.7 per cent. The Sunderland Echo saw an increase of 35.9 per cent and all bar one of the 10 newspaper websites audited showed double digit growth.

The Scotsman remains the biggest regional newspaper title online with 105,959 average daily unique users.

Henry Faure Walker, digital and business development director, attributed the growth in digital audience to both the launch of mobile-specific versions of the company’s websites and a greater focus across the group on the quantity and quality of digital content.

He said: “The strong increase in the number of people coming to and engaging with our local websites is very encouraging, and is an essential part of our strategy to provide advertisers with an unrivalled reach to this unique local audience.

“There is much more we can be doing in terms of digital content and improving the way our websites look and work, but we’re making good progress and the momentum is really starting to build.”    

Some 10 million visitors a month come to the Johnston Press network and audience on mobile has doubled from one million last December to more than two million by June.