Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Top 50 news websites in the US: People, USA Today and New York Times see double-digit annual growth Top 50

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Celebrity newsbrand People was the fastest-growing news website in the US in March according to Press Gazette’s latest ranking.

Top 50 most popular news websites in the UK (monthly ranking)

Top 50 most popular news websites in the world (monthly ranking)

Visits to People.com were up 27% year-on-year to reach 145.7 million, according to data from digital intelligence platform Similarweb.

Along with USA Today (143.4 million visits, up 13% year-on-year) and New York Times (498.6 million, up 10%), it was one of three of the top ten websites by number of visits in March to see double-digit growth.


In contrast, top ten sites Fox News (248.5 million, down 19%), the New York Post (139.3 million, down 16%), MSN (258.5 million visits, down 13%), Google News (131.8 million, down 10%) and CNN (402.2 million, down 10%) saw double-digit slumps in visits compared to March 2023.

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Month-on-month the picture was more positive for the ten biggest sites, with all but People (down 8%) seeing more visits in March than February. The New York Post (up 12%) saw the biggest monthly gain, followed by The New York Times, USA Today, Washington Post (122 million) and CNN, which each saw a 9% month-on-month boost in visits.

Among the wider top 50, The Cool Down, which entered our ranking last month for the first time in 42nd position, saw strong growth for another month, moving up from 42nd to 35th in the table. Visits to the climate-specialised newsbrand were up 25% month-on-month and 421% year-on-year (30.4 million visits).

The Cool Down was the fastest-growing site year-on-year among the whole top 50. It was followed by Newsweek (90.5 million visits, up 144% year-on-year).

A Newsweek spokesperson told Press Gazette last month that “the share of readers visiting us via our front door is setting records” and is its “best source of stable, growing audience independent of third-party algorithm changes” as many publishers experience Google and Facebook referral declines.

Month-on-month, both Newsweek (up 31% compared to February) and The Cool Down were beaten by publishing group Advance Local’s Alabama-focused site al.com (22.6 million visits, up 67% month-on-month). It was followed by independently run consumer-focused science news site sciencealert.com (24.4 million visits, up 66% month-on-month).

Long-running magazine The Atlantic also saw a strong March with 30 million visits, an increase of 26% month-on-month.

The New York Times remained the biggest newsbrand in the US by number of visits, followed by CNN, MSN, Fox News and Yahoo Finance (150.1 million visits) which knocked People out of fifth position.

The Daily Mail remained the best-ranked British newsbrand in the ranking (rank 11, 113 million visits), just ahead of the BBC (rank 12, 106.9 million).

Since November Similarweb has excluded the figures for edition.cnn.com in its report to Press Gazette since they are counted under the main domain. Visits to edition.cnn.com however make up a very small share of all visits to the CNN domain in the US.

Similarweb generates its traffic data by applying machine learning and modelling to the statistically representative datasets that the company collects. Datasets are based on direct measurement (i.e. websites and apps that choose to share first-party analytics with Similarweb); contributory networks that aggregate device data; partnerships and public data extraction from websites and apps. The sites in the list are based on Similarweb’s classification of news and media publishers, although Press Gazette refines the list to exclude some sites with a less news-based focus.

Continue reading for previous months’ coverage of the top 50 websites for news in the US:

November

Newsweek was the fastest-growing news site in the US in February while climate news startup The Cooldown entered the list in 42nd position, according to Press Gazette’s latest ranking.

Visits to the site of news magazine Newsweek, which has expanded its rankings content and consumer guides in the past year, were up 130% year-on-year to 69.1 million, making it the fastest growing news site in the top 50, according to data from digital intelligence platform, Similarweb. (We excluded The Cool Down from the year-on-year analysis because the site only recently launched towards the end of 2022).

Newsweek was followed by Axios (25 million visits, up 88% year-on-year) and Politico (50.7 million, up 51%). UK newsbrand The Independent (25.7 million, up 44%) also made the top ten for growth, ranking 39th in the top 50. Last month The Independent also featured among the ten fastest-growing sites in the top 50, as it seeks to grow its US foothold.

Month-on-month the fastest-growing newsbrand was The Cool Down (24.3 million visits, up 52% compared to January). Ranked 42nd in this month’s top 50, the site was launched by founder and CEO of the sports media outlet Bleacher Report Dave Finocchio and Anna Robertson, an ABC and Yahoo News executive, and purports to be the “first mainstream climate brand” in the US.

It was followed for month-on-month growth in visits by progressive news website Rawstory (20.4 million, up 24%) and Newsweek (up 10% month-on-month).

None of the ten biggest news websites by number of visits grew month-on-month in February. People (158.7 million visits, down 2% month-on-month) and Yahoo Finance (147.2 million, down 3%) saw the smallest falls, while Fox News (242.5 million, down 10%) and Gannett’s flagship title USA Today (131.3 million, down 13%) saw the only double-digit declines.

Annually, the picture was more mixed for the ten biggest sites. People (up 30% year-on-year), USA Today (up 20%) and Yahoo Finance (up 14%) saw the biggest increases in visits compared to February 2023.

At the other end of the list however, Microsoft news aggregator MSN (247.4 million visits) and News Corp’s New York Post (124.9 million) saw the biggest year-on-year slumps at 17% each.

The New York Times (456.7 million visits) remained the biggest newsbrand in the US by number of visits, followed by CNN (372.8 million), MSN, Fox News and People.

The Daily Mail remained the best-ranked British newsbrand in the ranking (107.7 million visits) in tenth, one place ahead of the BBC (101 million).

Since November Similarweb has excluded the figures for edition.cnn.com in its report to Press Gazette since they are counted under the main domain. Visits to edition.cnn.com however make up a very small share of all visits to the CNN domain in the US.

November

The Independent was one of the fastest-growing news sites in the US in January, according to Press Gazette’s latest ranking.

Visits to the UK publisher’s site were up 29% month-on-month to 24.3 million, making it the second-fastest growing news site in the US, according to data from digital intelligence platform, Similarweb.

The Independent is one of several UK newsbrands along with The Sun, Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, Express and the BBC that have recently put focus on expansion in the US.

The Independent’s chief executive Christian Broughton told Press Gazette last year that US expansion, along with e-commerce, Independent TV, reader revenues and AI, are the main drivers of growth for the publisher.

The Daily Mail remained the best-ranked British newsbrand in the ranking (119.8 million visits) although it dropped one place to eleventh from tenth in the past month.

Fastest-growing month-on-month in the top 50 was Advance Local-owned New Jersey news site nj.com (23.5 million visits, up 33% month-on-month) while third fastest-growing was Business Insider (74.4 million, up 21%).

Year-on-year, compared to January 2023, the fastest-growing site was Newsweek (62.7 million visits, up 94%), followed by Axios (28.8 million visits, up 60%) which in recent years has expanded into local news and its professional subscription service, Axios Pro.

The Independent also featured among the fastest-growing websites year-on-year coming in fifth place having seen visits up 40% compared to last January.

Among the ten biggest news websites by volume of visits, USA Today was the fastest-growing for a third month in a row.

Visits to the Gannett-owned site were up by 32% year-on-year to 151.4 million – echoing its year-on-year growth rate last month.

It was followed by People (161.4 million visits, up 16% year-on-year) and both were the only large sites to see year-on-year growth for the second month in a row.

People and USA Today also saw the biggest growth month-on-month among the top ten sites. Visits to People were up 11% compared to December while they were up 8% to USA Today.

In contrast to the annual figures, however, all of the ten biggest sites saw month-on-month growth of at least 3% in January.

The largest site in the US remained The New York Times (482.7 million visits), followed by CNN (398.8 million) and Fox News (270.2 million).

Since November Similarweb has excluded the figures for edition.cnn.com in its report to Press Gazette since they are counted under the main domain. Visits to edition.cnn.com however make up a very small share of all visits to the CNN domain in the US.

December

USA Today was the fastest-growing of the ten biggest news websites in the US in December for a second month in a row, according to Press Gazette’s updated ranking.

Visits to the Gannett-owned site were up by a third (32%) year-on-year to 140.8 million – dwarfing its own year-on-year growth rate of 11% last month, according to data from digital intelligence platform, Similarweb.

People (145.9 million visits, up 20% year-on-year) was the only other top ten site by number of visits to see an increase in traffic in December.

The remainder of the large US news sites saw falls in traffic, echoing our global ranking where none of the top ten sites grew year-on-year, possibly due to changes in Google’s search algorithm in the last four months of 2023.

MSN (259.2 million visits, down 33% year-on-year), Google News (134.1 million, down 20%) and CNN (374.7 million, down 17%) saw the biggest drops.

Since November, Similarweb has excluded the figures for edition.cnn.com in its report to Press Gazette since they are counted under the main domain. Visits to edition.cnn.com however make up a very small share of all visits to the CNN domain in the US.

Two sites focused on news from Israel featured among the fastest-growing in the overall top 50, due to audience interest in the conflict in Gaza. Fastest-growing was Jerusalem-based Times of Israel (21.5 million visits, up 329%), while Yeshiva World (20.3 million, up 37%) also made the list of biggest-growing sites.

Aggregator Newsbreak (22.5 million, up 69%) and Axios (24.8 million, up 46%) also appeared among the fastest-growing sites in the top 50.

The New York Times saw visits grow 6% month-on-month compared to November and was again the biggest site in the US (464.4 million visits). CNN again came in second after leading the table for several months beforehand (373.7 million).

Fox News (262.1 million) and MSN again took third and fourth place, but People leapfrogged Yahoo Finance into fifth.

The Daily Mail jumped another place in December to rank tenth (116.3 million visits, down 12% year-on-year but up by the same month-on-month) ahead of fellow British news provider the BBC (104.6 million, rank 12).

The Sun performed markedly better compared to November, ranking ten places higher in 24th with 48.3 million visits, an increase of 70% month-on-month. However it was down by a third (32%) compared to December 2022.

November

USA Today was the fastest-growing top ten news website in the US in November, according to Press Gazette’s updated ranking. 

Visits to the Gannett-owned site were up 11% year-on-year to 121.8 million, according to data from digital intelligence platform, Similarweb. It was one of just two top ten news sites by number of monthly visits along with People (127.3 million visits, up 9% year-on-year) to see an increase in traffic in November.

The remaining top ten newsbrands saw a slump in traffic with Microsoft-owned msn.com (243.3 million visits, down 37% year-on-year), CNN (372.4 million, down 27%) and Fox News (252.2 million, down 26%) recording the largest falls at more than a quarter each. This month the figures for edition.cnn.com have been excluded from Similarweb’s report to Press Gazette since they are counted under the main domain. Visits to edition.cnn.com however last month made up just 1.5% of all visits to the CNN domain in the US and the change will therefore be slight. 

The biggest site by number of visits was The New York Times (436.8 million visits) which has in recent months been jostling for top spot with CNN. The US cable broadcaster fell to second in November (372.4 million). Third was Fox News (252.2 million), while MSN was fourth and Yahoo Finance was fifth (138.6 million). 

The best-ranked UK newsbrand in the US top 50 was Mail Online, which jumped one place to rank 11 despite a month-on-month fall in visits. It was followed by the BBC (rank 12, 99.9 million visits). The BBC’s visit total is slightly lower this month due to the exclusion going forward of visits to bbc.co.uk in the US since this traffic is redirected. The Sun meanwhile came in 34th position as it continues to lose traffic in the US (28.2 million visits, down 60% year-on-year and 44% compared to October).

Among the top 50 as a whole, fastest-growing was Times of Israel (27.3 million visits, up 468% compared to November 2022). It was followed by Newsweek (57.5 million, up 87%), aggregator Newsbreak (20.6 million, up 61%) and UK news site The Independent (20.4 million visits, up 28%). Jewish news site Yeshiva World (19.2 million, up 28% year-on-year) came in fifth. Like Times of Israel its growth is linked to increased interest in news about Israel and the Middle East region following the outbreak of war with Gaza on 7 October.

October

Thirty of the 50 biggest news websites in the US (60%) grew traffic year-on-year in October, with The Times of Israel seeing the biggest growth.

The Jerusalem-based online newspaper saw visits up 708% year-on-year to 29.6 million, followed in second place by Al Jazeera (27.8 million visits, up 132%), according to data from digital intelligence platform Similarweb.

Neither site has previously appeared in our top 50 ranking, suggesting the boost in visits is linked to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas which began on 7 October. The Times of Israel entered the ranking in 35th position, with Al Jazeera just behind in 36th.

AP (99.2 million visits, up 62%), ABC News (52 million visits, up 62% also) and The Independent (22.5 million, up 57%) also saw significant year-on-year growth in visits, suggesting a similar boost linked to increased reader interest in events in Gaza and Israel.

Among October’s top ten sites by number of visits, more than half saw year-on-year growth, reversing last month’s trend when all but two top of the ten sites saw a slump in visits.

People saw the biggest audience surge in October (137 million visits, up 31% year-on-year). It was followed by CNN (516.9 million, up 23%), Fox News (306.8 million, up 16%) and New York Post (137.3 million, up 15%). The New York Times (485.1 million, up 3%) and the BBC (150.7 million, up 1%) saw smaller growth in the single figures.

Despite smaller year-on-year growth, the BBC’s strong month-on-month growth of 25% meant it jumped five places in the ranking to fifth place. However it should be noted that Similarweb’s data captures visits to the whole BBC.com domain, which includes more than just news.

Washington Post (129.9 million, down 17%) and news aggregator MSN (259.8 million, down 19% saw the biggest falls among the top ten.

The biggest site by number of visits was CNN, which overtook the New York Times to resume its place as the top US news website. The New York Times has been the country’s biggest news website for the past three months and for much of the last two years, however that position had traditionally been held by CNN.

The best-ranked UK newsbrand in the US top 50 after the BBC was Mail Online (127 million visits, rank 12), followed by The Guardian (79.5 million, rank 18).

The Sun, which has generally seen consistently strong growth over the past two years in this ranking, fell seven places to rank 30 (45.6 million visits, down 24% year-on-year).

The Mirror (rank 48, 10.1 million visits), The Express (rank 50, 8.6 million) and Cosmopolitan (rank 42, 17.6 million) were among 11 sites that entered the top 50 for the first time in October.

Similarweb generates its traffic data by applying machine learning and modelling to the statistically representative datasets that the company collects. Datasets are based on direct measurement (i.e. websites and apps that choose to share first-party analytics with Similarweb); contributory networks that aggregate device data; partnerships and public data extraction from websites and apps. The sites in the list are based on Similarweb’s classification of news and media publishers, although Press Gazette refines the list to exclude some sites with a less news-based focus.

September 2023

AP News and Axios were among the top three fastest-growing news sites in the US in September, according to Press Gazette’s latest monthly top 50 ranking.

Visits to the website of the UK public broadcaster were up 9% year-on-year to 133.9 million according to data from digital intelligence platform Similarweb.

Visits to second-fastest growing AP were up 49% year-on-year to 79.6 million, while third-biggest growing Axios saw visits up 37% to 22.8 million.

US aggregator Newsbreak was however top of the table for growth with visits up 53% to 19.7 million.

The Independent also featured among the fastest-growing sites, coming in tenth place for growth with visits up 17% to 23.1 million. This however was markedly less than August when the British newsbrand’s year-on-year growth was 53%.

Among the ten biggest sites by number of visits in September, USA Today was fastest-growing for the second month in a row and climbed three places compared to August to seventh. Visits to the Gannett-owned newsbrand were up 20% to 126.8 million.

Celebrity newsbrand People (122.9 million visits, up 7%) was the only other top ten site to see increased visits in September, and also climbed three places in the ranking (into ninth position).

The New York Times retained its position as the biggest news website in the US for the third month in a row (425 million visits), once again opening up a gap with second-placed CNN (401.2 million visits). CNN saw a bigger month-on-month traffic slump (down 13%) than the New York Times (down 8%).

CNN was historically top until February 2022, when the New York Times saw a jump in visits following its purchase of Wordle, and the broadcaster was briefly top again in June.

Completing the top five, which was unchanged from August, was Microsoft news aggregator MSN (246 million visits), Fox News (241.8 million) and Yahoo Finance (135.8 million). The BBC (120.6 million visits) fell one place to tenth compared to August but maintained a spot among the ten biggest newsbrands in the US.

Other British newbrands in the top 50 included The Guardian (68.7 million visits, rank 18), which saw visits fall 10% year-on-year, and The Sun’s US edition (50.2 million, rank 23), where traffic was up 13%.

Despite growing year-on-year, a sharp month-on-month fall in the number of visits at The Independent meant that along with technology site The Verge, the British newsbrand saw the biggest drop in places in September compared to August (both down seven spots).

August 2023

The BBC was one of the fastest-growing top ten websites in the US in August, according to Press Gazette’s latest monthly top 50 ranking.

The BBC was outdone, however, by USA Today which saw visits up 23% to 129.4 million. The Gannett-owned newsbrand has seen regular growth in recent months, and this month climbed the ranking into tenth place compared to twelfth place in July.

Similarweb’s data captures visits to BBC.com and bbc.co.uk meaning that visits for the BBC’s entertainment content will also be included.

USA Today and the BBC were followed by CNN, the only other site in the top ten by number of visits to grow year-on year (461 million visits, up 5%).

Washington Post (139.8 million, down 11%) and Google News (147.9 million, down 17%) were in contrast the biggest fallers among the top ten sites.

The New York Times maintained its title as the biggest news website in the US for the second month in a row, although its lead over CNN fell to just 800,000 as CNN saw a bigger month-on-month traffic boost (11% versus 5%). CNN was historically top until February 2022, as the New York Times saw a jump in visits following its purchase of Wordle, and the broadcaster was briefly top again in June.

Microsoft news aggregator Msn.com (270.6 million visits), foxnews.com (268.8 million) and Yahoo Finance (155.9 million) make up the remainder of the top five.

Among the top 50 as a whole, AP saw the highest year-on-year growth with visits up 85% to 55.6 million, echoing its leading position for growth in our global ranking.

It was followed by cbsnews.com (67.8 million, up 54%) and independent.co.uk (30.6 million, up 53%).

The Sun’s US edition, which has regularly featured among the fastest-growing sites in the US top 50 in the past year, this month recorded a drop as visits to the-sun.com were down 9% year-on-year to 49.5 million.

AP saw the biggest jump in rank, climbing four positions to 16 in contrast to last month when it was the biggest faller (dropping four places to 20) while entertainment title Variety (24.4 million, rank 43, down five places) saw the biggest fall in position.

July 2023

The Independent was the joint fastest-growing news website in the US in July, according to Press Gazette’s latest monthly top 50 ranking.

Visits to the website of the UK newsbrand were up 69% year-on-year to 31.5 million according to data from digital intelligence platform Similarweb. The Independent, along with the BBC and The Sun, has recently increased its investment in the US in a bid to tap into the country’s large news market.

It was tied for growth with US broadcasting giant CBS News, which also saw visits up 69% year-on-year to 71.5 million.

Third fastest-growing was celebrity news-focused People.com (131.9 million visits, up 55% year-on-year) which jumped three places compared to June’s ranking to enter the list of the top ten biggest sites in the US in July.

The Sun’s US edition, which has regularly featured among the fastest-growing sites in the US top 50 in the past year, was the seventh fastest-growing in July as visits to the-sun.com were up 33% year-on-year to 54.7 million.

Sfgate.com, the website of Hearst’s San Francisco Chronicle, saw the biggest jump in rank, climbing eight positions to 33 (33.7 million visits), while AP (67.3 million visits, rank 20, down four places) and ABC News (39.5 million, rank 31, down five places) saw the biggest falls in position.

The New York Times overtook CNN to resume its title as the biggest news website in the US by number of visits. CNN was historically top until February 2022, as the New York Times saw a jump in visits following its purchase of Wordle. But CNN was briefly top again in June.

In July there were 441.6 million visits to the New York Times website, compared to 415.2 for CNN.com, but both did see a fall in traffic by 4% and 9% respectively year-on-year.

The remaining top five sites – msn.com (269.6 million visits), foxnews.com (262.1 million) and nypost.com (153.5 million) – saw their positions in the ranking unchanged from June.

The BBC, which climbed one place in June to sixth position, fell two places to eighth with 134.6 million visits, a year-on-year fall of 7%. Similarweb’s data captures visits to BBC.com and bbc.co.uk meaning that visits for the BBC’s entertainment content will also be included.

Among the sites that saw the biggest falls in traffic this month were conservative US publisher Daily Wire (down 36% year-on-year to 21 million visits) and bloomberg.com (29.1 million visits, down 24% year-on-year).

Among the ten biggest websites, only Dotdash Meredith-owned website People.com and the BBC (134.6 million visits, up 7%) grew year-on-year.

Similarweb generates its traffic data by applying machine learning and modelling to the statistically representative datasets that the company collects. Datasets are based on direct measurement (i.e. websites and apps that choose to share first-party analytics with Similarweb); contributory networks that aggregate device data; partnerships and public data extraction from websites and apps. The sites in the list are based on Similarweb’s classification of news and media publishers, although Press Gazette refines the list to exclude some sites which do not fall under news, culture and lifestyle in its definition.

Press Gazette uses Similarweb data for its US and worldwide top 50 English-language news ranking stories so we can compare figures across publishers, who differ in how they measure their own audience data.

June 2023

CNN overtook the New York Times to become the biggest news website in the US in June, according to Press Gazette’s latest monthly top 50 ranking.

Historically CNN had been above the New York Times but the newspaper brand overtook the broadcaster in February 2022 after it bought the Wordle game and had remained above ever since.

Visits to the CNN website were up 5% year-on-year to 458 million in June, according to data from digital intelligence platform Similarweb.

Visits to the New York Times website meanwhile were down 9% to 423.2 million pushing the newspaper brand into second position. In recent months, CNN has been closing the gap on the New York Times as web traffic to nytimes.com has consistently fallen compared to 2022, possibly in part due to falling interest in the popular game Wordle.

CNN and the New York Times were among several websites that changed ranks among the top ten.

The BBC climbed one place in June to sixth position as visits to the UK broadcaster’s website were up 26% year-on-year (152.7 million visits). It was the fastest-growing top ten brand by number of visits. While Similarweb’s data captures visits to BBC.com meaning that visits for the BBC’s entertainment content will also be included, the corporation has recently ramped up its editorial presence in the US.

Microsoft aggregator MSN and Fox News meanwhile swapped positions in June. MSN climbed to third place with 289.5 million visits (up 6% year-on-year) while Fox News (276.5 million, down 5%) fell to rank four.

Among the ten biggest websites, USA Today was the second-fastest for growth (124.8 million visits, up 23%). The Gannett-owned brand was the only large news site other than the BBC to see double-digit audience growth in June. USA Today climbed three places in June to enter the top ten in tenth position.

Across the top 50 as a whole, cbsnews.com was the fastest-growing (75.5 million visits, up 71% year-on-year). The news website of the US broadcaster has enjoyed a recent strong run of growth and was also this month’s fastest growing top 50 news website worldwide.

Second-fastest growing in the top 50 was The Sun’s US edition (57 million visits, up 69%) while fellow British newsbrand The Independent (35 million visits, up 66%) was fourth-fastest growing. Like the BBC, both have recently invested in ramping up their US presence.

Among the sites that saw the biggest falls in traffic this month were conservative US publisher Daily Wire (down 43% year-on-year to 23.1 million visits) and digital home of Hearst print title San Francisco Chronicle, sfgate.com (24.7 million visits, down 29% year-on-year). Hearst also operates a paywalled premium website serving the city, sfchronicle.com, which is not included in the top 50.

May 2023

The Sun was the fastest-growing newsbrand in the US in May for the second month in a row, according to Press Gazette’s latest monthly top 50 ranking.

There were 69 million visits to the website of the UK tabloid’s US edition, which launched in 2020, an increase of 80% compared to May last year.

It was followed by cbsnews.com which has similarly enjoyed a recent strong run of growth (58.9 million visits, up 43% year-on-year) and NBC Universal-owned MSNBC (20.1 million visits, up 37%).

Meanwhile, the website of another British newsbrand also seeking to expand further in the US, The Independent, also made the top ten fastest-growing list. Visits to independent.co.uk were up 33% to 29.7 million.

Among the top ten sites by number of visits, there was little year-on-year growth. Visits to the BBC were up 1% to 142.1 million, while MSN saw virtually no change compared to last May (278.5 million visits).

In contrast, much of the top ten saw large falls. The biggest drop was seen by the New York Times (432.1 million visits, down 24% year-on-year) and Google News (144.2 million visits, down 20%).

Yahoo Finance (142 million visits, down 19%), Washington Post (124.8 million, down 19%), Mail Online (118.9 million, down 10%) and celebrity-focused site People (116.3 million, down 13%) also saw double-digit falls.

The New York Times maintained its spot at the top of the table, although second-place CNN continues to close the gap. CNN grew 3% month-on-month while the New York Times’ audience was largely static. The New York Times’ fall in traffic is possibly linked to declining interest in the Wordle puzzle and, like other titles, less news interest compared to the early months of the Ukraine war last year.

While the ranking of the top five brands remained unchanged, with Fox News, MSN and New York Post rounding out the top five, the BBC fell one place to rank seven after climbing last month, while Google News was up to rank six.

Similarweb generates its traffic data by applying machine learning and modelling to the statistically representative datasets that the company collects. Datasets are based on direct measurement (i.e. websites and apps that choose to share first-party analytics with Similarweb); contributory networks that aggregate device data; partnerships and public data extraction from websites and apps. The sites in the list are based on Similarweb’s classification of news and media publishers, although Press Gazette refines the list to exclude some sites which do not fall under news, culture and lifestyle in its definition.

Press Gazette uses Similarweb data for its US and worldwide top 50 English-language news ranking stories so we can compare figures across publishers, who differ in how they measure their own audience data.

April 2023

The Sun’s US edition retook its place at the top of the list as the fastest-growing newsbrand in the US in April, according to Press Gazette’s latest monthly top 50 ranking.

Last month the US edition of the UK tabloid was third-fastest growing behind Substack and CBS News. It last topped the list for fastest-growing site in October last year. 

Second fastest-growing in April was CBS News which has similarly enjoyed a recent strong run of growth (51.9 million visits in April, up 51%), according to data from digital intelligence platform, Similarweb.

Among the ten largest sites by number of visits, fastest growing was USA Today up 26% to 118.8 million. 

It was followed by News Corp-owned Fox News. Visits to the site were up 5% year-on-year to 290.9 million, amid a series of legal controversies involving the cable broadcaster concerning the 2020 US election. 

No other top ten site saw visits increase in April. In contrast a number of them  – washingtonpost.com (121.2 million visits, down 14% year-on-year), Google News (137.6 million, down 19%), Yahoo Finance (128.9 million, down 19%) and the New York Times (430.2 million visits, down 26%) – saw double-digit falls in visits. 

The New York Times’ continued fall in traffic is possibly linked to falling interest in Wordle and, like other titles, a loss of the audience boost that came with the early months of the Ukraine war last year.

Despite falling traffic, the New York Times maintained its spot as the biggest site in the US followed by CNN (416.7 million visits), Fox News and msn.com (261 million visits). 

Despite a small drop in visits the BBC (down 1% year-on-year, 138.2 million visits) climbed two places in the ranking compared to March – coming in sixth position in April. The BBC recently stepped up its editorial investment in the US.

March 2023

The New York Times saw the biggest drop in US traffic among the top 50 websites in the country in March, according to Press Gazette’s latest monthly ranking.

The number of visits to nytimes.com fell 35% to 452.4 million – echoing both a similar fall in Press Gazette’s global top 50 ranking and the site’s 21% fall in February’s US ranking. 

The decline is potentially linked to declining interest in word game Wordle, which went viral early last year and quickly snapped up by the New York Times, and a widespread fall in year-on-year traffic comparisons following a surge in news interest about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

The New York Times was also one of eight top ten sites by number of visits that saw a fall in traffic in March, according to data from digital intelligence platform Similarweb. 

The site with the second largest year-on-year fall in the top ten was Google News (146.9 million visits, down 25%) followed by washingtonpost.com (127.4 million visits, down 23%), cnn.com (446.2 million visits, also down 23%) and bbc.com and bbc.co.uk (141.7 million visits, down 21%).

CNBC was the fastest-growing top ten site (128.9 million visits, up 9% year-on-year).

Within the overall top 50, the fastest-growing site was newsletter platform Substack to which US visits were up 37% to 30.3 million. Second-fastest growing was cbsnews.com (52.8 million visits, up 32%) while the Sun’s US edition came in third (63.6 million, up 27%) continuing its run of rapid growth since launching across the Atlantic in 2020.

Despite its year-on-year audience fall, the New York Times remains the largest site by number of visits in the US top 50. It was followed by CNN, foxnews.com (305.6 million) and msn.com (297.8 million visits). Fox News rose one place up March’s ranking to displace MSN from third place.  

Yahoo Finance (148.4 million visits, rank six), Google News (rank seven) and cnbc.com (rank ten) were the other sites at the top of the table to climb up the ranking in March. 

The Sun US edition saw the largest drop in places among the top 50, falling from rank 15 in February to rank 20 in March although it’s year-on-year growth continued to be strong. 

February 2023

The Sun’s US edition was one of the fastest-growing websites in the US in February, according to Press Gazette’s latest monthly ranking.

The number of visits to the US edition of the UK tabloid were up 56% to reach 71.5 million in February, making it the second fastest-growing site in the US top 50. The Sun’s US edition has grown rapidly since launching in the US in 2020 and is now ranked 15th in the US top 50 – a gain of four places since last month. 

Fastest-growing was entertainment site Variety.com (27.4 million visits, up 67%), according to data from digital intelligence platform, Similarweb, while cbsnews.com was third-fastest growing (47 million visits, up 43%).

The New York Times, which has regularly appeared among the fastest-growing sites in this ranking in the past year, saw its traffic fall by 21% to 418.6 million in February – reflective of its global traffic trend.

Among the top ten sites by audience size, only three saw an increase in traffic. They were people.com (up 36% year-on-year to 122.1 million), nypost.com (up 12% to 151.1 million) and Microsoft news aggregator MSN (up 9% to 298.3 million).

Despite the large fall in visits, The New York Times retained its spot at the top of the ranking for number of visits. It was followed by CNN (400.3 million visits), msn.com and foxnews.com (291.3 million). 

This month, News Corp-owned nypost.com (151.1 million visits, up 12% year-on-year) entered the top five, displacing Google News which fell to eighth place (131.1 million visits, down 26%).

The BBC climbed one place in the ranking to sixth (135.8 million, down 10% year-on-year).  

Today.com (24.7 million visits, up 33% year-on-year) saw the biggest jump in rank, climbing six places to rank 39. 

The site of celebrity and entertainment magazine Us Weekly (Usmagazine.com) meanwhile saw the biggest drop, falling eight places to rank 50 (18.3 million visits, down 23% year-on-year). 

January 2023

CBS News was for the second month in a row the fastest-growing news site in the US, according to Press Gazette’s latest monthly ranking.

The number of visits to the website of the US broadcaster were up 79% year-on-year to 56.7 million in January. 

It was followed by the nytimes.com (488.3 million visits, up 50% year-on-year), entertainment news provider variety.com (31.4 million visits, up 43%) and the-sun.com (62.7 million visits, up 40%). 

The Sun’s US edition has grown rapidly since launching in the US in 2020. The site’s audience has more than quadrupled in the last two years from just under 13 million 24 months ago. 

Among just the top ten sites by audience size, the New York Times was again the fastest-growing (CBS ranks 22nd). It was followed by msn.com (406.4 million visits, up 37%), People.com (139.6 million, up 31%), nypost.com (162.4 million, up 14%) and combined visits to bbc.com & bbc.co.uk (149.8 million, up 11%). 

The New York Times retained its spot at the top of the ranking for number of visits in a top five that remained unchanged from last month. It was followed by CNN (482.6 million visits), msn.com (406.4 million), foxnews.com (326 million) and Google News (166.6 million). 

Among the sites that saw the biggest jumps in rank in January, compared to the previous month were three local news sites that each jumped six places. The website of the Los Angeles Times (38.3 million visits climbed to 29th place),  San Francisco’s sfgate.com (34.1 million visits) climbed to rank 32, while Utah local ksl.com (22 million visits was up to 44th place. 

The Atlantic’s website (27.6 million visits) saw the largest drop (down 7 places to 38, while today.com (22 million visits) fell 5 places to rank 45. 

Two sites that did not make December’s top 50 entered the list this month. They were conservative news sites epochtimes.com (23.3 million visits) which entered in 43 place and Advance’s New Jersey site, nj.com (18.7 million visits) which entered in 50th position. 

December 2022

Two British newsbrands featured among the top five fastest-growing top ten newsbrands in the US in December, according to Press Gazette’s latest monthly ranking.

The number of visits to Mail Online were up 14% year-on-year to 131.9 million making it the third-fastest growing site.

Visits to the BBC were up 11% to reach 141.1 million, making it the fourth-fastest growing. The BBC has in recent months seen consistent growth in its US traffic, having stepped up its editorial investment in the US.

Taking the top spot for growth among the ten biggest sites was once again the New York Times. Visits to nytimes.com increased 57% year-on-year to 488.4 million, according to data from digital intelligence platform Similarweb.

Second-fastest growing for another month meanwhile was Microsoft’s news aggregator msn.com (385.4 million visits, up 29%).

The New York Times retained its spot at the top of the ranking for number of visits, while CNN maintained its second place (448.6 million visits) and msn.com its third spot.

Washingtonpost.com (144.6 million visits) dropped two ranks from sixth place in November to eighth this month, swapping places with nypost.com (152 million visits).

The Sun’s US edition was among the news sites that saw the biggest jump in rank between November and December. The-sun.com climbed five places to rank 18 in December with 62.2 million visits, up 49% year-on-year.

Substack.com (27 million visits) and today.com (25.9 million visits) also saw large changes in rank, climbing six and eight places respectively.

Among the whole top 50 list, the fastest-growing news website in December was cbsnews.com (51.3 million visits, up 84% year-on-year). It was followed by entertainment newsbrand variety.com (29.1 million visits, up 65%) and last month’s fastest-growing site nytimes.com. The-sun.com was fourth fastest-growing.

The only site not in November’s top 50 ranking to enter the list this month was celebrity news specialist Us Weekly. There were 22.4 million visits to its site usmagazine.com (rank 46).

November 2022

The New York Times was the fastest-growing news website in the US in November while the BBC was one of the strongest-performing large websites , according to Press Gazette’s latest monthly ranking. 

Of the top ten biggest English-language sites by number of visits, the New York Times grew the most year-on-year (535.1 million visits (up 81%), according to data from digital intelligence platform Similarweb. 

The NYT was followed by Microsoft news aggregator, msn.com (383.9 million visits, up 36%) and the BBC (140.7  million visits, up 22%). Fourth fastest-growing among the top ten was CNN with 506.8 million visits (up 14% year-on-year). 

Although the BBC sites saw slightly less visits in November compared to October, the UK public broadcaster has been among the top three large sites in the US for year-on-year growth since September. The BBC has in recent months ramped up its investment in the US, doubling its editorial staff.

[Read more: How the BBC plans to crack US news (without getting sucked into the culture wars)]

In total eight of the top ten sites in the US saw more traffic in November than the same month last year, echoing the pattern seen in Press Gazette’s global ranking this month.   

The New York Times retained its spot at the top of the ranking for number of visits, with the frontrunners largely unchanged from the previous month. 

The BBC did, however, drop one position to ninth rank, while nypost.com climbed up one spot to rank eighth (143.2 million visits). 

CNN was the second-largest website in the US, while third-largest was MSN. Foxnews.com (340.5 million visits) and Google News (165 million visits) rounded out the top five on this measure. 

Politico.com (rank 21, 61.4 million visits) and right-wing news site thegatewaypundit.com (rank 37, 28.1 million visits) jumped the most places this month, with both news sites climbing six positions in the ranking. 

Fastest-growing among the top 50 as a whole after nytimes.com was cbsnews.com (50.8 million visits, up 73%) followed by entertainment news publisher variety.com (26.1 million visits, up 60%). 

Last month’s fastest growing site in the US top 50, the-sun.com, was the eighth-fastest growing site year-on-year in November. The US digital version of the UK tabloid saw visits up 36% year-on-year to 54.1 million.

[Read more: US Sun bosses say ‘we’ve got incredibly ambitious aspirations’ as early work pays off in traffic and profit]

October 2022

The Sun regained its title as the fastest-growing news website in the US in October while the BBC continued its strong run of growth, according to Press Gazette’s latest monthly ranking. 

Of the top ten biggest English-language sites by number of visits, the New York Times maintained its spot as the fastest-growing with 470.8m visits (up 67%), according to data from digital intelligence platform, Similarweb.

It was followed, however, by last month’s third-fastest growing site, the BBC, which grew 30% year-on-year (149.4m visits) to become October’s second-fastest growing large site.

It comes as the BBC has ramped up investment in the US in recent months, doubling its editorial staff.

Third fastest-growing among the top ten was Microsoft’s news aggregator MSN.com with 321.9m visits (up 16% year-on-year), while the Washington Post (157m visits, up 12%) and CNBC (113.3m visits, up 8%) rounded out the top five on this measure. 

Among the top ten newsbrands by number of visits in October, six recorded year-on-year traffic increases in October, with four recording growth in the double-digits. Fox News meanwhile recorded the largest drop among the top ten (264.5m visits, down 15% year-on-year).

When it comes to the largest site by number of visits, The New York Times retained its spot at the top of a table that remained largely unchanged from last month. The only change in the top ten was CNBC jumping two places to enter in tenth spot, replacing Mail Online.

CNN was again the second-largest website in the US (413m visits, up 1%), while third-largest was MSN.

Newsweek’s site saw the biggest overall drop in rank, falling 12 places to rank 33rd with 32.8m visits, a 34% fall year-on-year.

Among the top 50 as a whole, the Sun’s US edition the-sun.com regained its spot as the fastest-growing news website in the US (51 million visits, up 72% year-on-year).

It was followed by long-running politics blog realclearpolitics.com (21.1m visits, up 70%) and the New York Times. 

For the second month in a row the majority (30) of the top 50 news sites saw year-on-year growth in the number of visits than falls. The US midterm elections may be a contributing factor to the increased interest in news.

Similarweb generates its traffic data by applying machine learning and modelling to the statistically representative datasets that the company collects. Datasets are based on direct measurement (i.e. websites and apps that choose to share first-party analytics with Similarweb); contributory networks that aggregate device data; partnerships and public data extraction from websites and apps. The sites in the list are based on Similarweb’s classification of news and media publishers, although Press Gazette refines the list to exclude some sites which do not fall under news, culture and lifestyle in its definition.

Press Gazette uses Similarweb data for its US and worldwide top 50 English-language news ranking stories so we can compare figures across publishers, who differ in how they measure their own audience data.

September 2022

The BBC and the Mail Online were among the top three fastest-growing large newsbrands in the US in September, according to Press Gazette’s latest monthly ranking. 

Of the top ten biggest English-language sites by number of visits, Mail Online was second-fastest growing with 116.8 million visits (an increase of 22% year-on-year), while the BBC was third fastest-growing with 142 million visits (up 21% year-on-year), according to data from digital intelligence platform, Similarweb. 

They were however both beaten by the New York Times, which once again was the fastest-growing top ten site in the US (457.3 million visits, up 58%). Since acquiring word game Wordle in the first part of this year, the New York Times has seen a consistent run of audience growth. 

September was a better month for US traffic to the larger newsbrands than August, with seven of the ten biggest brands recording year-on-year growth in audience, compared to just four in August. Additionally five newsbrands (New York Times, Mail Online, BBC, New York Post and MSN) recorded double-digit growth. 

When it comes to the largest site by number of visits, The New York Times retained its spot at the top of the table. It was followed by CNN (419.7 million visits, up 1%) over which it extended its margin compared to August.

Third-biggest was Microsoft’s aggregator MSN (299.9 million visits, up 11%), fourth-biggest was foxnews.com (258.4 million visits, down 17%) while fifth-biggest was Google News (166.5 million visits, down 6%). 

Among the top 50 as a whole, last month’s fastest-growing site, the Sun’s US edition, the-sun.com came in second place for growth this time (44.6 million visits, up 90% year-on-year). Newsletter platform Substack meanwhile was eighth-fastest growing with 21.5 million visits (up 30%). 

In a departure from recent months, just over half of news sites (26) saw year-on-year growth in the number of visits. This is possibly linked to a busy US news agenda in recent weeks, with stories such as Hurricane Ian and the slowdown in the global economy likely driving increased interest in news. 

August 2022

The Sun’s US edition was the fastest-growing site in the US in August, according to the latest monthly ranking of sites by Press Gazette.

There were 55.3 million visits to the-sun.com, a 150% increase year-on-year, according to data from digital intelligence platform Similarweb.

The UK tabloid launched its US digital edition in 2020 along with a separate US Twitter account which currently counts 9,222 followers. The Sun’s US site has seen steady growth since launch and has risen to twentieth place in our US news ranking.

The-sun.com was also the fastest growing site month-on-month with visits in August up 34% compared to July.

Of the top ten sites by number of visits, just four saw year-on-year growth in August. For the second month in a row, the New York Times, New York Post and Mail Online all saw double-digit growth. Visits to the New York Times were up 52% year-on-year to 468.7 million, while second and third-fastest growing were the New York Post (146.7 million visits, up 26%) and Mail Online (117 million visits, up 14%).

Microsoft’s news aggregator MSN was the only other site in the top ten to grow in August (292.6 million visits, up 6% year-on-year).

The New York Times remains the largest site in the US by number of visits. The legacy publisher has grown in popularity, earlier this year replacing CNN as the most popular digital newsbrand in the country. Its recent growth, as Press Gazette has reported, may in part be due to its acquisition of popular word game Wordle in the first quarter of this year.

The second-biggest site for number of visits was CNN (438.6 million visits, down 5% year-on-year) while in third place was Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News (294.3 million visits, down 10% year-on-year). MSN and Google News round out the top five.

The BBC sites (bbc.co.uk and bbc.com) were the best-ranked British domains among the US top 50 (rank nine, 123.2 million visits). It narrowly beat Mail Online (tenth place).

Like July, August was overall a slow month for growth as just 17 sites of the top 50 saw year-on-year increases in their audience. It’s probable that year-on-year traffic declines for many sites reflect a return to more stable traffic patterns after a surge of interest to news sites in 2020 and 2021.

July 2022

The Mail Online was one of only three top ten sites by number of visits to grow its US audience in July, according to the latest monthly ranking of news websites from Press Gazette.

US visits to dailymail.co.uk were up 15% year-on-year to reach 115.7 million, according to digital intelligence platform Similarweb.  It was beaten only by the New York Times (458.7 million visits, up 55%) and New York Post (163.9 million visits, up 41%). As Press Gazette has reported in recent months, the New York Times has seen continued strong audience growth in 2022 which may in part be due to its acquisition of popular word game Wordle in the first quarter of this year. 

Yahoo Finance (155.9 million visits, down 14% year-on-year) and Google News (174.3 million visits, down 13%) saw the biggest slumps in growth of the top ten sites.

Among the top 50 as a whole, the fastest growing site was internet culture site dailydot.com (20.2 million visits, up 178%). It was followed by the US website of UK tabloid The Sun (41.1 million visits, up 78%) and news aggregator Newsbreak (19.8 million visits, up 55%).

Mail Online also performed well among the top 50 as a whole, ranking tenth for year-on-year growth in this wider group. 

The most popular online news source in the US was the New York Times which earlier this year knocked CNN off its top spot (419.9 million visits, down 6% year-on-year). Third most popular was foxnews.com (286.9 million visits, down 5%), which was followed by Microsoft’s msn.com (275.7 million visits, down 4%), and Google News. 

Just 17 sites in the top 50 saw higher traffic this July compared to the same month in 2021. Content analytics firm Chartbeat has said that while news traffic in 2021 was more stable than 2020 where the pandemic and US election pushed readership very high in some months, some 2020 readership gains persisted in 2021. This month’s year-on-year traffic decline may therefore reflect a return to more stable traffic patterns, especially as interest in the Ukraine war has waned. 

Update: this article and its charts was amended on 23 August to reflect a revised set of traffic figures received from Similarweb. The visit data for a number of websites  mentioned in this article have been changed .

June 2022

The New York Times was again the fastest-growing top ten news site in the US in June, according to Press Gazette’s monthly ranking.

Visits to the US publisher’s site were up 21% year-on-year to 310.4 million, according to data from digital intelligence platform Similarweb. 

The New York Times Company earlier this month reported that it had added about 180,000 net digital-only subscribers in the second quarter of the year – a slowdown in growth compared to previous quarters. The company’s All Digital Access tier, which includes its games and cooking content, however recorded its highest ever number of new subscribers. The NYT also notably acquired the online game Wordle in February this year.

Microsoft’s news aggregator and portal MSN was the only other top ten site by number of visits to see year-on-year growth in June (340.8 million visits, up 1%).

Other major sites saw traffic fall or stay static. There were 99.4 million visits to nypost.com (no change year-on-year), 105 million to business news site Cnbc.com (down 1%) and 103.3 million to Yahoo News (down 1%). 

CNN was once again the biggest news site in the US in June (373 million visits, down 5% year-on-year). It was followed by msn.com, nytimes.com, foxnews.com (240.7 million, down 6%) and Google News (174.8 million, down 10%) in a top five largely unchanged from recent months. 

The top-ranked British newsbrand in the US list remains Mail Online although it this month dropped out of the top ten to eleventh spot (99.1 million visits, up 8% year-on-year but down 11% month-on-month). The BBC was ranked twelfth (87.3 million, down 19%) while the Guardian site maintained its rank of 16 (54.3 million visits, down 12% year-on-year). 

Among the whole top 50, the fastest growing site was again instapundit.com. Visits to the popular political blog were up more than 2,500 times to 17 million, following a lull in the site’s traffic in the same month last year according to Similarweb’s analytics.

Sportz Bonanza, the fastest growing site worldwide this month, also grew sharply year-on-year in the US with visits up 4,698% to 45.9 million.The independent.co.uk was the ninth-fastest growing with visits up 12% to 16.7 million. 

May 2022

The New York Times topped the list for the fastest-growing top ten news site in the US for the third month in a row. 

Of the top ten English-language sites in the US by number of visits in May, nytimes.com saw the most year-on-year growth (352.2 million visits, up 36%), according to data from digital intelligence platform Similarweb.

The publisher, which released its first quarter results in April put much of its growth down to  acquisition of viral game Wordle. The New York-based title gained an impressive 301,000 new digital subscribers in the first quarter, although it said this was its slowest gain in over a year.

It was followed by the website of Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid, nypost.com which had 119 million visitors in May, an increase of 27% on the same month in 2021.

Website of British mid-market daily, Mail Online, was the third fastest growing site in the US top ten and its performance in May was even better in May than April. Visits to its site were up 21% to 111.9 million (in April it grew 16% year-on-year).

Microsoft’s news aggregator MSN (347.6 million visits, up7%) was the only other top ten site to see more traffic year-on-year.  

Among the whole top 50, the fastest growing site was instapundit.com. The long-standing blog by Glen Reynolds, a law professor at the University of Tennessee, is one of the most popular blogs on the internet. In May, Reynold’s site counted 204.2 million visits (up from a lull in 2021 when visits fell to less than 10,000 in some months according to Similarweb figures). 

CNN maintained its position atop the US table as the biggest site in the US in May (393.2 million visits, no change year-on-year). It was followed by  nytimes.com, msn.com (347.6 million visits, foxnews.com (248.4 million visits) and Google News (179.4m).

Echoing the global picture, the majority of sites saw more visits in May than April. The BBC was one of just eight sites that saw less traffic in May than the previous month. 

The BBC was also one of just three British newsbrands in the top half of the list (100.3 million visits, ranked 12). Best-ranked British newsbrand was ninth-place Mail Online (111.9 million visits, up 21% year-on-year). Theguardian.com, in sixteenth place, had 60.7 million visits, down 3% year-on-year). The Mail Online’s US growth in recent months has moved the site, owned by Lord Rothermere’s DMGT up the table where it has replaced the BBC as the only British name in the US top ten. Similarweb data includes traffic to all BBC sites and not just its news pages.

Similarweb generates its traffic data by applying machine learning and modelling to the statistically representative datasets that the company collects. Datasets are based on direct measurement (i.e. websites and apps that choose to share first-party analytics with Similarweb); contributory networks that aggregate device data; partnerships and public data extraction from websites and apps.

Press Gazette uses Similarweb data for its US and global top 50 news site ranking stories so we can compare figures across publishers, who differ in how they measure their own audience data.

April 2022

While CNN still sits atop the list of biggest websites for US news, the New York Times has continued its strong recent run as the fastest growing major news site in the country for the second month in a row.

Of the top ten English-language sites in the US by number of visits in April, the New York Times site saw the most year-on-year growth with visits up 30% to 355.5m, according to data from digital intelligence platform Similarweb.

The publisher, which released its first quarter results earlier this month, said its acquisition of viral game Wordle had brought “an unprecedented tens of millions of new users to The Times”.

The New York Times was one of a minority of sites in the top 50 that saw more traffic this April compared to the same month last year, echoing the picture in our global top 50 ranking. Only 17 of the top 50 US news sites saw year-on-year traffic gains in April, compared to half of all sites last month .

The NY Times was followed by the site of US tabloid New York Post, which saw the second-highest year-on-year growth in traffic (109.7m visits, up 16%) among the ten most visited sites. It was followed by Mail Online (103.3m visits, also up 16%). Microsoft’s news aggregator MSN (335.1 visits, up 7%) and Yahoo’s news aggregator (103.8m visits, up 5%) were the only other top ten sites with more traffic this April than in April 2021.

As with the global ranking, news sites saw fewer visits from the US in April compared to March as interest in the Ukraine conflict, entering its fourth month, is likely to be waning. Only Atlanta Black Star saw a significant month-on-month increase in traffic (24.6m visits, up 18%.

The black news site (which is placed 38th in the ranking) was also the fastest growing site year-on-year in the top 50 with visits up 74%.

British news sites also did well in April with three UK newsbrands among the ten fastest growing news sites year-on-year in the top 50. The Sun’s US digital edition continued its strong recent audience growth and was the second fastest growing site in the top 50 (17.7m visits, up 67%). Next best-placed UK newsbrand was Mail Online, which was followed by The Independent (181.1m visits, up 16%).

As in March, mainstream newsbrands featured strongly in the top ten sites for year-on-year growth taking seven of the top ten spots.

When it comes to number of visits, Mail Online was the only British site in a US-dominated top ten. The DMGT-owned site, which placed 12th last month, moved up three places in the ranking coming in ninth place in April. In contrast the BBC, which has tended to be the only British name in the top ten, fell down the ranking to twelfth place (101m visits, down 11% year-on-year). Similarweb data includes traffic to all BBC sites and not just its news pages.

Leading a top five unchanged from last month, CNN was the biggest site in the US in April (367.5m visits), followed by nytimes.com, msn.com, foxnews.com (229.9m visits) and Google News (170.6m).

In contrast to the UK ranking, a significant number of conservative and right-wing news sites continue to feature in the US top 50. Among them are drudgereport.com (42.1m visits, rank 23), breitbart.com (41m visits, rank 24), thegatewaypundit.com (26.6m visits, rank 36),
newsmax.com (25.2m visits, rank 37), zerohedge.com (22.6m visits, rank 39), theepochtimes.com (20.1m visits, rank 42), and dailywire.com (18.5m visits, rank 44).

March 2022

The New York Times was the fastest growing major news site in the US in March 2022, as mainstream news brands showed strong growth overall. 

Of the top ten sites by number of visits in March, the website of the US daily saw the strongest growth with 420.4m visits during the month, an increase of 47% compared to March 2021 according to Similarweb data. The increase is likely in part due to the publisher’s acquisition of highly popular word game Wordle. Similarweb data on top search terms for The New York Times’ site reveals that Wordle was the most popular organic search term leading to the publisher’s site. 

Among the bigger publishers, it was followed for growth by Yahoo News (116.3m visits, up 16%), Microsoft news aggregator MSN (365.4m visits, up 12%), the BBC (124.8m visits, up 11%) and Fox News (269.5m visits, up 8%). 

In contrast to recent months where the bigger sites have tended to see year-on-year falls in traffic, traffic to mainstream brands was up in March, likely driven by a surge of interest in news about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and a search for trusted sources of information. 

Across the top 50 sites overall, the Sun’s US digital edition maintained its long run of audience growth and was the fastest growing site overall year-on-year (21m visits, 124% growth). The US digital version of the UK tabloid was ranked 43rd overall in terms of number of visits and it has slowly moved up the table in recent months. 

The second fastest growing site in the top 50 in March was Reuters.com (44.7m visits, up 60%), followed by nytimes.com, independent.co.uk (23.3m visits, up 47%) and entertainment news site variety.com (20.5m visits, up 45%). 

This month, mainstream newsbrands and legacy names featured strongly among the fastest growing sites in the top 50, in a departure from recent months when the fastest growing sites have tended to be entertainment, foreign or more niche news sites. 

When it comes to number of visits, CNN was the biggest site in the US in March (465.1m visits). It was followed by nytimes.com, msn.com, foxnews.com and Google News (196.3m visits). 

The BBC was the only non-US site among the top ten, ranked in eighth place with 124.8m visits. The Daily Mail’s US site was the best-ranked British newspaper brand (in 12th place with 114.1m visits). Similarweb data includes traffic to all BBC sites and not just its news pages.

Half the sites in the top 50 saw more traffic this March compared to the same month last year.

Several conservative and right-wing sites, some of which benefited from traffic bumps during Trump’s tenure, saw audience falls in March. Newsmax.com’s visits were down 10% year-on-year (29m visits), while visits to theepochtimes.com were down 2% (25.4m visits). Thegatewaypundit.com (28.2m visits) and far-right blog zerohedge.com (25.1m visits) however saw traffic increases of 8% and 11% respectively.

January 2022

The Sun’s US digital edition continued its recent run of audience growth in January with 94% year-on-year growth in visits.

The UK tabloid launched a US website in January 2020 and since then the site has seen significant growth recording its biggest audience yet this January. There were 21.4m visits to the-sun.com, placing it in 45th place in Press Gazette’s monthly ranking of the top 50 news sites in the US.

Only Atlanta BlackStar (34.2m visits- 128% increase year-on-year) outperformed the UK title for growth, according to data from digital intelligence platform, Similarweb.

Celebrity news publication people.com was the only other site to see double-digit growth (74.6m visits – up 13%).

Among the ten biggest sites by audience size only MSN’s audience grew year-on-year. Microsoft’s news aggregator received 357.8m visits in January, up 1%.

The remainder of the household names saw traffic fall.

US websites will have benefited from large surges in traffic during the pandemic and the US election, with current President Biden taking office last January. Last January also saw the Capitol insurrection in Washington DC. Current traffic, while down year-on-year, is in the case of some big names including CNN and New York Times better this January than compared to the same month in 2019 and 2020 (pre-pandemic).

CNN, the biggest news site in the US, had 401m visits in January (down 42% year-on-year). The second-biggest site by volume of visits was MSN. Third-biggest site nytimes.com received 271.1m visits (down 33%). It was followed by Rupert Murdoch-owned Fox News (262.4m visits – down 22%) and Google News (191.3m visits – down 27%). Of the top ten sites with the most visits, Bezos-owned Washington Post saw the biggest fall compared to January 2021 (126.2m visits – down 47%).

Mail Online (104.6m visits – down 5% year-on-year) narrowly beat the BBC (103.1m visits – down 20%) as the top-ranked British site in the US coming in tenth ahead of the UK public broadcaster in 11th place. Similarweb data includes traffic to all BBC sites and not just its news pages.

Theguardian.com was the only other British publisher in the top half of the ranking, coming in 15th position with 63.4m visits.

December 2021

The Sun’s US digital edition was one of the fastest-growing news sites year-on-year in the US in December, recording growth of over 100%.

The UK tabloid’s website received 18.3m visits in December – an increase of 111% compared to the same month in 2020, according to data from digital intelligence platform, Similarweb. It was only outperformed by US title Atlanta Blackstar which increased its traffic by 125% year-on-year (35.8m visits).

The Sun and Atlanta Blackstar were among just seven sites that recorded year-on-year growth in visits as December saw another month of slow news traffic in the US. No other site saw visit growth comparable to the leading two players, with third fastest-growing site people.com seeing visits up 12% to 68.3m.

Only two of the top ten sites by number of visits saw year-on-year growth: MSN.com (359.5m visits – up 3%) and Murdoch-owned New York Post (108.5m visits – an increase of 1%).

Instead six of the ten biggest sites for volume of visits saw double-digit falls in traffic. Visits to the Washington Post website were down 32% to 126.3m, while visits to CNN were down 27% compared to last December at 399.4m.

News sites across the globe benefited from a surge in traffic in 2020 due to  both the Covid-19 pandemic and the US presidential election. The effect of the latter is naturally likely to be have been more pronounced in the US.  Data shows that traffic to leading US news sites is far below 2020 levels.

CNN retained its position as the number one online news source in the US in terms of visits, although Microsoft’s news aggregator MSN is not far behind with 50m fewer visits.

Fox News remained the third most popular site in December (262.2m visits – down 10% year-on-year). Nytimes.com and Google News were the two remaining sites in the top five in a list that remained unchanged from November.

Mail Online was the top-ranked British site in the US coming in at 11th place (102.1m visits − down 4%), this month beating the BBC which had 98.8m visits in December. Similarweb data includes traffic to all BBC sites and not just its news pages.

Fox News is among just 12 sites that saw less traffic in December than November. While year-on-year comparisons reveal most sites did worse for traffic in 2021,  most sites did better month-on-month in December.

November 2021

November was generally a slowdown for traffic for the leading US news sites, according to Press Gazette’s latest look at the biggest websites for news sites in America.

Of the top ten sites by number of visits in November, just two saw more traffic this November than in the same month last year. MSN.com had 342.6 million visits – up 1%, while Yahoo! Finance saw 174.1 million visits – an increase of 11%.

The rest saw double-digit falls in traffic compared to last November when many US news sites enjoyed a bumper month for traffic thanks to the country’s presidential election.

Of the leading sites, nytimes.com saw the biggest fall in traffic (250.8 million visits – down 51% year-on-year). It was closely followed by CNN (384.1 million visits – down 50%) and washingtonpost.com (116.8 million visits – also down 50%).

Overall, CNN maintained its leading position as the number one news site in the US in terms of visits, according to data from Similarweb. It is however, closely followed by Microsoft’s news aggregator MSN, which in recent months has been narrowing the gap on the broadcaster’s digital news offering. In November, CNN counted 41.5 million more visits than MSN. In contrast in early 2019 CNN regularly saw almost twice the number of visits as MSN.

Fox News was the third most popular site in November (277 million visits – down 40%). Nytimes.com and Google News round out the list of the top five sites for visits.

No British sites made it into the top sites for volume of visits. The highest ranked British site, the BBC, came in 11th place with 94 million visits. Instead, all the leading sites were homegrown US brands.

After temporarily losing its top spot to The Sun in October, entertainment and lifestyle news site gazillions.com was once again the fastest growing online news site (48.2 million visits – up 581%).

It was followed in second place by Atlanta Black Star (26.4 million visits – an increase of 130%). Last month’s fastest growing top 50 site, The-sun.com, came third with 18.5 million visits (a year-on-year increase of 61%). The UK tabloid’s digital edition narrowly made it into the top 50 in 48th place.

A number of right-wing and far-right news sites continue to feature in the US top 50 in contrast to the UK list. Best-ranked is breitbart.com (50.7 million visits – 20th place ). Also making the top 50 are right-wing news aggregator drudgereport.com (42.2 million visits – 24th position), thegatewaypundit.com (31.5 million visits – 31st position), newsmax.com (30.2 million visits – 32nd position), zerohedge.com (23.8 million visits – 39th position), and theepochtimes.com (21.3 million visits – 42nd place). All these sites however, saw significant double-digit year-on-year falls in number of visits. 

October 2021

UK tabloid The Sun was the  fastest-growing news site in the US in October, according to Press Gazette’s latest look at the biggest websites for news sites in America.

The-sun.com had 18.8 million visits (up 64% year-on-year) – ranking it number 48 in our top 50 list. It was followed in second place by Atlanta Black Star (26.6 million visits – an increase of 57%),  according to data from web analytics firm, Similarweb.

Household names, US News (43.9 million visits – up 3%) and Microsoft’s news and app platform, MSN (341.8 million visits – up 2%) were also among the top ten fastest-growing sites.

Among the sites with the biggest falls in traffic compared to last October were politics-focused thehill.com (37.8 million visits – down 73%) and recent Axel Springer acquisition, politico.com (37 million visits – down 65%). Both sites likely benefited from a surge in interest for US election-related news last year, as would have Newsweek.com, the site that recorded the biggest year-on-year drop in October (21.7 million visits – down a staggering 149%).

Looking at the top ten sites for volume of visits, only MSN and Yahoo! Finance saw any year-on-year growth. MSN had  341.8 million visits – up 2%, while visits to Yahoo! Finance were up 7% compared to October 2020 at 164.7 million.  The rest of the leading sites saw falls in traffic. The number of people accessing washingtonpost.com was down 53% (115.8 million visits), while the number of visits to cnn.com (364.3 million) was 38% lower than in the same month last year. Like-for-like comparisons will have been affected by the surge in traffic last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the US presidential election.

At the top, CNN continues to lead when it comes to the number of visits racked up by its mobile and desktop sites at 364.3 million. MSN has, however, eaten into CNN’s dominance in recent months. In October, CNN counted just 22.4 million more visits than MSN’s total of 341.8 million. In January 2019 (the earliest date for which we have data), CNN led MSN by a margin of 215.5 million visits. The Microsoft platform has seen its audience grow by over 40% since January 2019. Fox News – once second to CNN – is now the third most popular site in terms of visits (257.2 million visits in October).

The most popular news sites in the US tend to be homegrown. The BBC is the best-ranked international site with  its two domains (BBC.com and bbc.co.uk) together counting 96.9 million visits in October.

September 2021

Once again celebrity and entertainment news site Gazillions.com came out on top as the fastest-growing site in the US.

There were 19.5 million visits to the new entertainment site – an increase of 870% – according to data from web analytics firm Similarweb. 

It was followed by standardnews.com, which is owned by US-based Spine Media (32 million visits – up 440%).

As seen in previous months, right-wing sites also performed well in terms of year-on-year growth in visits. Third-place theepochtimes.com had 19.6 million visits (up 162%) while there were  29.5 million visits to pro-Trump nexsmax.com (up 144%). Both sites score badly when it comes to website rating tool NewsGuard’s trust scores.

The highest-ranked British site for year-on-year growth was The Sun.  The UK tabloid’s digital edition the-sun.com was the fifth fastest growing news site in the US counting 16 million visits – a year-on-year increase of 65%.

Recent Axel Springer acquisition Politico.com saw the largest year-on-year fall in traffic  (37.8 million visits – down 42%). As in recent months,  theatlantic.com has also seen year-on-year traffic declines (22.7 million visits – down 40%) while visits to politics-focused thehill.com were down 39% to 38.3 million. Like-for-like comparisons will be impacted by the surge in traffic to coronavirus-related content last year.

When it comes to monthly growth in visits, standardnews.com came out on top with an increase of 293% on the number of visits in August. Only four other sites (theverge.com, usmagazine.com, cbsnews.com and the-sun.com) saw monthly traffic growth although of far less proportions.

The website of cable broadcaster CNN continues to have by far the biggest audience share overall and enjoys a similar position of dominance as the BBC in the UK. Cnn.com was the most visited site in September with 378.7 million visits. It was followed by MSN.com (329.3 million visits), foxnews.com (266.3 million) and nytimes.com (252.7 million visits). Press Gazette has ranked MSN and Yahoo! News for the first time this month. 

The BBC’s sites was the only British site in the top ten when it came to volume of visits. Similarweb analytics however include visits to BBC’s main homepage – not just its news page. 

As in previous months, only a minority (15 in September) of the top 50 sites saw year-on-year traffic increases. 

August 2021

Celebrity and entertainment news site Gazillions.com was again the fastest-growing site in the US, according to Press Gazette’s analysis of traffic to the most popular English-language news websites.

Right-wing sites also performed well in terms of year-on-year growth in visits.

Gazillions.com, which launched at the end of 2019, was the single fastest-growing site according to data from web analytics firm Similarweb. In the year to August 2021 visits were up more than 1,262% (a more than 10-fold increase) from 2.1 million in August 2020 to 29.2 million in August 2021 as the new site picked up audience.

It was followed in second place by theepochtimes.com (21.1 million visits – up 186%) and pro-Trump nexsmax.com (33.1 million visits – up 166%). Both sites have regularly appeared among the leading five sites for year-on-year growth in our ranking and their growth reflects the increasing audience to many right-leaning sites in recent years.

The US digital edition of British tabloid The Sun also stayed in the top five for another month. There were 15.9 million visits (an increase of 38%) to the-sun.com.

At the foot of the list, sites that saw large year-on-year falls in traffic included forbes.com (56.1 million visits – down 38%), politico.com (46.1 million visits – down 36%), cbsnews.com (25.7 million visits – down 36%) and thehill.com (45 million visits – down 33%). Like-for-like comparisons will be impacted by the surge in traffic to coronavirus-related content last year.

When it comes to monthly growth in visits, gazillions.com also came out on top with an increase of 65% on the number of visits in July. Reuters.com also performed well with 32.9 million visits (an increase of  14%) as did atlantablackstar.com which specialises in news and culture aimed at a black audience (25.3 million visits in August -up 14%).

The website of cable broadcaster CNN continues to have by far the biggest audience share overall. Cnn.com was the most visited site in June with 423.5 million visits. This was followed by foxnews.com (284.9 million visits). and nytimes.com (271.1 million visits).

The BBC’s sites and Mail Online were the two British sites in the top ten for volume of visits. Similarweb analytics however include visits to BBC’s main homepage – not just its news page. 

As in previous months, only a minority (12 in August) of the top 50 sites saw year-on-year traffic increases. Unlike recent months however, mainstream news sites featured in the list this time with the-sun.com, apnews.com, usnews.com, finance.yahoo.com, wsj.com, newsweek.com and reuters.com recording year-on-year growth. 

July 2021

For the second month in a row, recently launched celebrity and lifestyle site Gazillions.com was the fastest growing site in the US, while right-wing sites also performed well in terms of year-on-year growth in visits.

Gazillions.com which brands itself as news focused on “pop culture, luxurious lifestyle, and global entertainment” was the single fastest-growing site according to data from web analytics firm Similarweb. In the year to July 2021. Visits were up more than 542% (over 5 times) from 692,361 in June 2020 to 2.8 million in July 2021.

It was followed in second place by theepochtimes.com (23.5 million visits – up 72%) and pro-Trump nexsmax.com (33.5 million visits – up 165%). Both sites were among the leading five sites for year-on-year growth in June’s ranking. Their growth reflects a surge in visits to right-leaning sites as a whole over the last year.

This month, the US digital edition of British tabloid The Sun, also entered the top five. The-sun.com racked up 18.1 million visits (up 54%), putting it in fifth place for year-on-year growth in visits although it came in at 47 out of 50 for volume of visits.

At the foot of the list, the BBC’s digital properties BBC.com and BBC.co.uk saw the biggest relative year-on-year fall in traffic with visits down 18% to 108.2 million – although BBC sites did well in terms of overall number of visits, coming in at six out of 50). Other sites that saw large falls in traffic compared to July 2020 were Forbes.com (visits decreased by 46% to 53.2 million) and political news site the hill.com (visits were down by 39% to 43 million). Like-for-like comparisons will be impacted by the surge in traffic to coronavirus-related content last year.

When it comes to monthly growth in visits, atlantablackstar which specialises in news and culture aimed at a black audience was the fastest-growing site in July 2021 compared to June 2021. The site which takes an African American perspective on politics racked up 22.2 million visits in July (up 16%). The-sun.com also did well in terms of month-on-month growth with visits up 29% to 18.1 million. Gazillions.com, despite showing strong year-on-year growth saw a huge month-on-month traffic fall in July. There were 52% fewer visits to the site in July than June.

Despite the growth of some smaller players, the website of cable broadcaster CNN continues to have by far the biggest audience share overall. Cnn.com was the most visited site in June with 411.7 million visits. This was followed by foxnews.com (274.2 million visits). and nytimes.com (261.4 million visits), which have in previous months jostled for second and third places. The sites of two British publishers also made it into the top 10 leading sites for volume of visits. BBC.co.uk and BBC.com racked up 108.2 million visits, while there were 97.5 million visits to dailymail.co.uk.

There were significantly fewer visits to the current top 50 sites in July this year compared to the same month in 2020. The leading 50 sites this month counted a combined 3.1 billion visits – a decrease of 19% compared to the combined 3.9 million visits to the leading 50 sites in July 2020. As was the case in June, only 10 of the top 50 sites saw year-on-year traffic increases. Most of these were niche sites catering to specialist audiences or sites with a strong conservative or right-wing bias.

June 2021

Recently launched celebrity and lifestyle site Gazillions.com was the fastest growing site in the US in June with right-leaning news sites also making strong showings.

Gazillions.com, which launched in late 2019, was the number one fastest growing site, according to data from web analytics company Similarweb. Visits were up over 5,000% (a more than 50-fold increase) from 692,361 in June 2020 to 37.1m in June 2021.

The rest of the top five sites for year-on-year growth were right-leaning sites that have seen considerable traffic increases in recent years.

The second fastest growing site, pro-Trump Newsmax, saw visits increase by 196% to 31.7m, while visits to next in place theepochtimes.com were up 186% to 22.5m. Alternative video news platform bitchute.com saw a 109% increase in audience to 20.9m, while visits to the fifth fastest growing site, thegatewaypundit.com, increased to 33.4m – up 61%.

At the foot of the list, mainstream sites featured heavily among the outlets with the biggest year-on-year falls in traffic. Forbes.com saw the biggest fall in traffic as visits decreased by 46% to 51.6m. Meanwhile, visits to The Atlantic’s site were down by 44% to 21m and visits to cbsnews.com were down by 43% to 26.3m.

Like-for-like comparisons will be impacted by the huge traffic to coronavirus-related content a year ago.

When it comes to monthly growth in visits, Gazillions.com again came out on top. Visits to the site were 141% higher than in May, when there were 15.3m visits. Tech news site theverge.com also saw more traffic in June with visits up 18% compared with 27.5m visits the previous month.

Thegatewaypundit.com was the only other site that saw a more than 10% traffic increase compared with May.

Despite the growth of some smaller players, the website of cable broadcaster CNN continues to have by far the biggest audience share overall. CNN.com was the most visited site in June with 392.5m visits. This was followed by nytimes.com (257.5m visits) and foxnews.com (257.3m visits), which has significantly  narrowed the gap on the site of the New York Times.

UK sites BBC.co.uk and BBC.com also made it into the top 10 with 108.1m visits, as did dailymail.co.uk with 92m visits in June.

While CNN.com regularly tops US lists for number of visits, its lead over its closest competitors is smaller than the BBC’s relative lead over competing news sources in the UK, according to our analysis.

Taken as whole, there were significantly fewer visits to the current top 50 sites this month compared with June 2020. June’s leading 50 sites counted a combined 3.1bn visits compared with 3.8bn visits in the same month last year (a decrease of 16%).

Only ten of the top 50 sites saw year-on-year traffic increases. These were gazillions.com, newsmax.com, theepochtimes.com, bitchute.com, thegatewaypundit.com, usnews.com, finance.yahoo.com, apnews.com, people.com and usmagazine.com.

All 50 sites combined, however, saw slightly more traffic in June (3.09m visits) compared with May (3.06m) – although the increase in visits is less than 1%.

April 2021

Right-wing news sites saw the biggest year-on-year growth in the US in April.

The Epoch Times was the single fastest growing site according to data from web analytics company Similarweb. Visits to another pro-Trump site, Newsmax, increased by 171% to 29.4m, while visits to right-wing video platform BitChute were up 150% to 19.3m.

Also in the top five for year-on-year growth was far-right site thegatewaypundit.com, whose founder and editor-in-chief, Jim Hoft, was permanently suspended from Twitter in February for sharing false news about the US election. The site saw visits increase by 41% to 25.5m.

Among the sites with the biggest year-on-year falls in traffic were several mainstream national news brands and business titles. Forbes.com saw the biggest fall in traffic as visits decreased by 54% to 53.2m. Meanwhile, visits to The Atlantic’s site were down by 52% to 21m and visits to newsweek.com were down by 50% to 22.7m. Like for like comparisons will be impacted by the huge traffic to coronavirus-related content a year ago.

When it comes to monthly growth in visits, investigative tabloid RawStory came out on top. Visits to the site were 4% higher at 17.7m in April. The New York Post and the Chicago Tribune and the Daily Wire also saw small traffic increases of 1%.

The website of cable broadcaster CNN has by far the biggest audience share overall. Cnn.com was the most visited site in April with 410.9m visits. This was followed by nytimes.com (273.9m visits) and foxnews.com (244.1m visits). British sites BBC.co.uk and BBC.com also made it into the top 10 with 113.1m visits, as did dailymail.co.uk with 89.1m visits in April.

Taken as whole, there were significantly fewer visits to the current top 50 sites that month compared with April 2020. The current top 50 sites racked up a combined 3bn visits in April compared with 4.1bn visits in the same month last year. The only sites among the top 50 that saw year-on-year traffic increases were theepochtimes.com, newsmax.com, bitchute.com, usmagazine.com, thegatewaypundit.com, apnews.com, usnews.com, startribune.com and people.com.

Compared with last month, there were 7% fewer visits to the leading 50 sites combined in April (3.1bn compared with 3.3bn in March).

Note: Press Gazette will be updating this page on a monthly basis. See our previous coverage here:

Biggest news websites in the world archive data

Related Article: Top 50 biggest news websites in the world: September slump for ten biggest names

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