The New Daily has entered the list of top 20 news sites for the first time, jumping 10 places in February to be the 18th most-visited news site in Australia.
According to the latest Nielsen data, The New Daily had a unique audience of 1.195 million in February, an increase of almost 300,000 on January.
Leading media analyst Steve Allen of Fusion Strategy described the site’s move into the top 20 as remarkable given The New Daily’s relative youth and the size and history of its competitors.
“(It’s) pretty remarkable, as it is not supported by history, nor newspaper, nor corporate site, nor international masthead, as are all its competitors,” Mr Allen said.
The New Daily was a unique standalone and relatively young, given it was launched just three years ago, he said.
“It’s remarkable that it’s now for the first time in the top 20,” Mr Allen said. “Great progress, and the trend would seem to indicate more strong growth to come.”
The extraordinary month-on-month growth saw The New Daily leapfrog longer-established sites including News Corp’s Adelaide Now and Fairfax’s Brisbane Times. It also went ahead of several foreign sites, including CNN and the New York Times.
The New Daily is now only two places behind The Australian (16th), and one behind Britain’s Telegraph (17th), one of nine sites in the top 20 owned or part-owned by foreign mastheads.
Of the remaining sites in the top 20, five are owned by News Corp and three by Fairfax, which also has a joint venture with America’s Huffington Post (12th).
Taken together, of the top 20, only the ABC, nine.com.au and The New Daily are outside the control of foreign owners, News Corp or Fairfax.
“This is a wonderful vindication of our journalism,” The New Daily’s editorial director Bruce Guthrie said.
“Clearly Australians are responding to a new local voice that presents the news in a balanced, unvarnished fashion.”
Mr Guthrie said the site’s Nielsen audience would be even bigger if the measurement company gave greater weight to those reading news on smartphones. (Google Analytics put the site’s audience at 1.78 million in February.)
“Most of our audience comes to us on mobile, yet Nielsen only apportions 25 per cent of the total to smartphone users,” Mr Guthrie explained. “If they gave them the same weight as desktop users (50 per cent) we’d be even bigger.”
Meanwhile, Mr Guthrie revealed at a conference of major superannuation funds last Friday that The New Daily now has close to half a million daily subscribers.
“These are loyal, highly-engaged readers who receive a news update from us at both ends of the working day,” he told the annual conference on the Gold Coast.
“Together, the daily and weekend emails mean we are now sending out close to six million emails a week,” he said.
The site would soon start sending newsletters devoted to single subjects, including travel, technology and health. Subscribers were being surveyed to establish a hierarchy of launches, Mr Guthrie said.