Mail Online’s Income’s Growing, Just Slower Than Its Audience

Britain’s most popular newspaper website Mail Online added 33 percent more revenue through 2010, according to parent DMGT’s annual report.

But audience growth is outstripping income growth – unique monthly users grew by 70 percent to 50 million uniques.

That means its earnings from an average user have fallen – from £0.40 ($0.62) in 2008, to £0.30 ($0.47) in 2009, to £0.24 ($0.38) in 2010. Herein lays the rub for many a publisher.

Things may be looking up – in October, Mail Online MD James Bromley told paidContent:UK his site’s half-year revenue was up by “considerably more” than 50 percent.

Digital revenue from DMGT’s A&N Media as a whole, which also includes, hit £12 ($18.72) million in 2010.

But its separate group for digital-only services like property classifieds, the former Associated Northcliffe Digital, hit £95 ($148.2) million revenue, with profit up by £5 ($7.8) million to £6 ($9.37) million.

DMGT’s annual report explains its strategy…

“It is differentiated from the print newspaper by a particular focus on celebrity, gossip and colour features which appeal to a younger demographic of mid Britons, the majority of whom do not buy a Mail newspaper.

“(Mobile apps will be) followed by an iPad version within months. An ambitious expansion strategy targeting the U.S. is underway. In May, we opened an office in Los Angeles, to be followed by a New York office, in order to increase U.S. content, users and thereby to drive U.S. advertising sales.

“There has been much media debate about whether online newspaper sites should erect paywalls. Our position with respect to Mail Online is that few consumers will pay for general news content which they can access free from elsewhere, such as from the BBC, ,and our strategy is to build large audiences.

“They will pay, however, for more specialised information and for special applications such as on the iPad. This is still very much an emerging area and our approach is to provide compelling content and to remain flexible on distribution channels and pricing.”