25 September 2009

A Special News Relationship

American visits to UK news and media websites have soared 54% over the past year, according to a Hitwise report released this week.

BBC News was the 21st most visited news and media website in the United States during August. Other British sites in Hitwise's US News and Media top 200 last month included the Daily Mail (47th), the BBC home page (65th), the Telegraph (71st), the FT (115th), The Sun (117th), Times Online (131st) and the Guardian (134th).

In Australia, BBC News ranked 13th in the news and media category, and the BBC home page was 18th. However, UK news sites have long been popular in Australia, so August traffic represented just a 6% increase over 2008. Among UK internet users, visits to British news and media websites were up 8% year on year.

In the U.S. market, Hitwise reports, the Drudge Report is the key traffic driver to British news sites. In fact, Drudge was second only to Google search -- but ahead of Google News -- in sending visitors across the Atlantic for their news. Drudge accounted for nearly 11% of visits during August, compared to 13.5% for Google search and 5.3% for Google News.

E-mail also has been a key traffic source for UK websites, including Yahoo! Mail, Gmail and Hotmail. Digg also has been important in driving U.S. traffic to the Telegraph site, in particular.

More than a quarter of the American visitors are from California, with another 6.6% from New York. Forget about the cowboys in Wyoming, though; they're just not into British media, according to the Hitwise data.

Wealthy Americans, households earning more than $150,000, are the most likely to visit British news websites -- but the least affluent, earning less than $30,000, are the second most likely. This group may include students.

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