Posted by: Sam Carson | 2 September, 2007

British online newspapers getting more popular in the US, but do they care?

The Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday’s website is the most popular British online newspaper in the US. But according the the Press Gazette web site, they don’t care. They are still after the British eyeballs and advertsing Pounds, Sterling. The close second goes to Guardian Unlimited, the online presence of the Guardian Newspaper and the Observer, whose reaction could not be more different. The editor of the Mail online, Martin Clarke, says that finding ways to monetize content for international consumption is not easy:

“I’m not saying there will be no way to monetise overseas viewers in
the future, but we can’t particularly see one at the moment, and that’s
the same for every site,” he said.

“The site is tailored for UK-based users – that’s the figure we judge
ourselves on and, in the long term, it’s the UK users that matter.”

The Guardian, on the other hand, seems to be looking a bit harder at the problem of monetizing overseas hits, and has hired American journalist Michael Tomasky to head their new American oriented site Guardian America.

“Commercially, there is undoubtedly value,” said Guardian head of digital media development Tom Turcan.

Turcan said the Guardian is selling advertising abroad to third parties and is looking at options for the future.

“It’s
less than in the UK, but we have significant revenue streams coming
from North America and continental Europe,” said Turcan.

We have commented at the rising influence of British News before, This data is provided by the Nielsen/Netratings for July 2007 in the US rank the Mail Online at #6, and the Guardian at a close #7. The NYTimes, USAToday, Washington Post, LATimes, and WSJ.com sites were the top five, respectively.

Other British papers like the Telegraph and the Times seem to be also sitting back and waiting to see how this will pan out.

“People overestimate the value of global unique users and underestimate
the value of UK unique users,” said [London Telegraph’s online editor Ed] Roussel. He said between 40 and 50
per cent of Telegraph.co.uk users were based in the UK. Another third
of the site’s traffic comes from the US.

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