UK Newspapers Thankful for U.S. Web Audiences

It’s true our cousins across the pond -- never having had the experience of almost starving to death in a New England winter and being saved by natives, only to repay their kindness by betraying them not long afterwards -- don’t celebrate Thanksgiving.

However, as the year draws to a close, British newspaper publishers are probably giving thanks for their readers in the good ol’ USA, whose numbers have in some cases surpassed their domestic audiences.

That’s true of Britain’s Daily Mail, which recently revealed that 40% of the total monthly audience of 212 million unique visitors to Mail Online comes from the U.S. -- a larger figure than it gets from its home audiences, which contributed 35% of the total.

After a slow start, Mail Online’s online advertising revenues from the U.S. are also growing fast, growing 38% in the year ending in September, to roughly $27 million or £18 million.

Even better, the rate of growth accelerated in the second half of the year, with ad revenues for the last two months (the first two month of the company’s financial year) up 64%.

Daily Mail CFO Stephen Daintith highlighted the U.S. contribution to the company’s bottom line, the newspaper reported: “The U.S. is the standout story in terms of growth. Over the last year, there has been a concerted effort to raise the trade profile, the ad agency profile, of Mail Online in the US.”

Daintith added: “There has been lots of TV coverage, much more than we see in the UK, which has raised awareness among media agencies and in their buying schedules.”

Thanks, in part, to its strong performance in the U.S., the Daily Mail hopes to achieve annual ad revenues of £100 million or $151 million in the coming fiscal year -- a bold target to say the least, considering total ad revenues came to £73 million in 2015.

The Daily Mail is just one of several big British newspapers enjoying strong growth in the U.S. In September, The Guardian announced that its U.S. readership had grown 30% year-over-year to 30.2 million, representing over a third of the company’s total global audience, while revenue increased 80%.

Like their American counterparts, British newspapers need all the digital ad revenues they can get, as print ads continue to decline precipitously. The Daily Mail revealed that print ads fell 5% in the first half of the year to September.

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