Newsquest title the Carlisle News and Star has been named the UK’s most engaged regional daily in the latest IPSOS readership figures for October 2023.
It was the second consecutive month at the top of the engagement charts for the News and Star. Visitors spent an average 9.16 minutes on the site, a 222% YoY increase from October 2022’s average 2.85 minutes. The Carlisle title’s closest Northern rival was the fourth-placed St Helens Star with 7.26m average engagement time, another 200% increase on last year.
Elsewhere, there was bad news for the Manchester Evening News, which for a second consecutive month lost its spot as the UK’s most-read regional title to Reach stablemate the Birmingham Mail and its Birmingham Live website, both in terms of unique users and number of page views.
The MEN’s monthly user numbers plummeted YoY to under 10m, from just over 16m last October, a drop of almost 38 per cent. The MEN’s page views were down by a similar figure at 57.8m, a 41 per cent drop from 2022.
Despite the sizeable drop off in numbers, the MEN retained second place nationally in both categories, although it barely registered in the engagement charts, with a mid-table 3.04 minutes spent on the site.
There was bad news for several legacy titles in the North’s main cities. There was also a 40 per cent+ drop off in user numbers reported at the Liverpool Echo (-40.59%), Newcastle Chronicle (-40.15%), Leeds Live (-56.91%) and Hull Daily Mail (-49.27%).
Media chiefs in the North’s biggest cities can perhaps take some comfort from the fact that the trend appears to be repeated in most of the UK’s major metropolitan areas, Birmingham notwithstanding. My London News was also down 45.52% while the Leicester Mercury had the nation’s biggest drop in users at -71.66%.
In fact, even the Birmingham title’s success was driven by the MEN’s failings rather than its own achievements – despite snatching top spot for October, Birmingham Live’s user number were down just over three per cent YoY at just under 11m.