There’s a New #1 in Town
In this month’s US publishers ranking, there’s been a major shakeup at the top, and for the first time since we started our comprehensive publishers index, the number 1 US publisher isn’t MSN or Disney – it’s Yahoo!
Thanks to strong coverage of the 2016 Rio Olympics on sports.yahoo.com, Yahoo was able to climb 3 places in the publishers ranking, and racked up over 2 billion pageviews in August.
This increase in traffic and rank is great news for Verizon, who in late July purchased Yahoo for $4.83 billion, though Yahoo is still operating independently until the deal is expected to close in Q1 2017. Until that time, we will continue to classify Yahoo as an independent publisher, but once they merge with AOL (Verizon Communications), the media titan will likely rule our publishers ranking.
If grouped together, this media publisher would have 2.7 billion pageviews in August, almost 1 billion more than MSN.
Univision’s Fusion Media Group Takes 16th Place
In other major media news, Fusion Media Group (FMG), has become a major player among US publishers with 563 million US pageviews in August.
Created by Univision Communications in April, FMG has now added added Gawker Media properties, which it recently purchased in a bankruptcy auction after the Hulk Hogan sex tape scandal caused the collapse of Nick Denton’s empire. These Gawker Media properties include gizmodo.com, lifehacker.com, deadpsin.com, kotaku.com, and gawker.com (which recently ceased operations).
Overall among publishers, the top in terms of August growth actually comes from north of the border, in the form of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, who rose 41 spots, reaching 118th place. The Canadian publisher had a very successful month and grew its desktop pages-per-visit by 45%. Of these US desktop visits, 1.4 million came via Reddit, more than Facebook and Twitter combined.
Reddit – The New Frontier for Publishers
As a platform for publishers, Reddit is growing in importance, especially in light of Facebook’s algorithm change which has been hurting some publishers traffic. In August, Reddit had 590 million US visits and was the 11th most popular site in the US.
This, however, only tells half the story and Reddit’s official app, which was only released in April, has finally passed its largest competitors to become the most installed Reddit app on Android devices in the US. Publishers may soon begin to reap the benefits of Reddit traffic on both desktop, mobile web, and app.
With this Reddit news in mind, we have added Reddit desktop traffic to each publisher and publication in addition to our regular metric of pageviews.
Discover the top 150 US publishers in the list below:
Same Same, New Name
Among publications, there was no change among the top 3 and msn.com, drudgereport.com, and news.google.com are still atop the publications podium, each maintaining their membership in the elusive billion pageviews club.
In 4th place, there’s a familiar face with a new name as ESPN restructured its domain from espn.go.com to espn.com.
— Aaron LaBerge (@aaron) August 3, 2016
Despite this shutdown of espn.go.com, the site still amassed 114 million pageviews over the month, proving just how valuable the ESPN brand is. In fact, the strength and reach of ESPN was enough for two other major sports publications, Sports Illustrated and Fox Sports to team up in an advertising deal that they hope will provide more competition for ESPN. When looking at the number of pageviews, however, it’s clear they have a long way to go.
The Big Winners
The biggest winner among publications was maxpreps.com, a high school sports publication which beat out Sports Illustrated on pageviews. In August, MaxPreps grew its pageviews by 232% and rose 153 spots in the rankings.
The only other publication to rise over 100 spots was jsonline.com – The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. In mid-August, the site became exceedingly popular, mostly thanks to an article reporting that a US Magistrate Judge had overturned the murder conviction of Brendan Dassey, a case which became famous thanks to the Netflix hit Making a Murderer. Among other places, the article went viral on Reddit and was the main source of the site’s 220,000 Reddit visits over the month.
Finally, when looking at overall Reddit visits in the US, independent.co.uk led the pack, amassing almost 5 million US desktop visits from the aggregator. However, when looking at Reddit traffic as a share of overall social traffic, liveleak.com was the leader as 92% of their social traffic originates from Reddit.
In the table below you can discover the top 300 US publications in addition to visits and percent of Reddit traffic.
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