U.S. Media Publishers and Publications – Ranked for May 2016

The latest US media rankings are here and we’ve expanded our list of both publishers and publications! For more information on the leading publishers over Q1 2016 and to discover marketing insights for digital publishers, find our recent publishing report here.

The US digital media world saw a bit of a shakeup in May, as MSN passed Disney Media Networks for 1st place among digital publishers. MSN had an extremely strong month with over 1.7 billion page-views, up from 1,591,361,000 page-views in April. After these 2 media titans, Matt Drudge was able to jump into 3rd place, pushing Time Warner down to 4th. Google, Inc. a newcomer to the rankings, slots in at 4th with just over a billion page-views in May.

Overall, News World Media Development, LLC saw the biggest growth in May, jumping 29 spaces to rank 74th overall. The publisher of washingtontimes.com had just over 50 million page-views in May and dramatically increased its pages-per-visit since April. In April, the publisher averaged 2.45 pages-per-visit, but that shot up 60% to 3.91 in May.

Other publishers that saw their place in the ranking rise include National Review, Inc. and Digital Trends. National Review rose 20 spots to reach the 115th position overall, while Digital Trends was able to rise 12 places and now ranks as the 50th largest US media publisher.

Turning now to the top publications, there were no changes among the top 3 publications with MSN, ESPN, and Drudge still leading the pack. With the addition of Google News, Forbes was pushed out of the top 10, and now ranks 11th overall. This drop of one place pales in comparison to dose.com who dropped 75 spots in the rankings and barely made it in at 277th overall. Dose saw their US traffic plummet from 12,493,000 in April to 7,841,000 in May, a loss of 37%. 

Of the publications that rose in May’s rankings, washingtontimes.com was the overall winner and was joined by 11 other publications that rose at least 20 spots. Two of these publications are media sites which didn’t even rank among the top 300 last month, geek.com which jumped from 303rd to 270th and news.com.au, an Australian news site which rose from 307th to 287th.

Along with the regular publishers and publications indices, this month, with all the activity going on in the sports world, we decided to highlight the top US sports publications. With both the NHL and NBA playoffs nearing their finish and the MLB season just beginning, May was a great month to be a sports fan.

Not surprisingly, ESPN led all sports publications with over a billion page-views in May, 33% of which came via mobile web. ESPN is the second largest publication overall and is one of only 4 media publications to receive over 1 billion page-views in May.

Using the Popular Folders tool on SimilarWeb we can discover what content was most popular in May, and more specifically, which of the 4 major North American sports leagues brought the most traffic to the site. To get this data I isolated data on the folders that related to the NBA, NHL, NFL, and MLB and created the pie charts below.

The results differed slightly on desktop and mobile web, with the NBA folder showing a much higher popularity on mobile web. Most surprising is how much traffic the NFL folder received, despite the NFL not being in season, and how little traffic the NHL folder got, even though several American teams are on the brink of hoisting the Stanley Cup. It seems American’s thirst for football news outweighs their desire for hockey, even when the NHL season is at its most exciting moment.

espn popular

After ESPN, Yahoo Sports took second place with 235 million page-views. Yahoo was joined by Bleacher Report and CBS Sports as the only other sports publications to reach over 100 million May page-views. All 3 of these publications actually saw a dip in page-views in May and consequently, their position in the overall publication rankings dropped. Yahoo Sports fell 1 spot, Bleacher Report dropped 8 places, and CBS Sports fell 16 places, from 30th to 46th.

Sports Illustrated, the 5th largest US sports publication, rose 3 spots in the overall rankings and in May, rank 64th overall. The online sports magazine saw a rise in pages-per-visit on both desktop and mobile web, which helped push them up in the ranks.

Despite all the sports events taking place in May, SI’s most popular desktop folder remains swimsuit. The swimsuit folder of the site was responsible for 27.6% of all desktop traffic in May, but only 11.8% on mobile web. Interestingly, on mobile, the NFL folder was May’s most popular, showing once again that even in the off-season, Americans need their NFL fix.

top 10 sports

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About the Author -

Joseph is a Digital Insights and Content Manager at SimilarWeb. He has experience in content writing, social media, and analytics. When not tracking digital trends and creating online content, Joseph enjoys hiking, basketball, pickling, and Canadian alternative music.

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