MSN News boasts large growth after going it alone

MSN’s recent investment in local news production and global news and video content is paying off big time, with latest Omniture figures showing a whopping 48 percent year-on-year upswing in unique browsers (UBs) visiting MSN’s news portal, up 250,000 to 771,000. In contrast, over the same period, UBs visiting rival Yahoo’s news offering dropped more than ten percent, from 1.7 million to 1.5 million. (Source: Nielsen MI).
The results follow the December overhaul of MSN News and the end of an arrangement with APN that took approximately 500,000 MSN News browsers to an MSN/nzherald co-branded website (Source: Nielsen MI). Over the same period MSN also added local news producers to a team now numbering eight, and integrated news service AAP and global news and video stories on its newly revamped website.

MSN New Zealand general manager Liz Fraser expects MSN to continue taking audience share from bigger traditional newspaper rivals, pointing to its growth over peak summer, a period usually associated with online audience declines, which saw MSN News average daily UBs grow 26 percent to 52,000 from December 2011 to February 2012. For the same period NZ Herald News average daily UBs decreased 19 percent to 190,000 (Source: Nielsen MI).

“Our news overhaul establishes a point of difference for one of the defining categories of online audience attraction and retention. We’d done a good job, but relied on APN for too long. There’s still ground to make up. However, it’s clear the fully-fledged MSN News offering resonates with a growing news audience,” Fraser said.

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