Expressandstar.com nets bumper online audience

The Express & Star has the fastest growing regional newspaper website in the UK, new statistics have shown.

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The Express & Star has the fastest growing regional newspaper website in the UK, new statistics have shown.

The publisher of the Express & Star, Midland News Association, also has the fastest growing network of regional news websites, according to the research.

The Audit Bureau of Circulation electronic audit for July to December 2011 found Expressandstar.com had the biggest increase in average monthly traffic to record 788,444 unique users.

This figure marked a 35.6 per cent rise compared to the same period in 2010.

The ABCe audit showed the MNA web network, which also includes the website for sister paper the Shropshire Star, had the UK’s biggest regional website traffic increase.

The average daily unique users were up 29.1 per cent year on year to 59,640.

The results also showed Expressandstar.com saw a 32.8 per cent year on year rise in average daily unique users to 44,786.

Express & Star internet editor Tim Walters said: “When something big happens, more people are turning to the Express & Star as their news source, whether it is in print or online. The online content is enriched with interactive elements to ensure the websites give a distinct experience to the paper.

“As more people turn to the web for their news, they are staying with the Express & Star brand which they know they can trust.”

The Midlands riots last August saw large visitor numbers, a peak of 147,000 unique users visit Expressandstar.com on the day of the Wolverhampton disturbances.

MNA head of digital Will Beavis said: “The editorial team’s superb round-the-clock coverage of the Midlands riots made the Express & Star an essential destination for online readers but our broader digital strategy has ensured that a compelling product is delivered to the growing audience.

“Online content is enriched with video, picture galleries and other interactive elements to increase repeat visits to Expressandstar.com and sister title Shropshirestar.com throughout the year.”

Innovative iPad and iPhone applications, which allow subscribers to turn the pages of digital editions of the evening newspapers, were launched in January.

Meanwhile, the Audit Bureau of Circulation results showed the Express & Star remained the biggest selling regional newspaper.