Fairfax Regional websites hit audience record

The Magnet's coverage of Eden being named the number one whale watching destination in Australia drew huge numbers of visitors to the website. Photo: Cat Balou Cruises.

The Magnet's coverage of Eden being named the number one whale watching destination in Australia drew huge numbers of visitors to the website. Photo: Cat Balou Cruises.

Fairfax Regional Media has set another record, with more than 48million page views ​in June across its network of websites, up from 20million per month a year ago.

Despite being one of the smallest newsrooms across the entire network, the Magnet has been punching well above its weight and recording consistently strong growth.

The Magnet had a massive 340 per cent increase in unique browsers this June, when compared with the same month last year, along with a 302 per cent jump in page impressions.

On the social media front, the Magnet’s Facebook page also recently ranked fourth in the network, in the category of most engaging page under 5000 likes.

​Editorial director Stuart Howie said the network was on the precipice of hitting 50million​ page views and he was targeting 100million under the regional division's signature editorial project, NewsNow.

“This represents one of the best growth stories in media in this country,” ​Howie said.

“Our editorial staff across Australia are committed to driving content across platforms.

“And our communities are loving it - they have an insatiable appetite for local news and information from our trusted brands.

​"Our audiences have never been bigger or stronger."

​Fairfax Regional comprises 15 daily newspapers and more than 150 non-daily titles.

Most of these have associated website​s​, mobile sites, Facebook pages and a presence across other social media platforms.

This includes the Magnet - like us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and updates from Eden and surrounding towns.

​Mobile and social media represent the biggest ​growth in the way readers are accessing information.

The number of visits to the regional network from mobile Facebook has tripled over the past 12 months to almost 20 per cent of its audience.

"THIS REPRESENTS ONE OF THE BEST GROWTH STORIES IN MEDIA IN THIS COUNTRY."

The network recorded 4.6million unique browsers for the month.​

​The standout success has been the Bendigo Advertiser, the inaugural NewsNow site, which recorded a massive 4.5million page views for the month and is the network’s second most popular site behind the Newcastle Herald.

NewsNow ​amounts to a total newsroom makeover, putting traditionally run print operations on a digital​-first, seven-day-a-week footing.

​‘Reverse publishing’ technology allows reporters to simultaneously publish to the web and to templated print pages.

The Advertiser newspaper was relaunched to much acclaim, and page views to the website have increased from 1.2million per month before the NewsNow launch in September 2013 to 4.5million page views -- a 275 per cent increase.

A core objective of NewsNow is to focus as much resource in a newsroom on news gathering and disseminating content across every channel possible.

The project will now roll out across Australia, delivering a huge amount of extra content to Fairfax Regional's digital audiences.

"No other media organisation has such a commitment to Australian communities, large and small," Howie said. 

"We have more than 700 journalists based in 100 newsrooms around Australia.

“That reach is important to public life and a wonderful opportunity for advertisers."

Newsrooms include those in Mandurah, Bunbury and Busselton in Western Australia, Burnie and Launceston in Tasmania, Port Lincoln, Whyalla and Kangaroo Island in South Australia, Ballarat, Warrnambool and Horsham in Victoria, and Dubbo, Cowra, Wagga Wagga and Port Macquarie in NSW.​

​One of the other great success stories in the latest results was The Central Western Daily in Orange, NSW,​ which has shot up in popularity ​​ to become the network’s fifth most popular website, with 2.6million page views in June.

​*Fairfax Regional Media is publisher of this website.

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