With 7.7 million readers in December, the site registered its best ever figures for user numbers, time spent on site and frequency of visits, according to comScore
In second place, more than half a million readers behind, is Elmundo.es SITES with 7.2 million users. This figure includes Elmundo.es traffic plus the total figure for the cluster of sites such as Dmedicina.com, Elcultural.es and Globaliza.com. Comparing the figures for EL PAÍS with those of Elmundo.es alone, the difference between the two is of 829,000 readers in favor EL PAÍS.
Further behind are the 20minutos sites with 4.9 million users (including those from the site specializing in video games, Vandal.net, which brings in nearly 12% of traffic). Next is La Vanguardia, with 3.1 million unique users and ElPeriódico.com, which had 1.7 million users in the month of December 2011.
ComScore was recently selected as the industry standard for measuring online audience traffic for 2012 by the Spanish online market. A large majority of the sector’s leading players, including media agencies, advertisers, digital media (traditional and Internet-born), commercial networks and web portals, agreed to name them as the benchmark for measuring traffic after a competition held by the AIMC and IAB. ComScore metrics employ hybrid internet traffic classification techniques, taking census data for each site and then combining these with figures gathered by panelists in Spain. With the advent of this measurement system, the industry aims to end confusion over data at a time when Internet advertising spending is growing sharply.
November and December were two news-heavy months. The general election campaign, election day coverage and the count gave way to weeks of intense speculation ahead of the inauguration of Mariano Rajoy’s new government. The economic crisis. the Urdangarin case and the traditional Christmas lottery were just some of the big stories that helped propel EL PAÍS into the Number One slot.
All this happens at a time when EL PAÍS is undergoing a total reorganization of its editorial desk aimed at improving content and strategy both in print and online. International news, Politics, Society and the regional editions for Madrid and Barcelona have all been revamped, and the next few days will see new-look sections for Culture, Technology, and the remaining sections, the goal being to improve product quality and strengthen the brand’s position at the forefront of news and information in Spain.
There has also been considerable growth, both in quality and quantity, for specialized analysis and blogs, of which there are already hundreds. Notably successful are Quinta Temporada, devoted to TV series, and El Comidista, a practical and irreverent look at the food world.
And in order to ensure quality coverage 24 hours a day, every day of year, EL PAÍS has just set up editorial offices in Mexico City. They’ll be overseeing the web site while it’s night in Spain and will also improve coverage on Latin America. The Washington DC bureau will do likewise for the U.S.