Interesting report from Comscore showing that the majority of traffic on British newspaper websites comes from abroad.
The Daily Mail gets 69 per cent of its users from overseas, the FT 85 per cent, the Independent 73 per cent and the Guardian 58 per cent.
It's encouraging news for British journalism that it has resonance around the world. As Comscore points out, some of this traffic doubtless comes from expats. No doubt, holidaymakers in internet cafes account for a chunk, too. I suspect a fair amount comes from the US, where there seems to be a market for British-style journalism, as opposed to the sometimes staid US equivalent. It would be interesting to know what proportion comes from the Indian subcontinent, too. And what sort of content appeals to these different audiences?
However, I suspect the papers won't be altogether pleased that these figures have come to light. The UK advertisers that make up the bulk of their business probably think they are buying a largely domestic audience. A page view in Calcutta or Chicago may be to them a page view wasted.
The challenge for the newspaper sites is to target their advertising effectively. As far as I can see, most papers are still showing UK ads to their overseas users and I'm not sure how interested a British building society, say, is likely to be in advertising to people in other countries. The Guardian seems to be showing US ads to US users, though I'm not sure how successful it is at selling this audience - there seem to be a lot of house ads on the service.