Fairfax Regional Media, publisher of the Central Western Daily, has set another record with more than 48 million page views in June across its network of websites, up from 20 million per month a year ago.
The Central Western Daily enjoyed similar growth over the period, cementing its place as one of the strongest digital news services in Fairfax’s regional division, with 2.6 million page views recorded in June.
This was a 213 per cent increase on the 818,267 page views in June 2013.
The Daily's digital readership for June propelled it to fifth position of all Fairfax websites, putting it behind only major city websites including the Newcastle Herald (1), Bendigo Advertiser (2) Illawarra Mercury (3) and The Launceston Examiner.
The number of visitors to centralwesterndaily.com.au also surged over the year with 97,797 unique browsers visiting the site in June. This was an increase of 76 percent on the 55,338 browsers who visited the site last year.
Editorial director Stuart Howie said the network was on the verge of hitting 50 million page views and he was targeting 100 million under the regional division’s signature editorial project “NewsNow”.
“This represents one of the best growth stories in media in this country,” Mr 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 websites, mobile sites, Facebook pages and a presence across other social media platforms.
Mobile and social media represent the biggest growth in the way readers are accessing information.
The standout success has been the Bendigo Advertiser, the inaugural NewsNow site, which recorded a massive 4.5 million 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.
A core objective of NewsNow is to focus resources in a newsroom on news gathering and disseminating content across every channel possible.
The project will now roll out across Australia, including the Central Western Daily, delivering a huge amount of extra content to Fairfax Regional’s digital audiences.