SYDNEY: The Sydney Morning Herald has seen a decline in the number of unique users of its website over the past year but it remains ahead of its digital news rivals in terms of ‘stickiness’, according to the latest Nielsen Digital Rankings.

The 3.9m users of in January 2018 was 3% down on the same month in 2017, but they were spending an average of 69 minutes on the site, Ad News reported, meaning they are likely to be exposed to more ad impressions than visitors to other sites.

This was almost twice as long as the leader in terms of reach: was up 2% to 5.4m but readers stayed for just 38 minutes on average.

ABC took second place in the rankings with 4.8m unique users, up 11% year on year, while Nine was in third spot, with its audience growing 4% to 4.6m.

Apart from the Sydney Morning Herald, among the top ten news websites local brands appeared to be faring better than overseas ones. Yahoo7 News websites also grew its audience 25% to 3.3m, while the Herald Sun was up 8% to 2.5m.

In contrast, the Daily Mail Australia saw a 17% year-on-year audience decline to 2.6m unique users, while The Guardian was down 5% to 2.6m and the BBC fell 4% to 2.3m; only MSN News saw an increase, rising 6% to 2.3m. was the nearest rival to in terms of stickiness, as users spent an average of 56 minutes on the site and it led the way in ‘addictiveness’, boasting an average 16 sessions per user, ahead of the 15 reported for and Daily Mail Australia; then came,au and the BBC on 12 each.

Sourced from Ad News; additional content by WARC staff