LONDON: UK digital audiences visited leading sites less often during July but spent significantly more time on some of them, according to data from online measurement company Nielsen.

Overall, there was a slight increase in the number of people going online, up 665,000 on the previous month to reach 40.8m, with 39m doing so from home or work. This remained some way short of the peak of 44m recorded in October 2012.

MediaTel noted, however, that it was usual for activity to drop off in the summer months and suggested this upturn indicated an overall rise in the number of users.

Among the leading video sites, YouTube reported the biggest loss in terms of numbers of visitors, attracting 1.6m fewer people than in June. But those that did visit more than doubled the average time spent there, from 1 minute and 38 seconds to three minutes and 23 seconds.

Of the top ten video sites, only Netflix increased the number of visitors, with an 11.2% rise to 1.15m.

In the news and information sector, traffic fell off sharply on most sites except the BBC's news and weather sites, with the latter recording a 16% rise in users to a total of 6.2m. The increase at BBC News was more modest, 4% to 7.7m, but the average time spent jumped by 20 minutes per user.

Wikipedia was most affected, losing 2.3m users, but time spent rose by nine minutes to 34 minutes per person.

Among commerce sites, Amazon and eBay were out in front but Amazon also lost 703,000 users during the month.

The greatest gainers were Argos, up 9.8% to 6.97m users, and Marks & Spencer, up 5.9% to 3.7m.

Data sourced from MediaTel; additional content by Warc staff