The owner of the Daily Mail has said that Mail Online boosted its ad revenues by 27% in the final three months of last year, as it announced that the paper is to increase its cover price for the first time in three years.
Mail Online’s 27% boost in the final quarter is a promising sign, particularly given at one point last year its growth rate fell to single digits as the entire digital newspaper ad market faltered.
Related: Daily Mail owner in hunt for new chief executive
The website saw digital ad revenues grow by 17% in the UK and 66% in the US in the three months to the end of December.
Elite Daily, the US-based news and entertainment website popular with 18- to 34-year-olds that DMGT acquired a year ago, saw ad revenue growth of 211% in the final quarter.
“The US is doing exactly what we expected it to do, ” said DMGT finance director Stephen Daintith. “We worked very hard last year raising brand awareness, especially with agencies – what we call the Madison Avenue challenge. And there has been lots of coverage of Mail Online [stories] on TV. And we have the exciting prospect of a TV show coming later this year.”
Advertising across the Mail business as a whole, including print and digital, was down by 3%.
DMG Media, the division which includes the Mail business, Metro and Elite Daily, said that in the four weeks since 27 December total underlying ad revenues are down 12% year on year.
Daintith said print revenues fell 20% in the four-week period, while digital grew by just 11%.
“We do believe that print advertising in the UK is in a long structural decline, ” he added. “We are planning around that [and] we have been building our digital capabilities. I’d be wary of reading too much in just a four-week period. It really doesn’t take big sums of money to move the dial when looking at such small periods of time. It could be just a couple of campaigns. I wouldn’t read too much into it.”