Yahoo-ABC News Network’s news sites can take a healthy traffic hit and still lead in monthly pageviews. On desktop, at least.
According to a news release today, the online news alliance says it’s dominating in desktop traffic among news sites. The network did, however, experience a decrease of about 30 percent in pageviews from January to February, signaling a major mobile blind spot.
According to numbers from web analytics company comScore, Yahoo-ABC crossed the February finish line with 1.8 billion page views and 69 million unique visitors. Yahoo-ABC beat out their closest competitor, the CNN News Network, by 28 percent in pageviews and 13 percent in uniques.
Although this is the 25th month in a row in which the network has led in desktop traffic among news sites, its pageviews have dropped by almost a third compared to January’s 2.5 billion.
comScore analyst Adam Lella says the smaller numbers in February are likely due, at least in part, to there being fewer days in the month.
“We’ve seen smaller numbers in nearly every category this month with the exception of some seasonal ones, such as tax season,” Lella said in an email.
“Just three more days can result in a significant number of additional unique visitors and page views across a site.”
While this may be true, the fluctuation is rather dramatic compared to the network’s competitors. In the same period, CNN dipped by 200 million pageviews, from 1.6 billion in January to 1.4 billion in February, compared to Yahoo-ABC’s 700 million-pageview fall in the same months.
Lella said that though news sites’ traffic can (obviously) vary based on the coverage they produce, he couldn’t say for sure what was causing the fluctuation for Yahoo-ABC Network.
Indeed, Matt Dornic, spokesperson for CNN, emphasized that despite landing in second place, CNN was closing the gap, shrinking the difference in pageviews between the two companies by 12 percentage points from January to February.
Dornic also pointed out that CNN continues to beat out Yahoo-ABC in the ever-growing market of mobile traffic. According to Dornic, CNN posted 32 million visits compared to ABC-Yahoo’s 22 million in mobile visits to their online properties in January, according to Nielsen Mobile Media View.
“We also beat Yahoo-ABC in February visits … and we always beat them in mobile,” Dornic said in an email.
“The first screen available to our users is the best one,” Dornic said of his organization’s strategy.
“With that in mind, we watched our mobile consumption rise to more than 40 percent of our traffic last year. And we fully expect it reach 50 percent this year. It’s safe to say that CNN is increasingly a mobile-first organization.”
Venturebeat reached out to Yahoo-ABC for comment. We’ll update when we hear back.
For all Yahoo properties, the company told VentureBeat earlier this year, mobile traffic will eclipse desktop traffic for the first time ever in 2014. Where that leaves the news partnership with ABC, however, is anyone’s guess.
Yahoo and ABC first teamed up to deliver online news as partners back in October 2011. A year later, the companies said their effort had paid off to the tune of 85 million unique users each month, making the Yahoo-ABC network audience the single largest group of news-reading Americans.