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Mail Online newspaper website set to make a profit from July, claims publisher

By Hamish Mackay |

April 20, 2012 | 2 min read

The world’s best-read newspaper website – Mail Online – could be set to move into profit sooner than anticipated - as early as this July.

Media website paidContent quotes Media Online’s publisher, Martin Clarke, as telling investment analysts yesterday: “Last year, our revenues were £16 million. This year, Mail Online is very close to breaking even on revenues of a little over £25 million.”

Clarke claimed the site would turn an operating profit on a monthly basis from July, and he is forecasting revenues of £45 million next year, pointing out: “Within five years, we predict they will be over £100 million a year.”

paidContent comments: “Most news sites see digital revenue growth. But few are seeing their digital operations turn an actual profit in isolation.

“But Mail Online is also a low-cost and lightweight beast to feed. It has motored on its U.S. growth but employs just 35 journalists at its LA showbiz and New York news bureaus. All in all, Mail Online has cost just £25 million to build, Clarke revealed.”

It further quotes Clarke as saying: “It’s sometimes said that Mail Online ‘chases clicks’. We do but not on Google or Drudge – You can’t build a business around them.

“Our referrals are organic; a one-off referral won’t make people come back time and time again. The stories which do make people click are those on our homepages; it’s those people addicted to the homepages who drive our growth.

“Many in the newspaper business believed paywalls were the only viable future for the newspaper business – we didn’t think that then and don’t think it now.”


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