We don’t tend to give Microsoft’s MSN news portal much respect or attention, but it seems the company has been quietly executing better than most other news organizations and is close to overtaking the most popular English-language news site, the BBC, according to data by SimilarWeb.

Their data is generated by applying machine learning and modelling to the statistically representative datasets based on direct measurement of desktop and mobile web visits (i.e. websites and apps that choose to share first-party analytics with SimilarWeb); contributory networks that aggregate device data; partnerships and public data extraction from websites and apps. A visit (session) means that a visitor has accessed one or more pages on a website. Subsequent page views are included in the same visit until the user is inactive for more than 30 minutes.

Their data shows a steady increase in MSN traffic over the course of 2021 while traffic to the BBC, CNN and other popular news websites have seen a steady decrease.

Over the last month, MSN was one of the few sites increasing its traffic with msn.com up 5% to 960.5 million visits.

Year on Year, of the top 10 companies, only MSN and Yahoo Finance have seen an increase in traffic, with MSN up 14.2% YoY.

Unlike most of the other sites, MSN of course is mainly a news aggregator that licenses news content from other news websites.  Microsoft has partnered with premium publishers like USA Today, The New York Times, FOX News, The Washington Post, The Guardian, and more than 3,000 brands in all major global markets to aggregate the best news, videos, photos and other content and deliver it for free to users across the web, phone and PC,  so, with hundreds of million dollars in payouts, their success is also the success of their news sources.

news and interests

The company has been working to get its content in front of more Windows users using tools like their News and Interests widget which was pushed in front of somewhat unwilling users. MSN also drew criticism last year for replacing many of their editors with AI, but both moves appear to be paying off in spades.

What do our readers think of MSN’s ascendance? Let us know below.

via Press Gazette

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