Australian web users may not be overly familiar with Mail Online
, but they're about to be. The UK Daily Mail
's internet offshoot, already the most popular newspaper website in the world, is launching in Australia next year. Crikey
takes a look at the top 10 reasons for the site's success ...
1. Separate but equal.
The Daily Mail
was initially dismissive of the web, with editor Paul Dacre famously proclaiming
in 1999: "A lot of people say that the Internet is the future for newspapers. Well, I say to that: bullshit.com." Until 2007, the paper's website, dailymail.co.uk, was essentially a limited rehash of that day's paper. The site was slow to load, lacked flexibility and trailed behind The Guardian
and The Telegraph
in online readership. But the paper had a rethink and commissioned a top digital creative agency
to review its web offering. A key decision was separating the Mail
's web and print operations: a stand-alone editorial team was hired, and the site was rebranded as Mail Online
. The site was allowed to develop its own unique personality and focus more on celebrity than the right-wing politics the paper is famous for. According to the New Yorker
, only 25% of the site's stories originated in the paper. The lack of integration has allowed the site to cultivate a younger, more affluent, more female-skewed audience.
2. Celebrity sells.
It doesn't matter how trivial it is: if a celebrity is doing something, anything, the Mail
will run it. Most of these stories appear on the site's famously addictive "sidebar of shame", which editor Martin Clarke prefers to call the the "right rail of genius". Here are some selections from today:
Although obsessed by celebrities, the Mail
is far from reverential about them. The site loves to cover flashes of cellulite, "nip slips" and other embarrassing mishaps.
3. Make it weird.
But don't think the Mail
doesn't cover regular punters, too. The site loves human interest stories that are tragic and/or wacky. If sex is involved, even better. Here are some examples from today: