Despite the recent slew of stories about the bumpy merger between Aol and Huffpo over the last six months Arianna Huffington has been absolutely successful in one regard: She has set HuffPo up as the New York Times’ main rival.
And the NYT has bought into it.
To wit. Last week HuffPo wasted no time in pushing out May’s traffic numbers which showed them to have clocked more unique visitors than the New York Times for the first month ever.
The New York Times was quick to push back, on Twitter no less, pointing out that “HuffPo traffic is now combined with AOL, so it’s two sites in one. @nytimes is still the place readers go for high-quality news.”
Indeed. HuffPo responded, again on Twitter, clarifying that the Comcast numbers were not inclusive: “Sorry guys, this is just for Huffingtonpost.com. AOL sites not included.”
And then further noted to Politico — in response to Jeff Bercovici‘s assertion that the increased uniques were a result of Aol News referrals — that only 300,000 unique visits were the result of referrals from Aol News.
(The wording of the Politico post is confusing and suggests that HuffPo only received 300,000 referrals to the site in total, which defies logic. We clarified with HuffPo that the number was referring to Aol News specifically).
All of which leaves us back where we started. Namely, that just over a month after the NYT instituted a paywall HuffPo squeezed out just under 2 million more uniques than the NYT. Whether size matters with regards to profit is another question entirely.
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