Research: Traditional news publishers dominate digital news in France

By Nicolas Peltier

20 Minutes France

Paris, France


Every month, the Médiamétrie Institute reveals the audience numbers for sites and applications in France in all categories. It is a ranking digital players await and watch closely, and they are attentive to the upward or downward evolutions of their audiences.

The most recent ranking (for the month of March) was recently revealed. Here’s what you should keep in mind about the “news” category, which focuses on the majority of news publishers in France.

First of all, the “news” category ranks fifth in terms of the number of unique visitors. In March, news publishers attracted more than 41.8 million people — more than two-thirds of the French population (67%). Leading this ranking, we find the “general portals” (such as Google, Orange, and Yahoo) and the inevitable “blogs/community sites,” including social networks. The “video/cinema” sites complete this podium, thanks in particular to the power of YouTube, which is the leader in this category.

What is the state of the forces present in the “news” category? To find out, let’s take a look at the ranking of publishers within this category.

The first lesson of this classification is that news brands, which historically are press brands, dominate the news on digital. Indeed, in the top 10, six publishers are from the press world (Le Figaro, Le Monde, Le Parisien, 20 Minutes, Ouest France, and L’Express). Le Figaro is in first place, with almost 20 million unique visitors on all of its devices, or 31.5% of the French population.

There are also two editors from television (franceinfo and BFM TV) and two pure digital players ( and Le HuffPost). This information shows that, even today and even on digital, the traditional media are those who manage to generate the strongest audiences. But what is true for the audience is unfortunately much less true about the monetisation of the inventory.

Beyond their global digital audiences, it’s interesting to see how audiences of different brands break down among desktop, mobile, and tablet.

With the exception of, all news brands generate a greater mobile audience than desktop. and the HuffPost appear as the savviest mobile brands, with more than two-thirds of their audiences using a mobile device.

Paradoxically, it is a pure player,, that accounts for the least mobile audience of this top 10. However, nearly half of its digital players (49%) consult the brand on desktop.

The tablet lags behind, although it is a significant channel especially for franceinfo, which accounts for 22% of its users.

About Nicolas Peltier

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