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The Independent

Documenting their news, revenue & SEO playbook.

Updated September 9th, 2023 by Glen Allsopp
+552 this month

Latest News

Added new traffic stats for The Independent and Indy 100 September, 2023
Ported this page over to our new ‘Digital Goliath’ structure September, 2023

The Independent Revenue

In July of 2023 The Independent released their revenue numbers for the financial year ending September 2022 and there are some interesting insights for those in the world of digital publishing.

If you’re involved in affiliate marketing in any way, there’s one tidbit that you’ll find especially interesting, which I’ll get to in a moment.

Their own advertising page backs that up with some huge numbers of their own:

They reported:

  • Another year of record revenue growth of 12% to £46.3M (~$59.3M)
  • Operating profits of £1.9M (~$2.4M)
  • A 57.7% increase in registered users, which has now surpassed 5M
  • They’re the fastest growing news brand in the US (YoY and MoM) according to ComScore

They went on to explain that the reason for the decline in operating profits (£5.5M from the year prior, to £1.9M) was because of investing in international expansion, TV and eCommerce.

But there was another highlight which really caught my attention: They saw a 44% increase in revenue from eCommerce thanks to their IndyBest platform.

I can’t find any evidence of The Independent selling their own products, and more often than not this phrasing is used to refer to selling products as an affiliate and earning a commission.

That becomes even more likely when you look at exactly what is on their IndyBest platform…

The IndyBest platform is not any kind of separate website, but essentially a branded content area on the main Independent domain.

The Independent are in the game of reviewing the best laptops, BBQ’s for summer and kid’s backpacks.

It can’t be said that they jumped on the bandwagon of recommending products for Amazon commissions as IndyBest launched as a print feature 25 years ago.

It was a nice to see that, at least for some of the reviews I clicked on, they genuinely seem to give products some real-world testing before recommending which one to buy.

From that kid’s backpack review, they wrote:

We asked our young testers (aged between three and 17) to fill their backpacks and wear them out and about for two weeks.

I’m impressed.

On their summer dresses review page however, I’m not convinced they did have the items in hand. Under their ‘How we tested’ headline they write,

Taking note of trends while still looking for pieces that will stand the test of time, we considered quality, wearability and comfort with options for both ends of the budget.

That doesn’t suggest they actually tried on the dresses themselves, and I couldn’t find anything else to give that impression throughout the page (though, in fairness, I may have missed something).

Going back to the business side of things for a second, an interesting statement regarding the IndyBest platform on their press release was that revenue grew, in part, thanks to “bigger commercial partnerships.”

This suggests they’re either getting better commission on the products they are able to sell, or they’re being paid to specifically review certain items.

One of the reasons I started this regular reporting of media brands is to be able to share insights like this. Lots of sites are talking about The Independent’s revenue report. Nobody is talking about what IndyBest actually is.

Even more interesting is that in the future, they’ll continue to report on this section of their website and how well it’s performing. Because a lot of that revenue is no doubt driven by search traffic, I’ll be able to give you the scoop on how things continue to play out.

The Independent Traffic & SEO

Using first and third-party data in our research

In August of 2023 The Independent was ranked as the UK’s largest quality news brand by Ipsos Iros. They specifically noted that for the prior month, July, The Independent reached 21.3M readers.

Their audience grew by 1% month over month, thanks to their sports section seeing over 1.1M additional readers, with their travel section up 494,000 views and their affiliate product reviews IndyBest up 291,000 views.

In September of 2023 they shared Comscore data which revealed they were the fatest-growing UK news brand in the US year over year. They also revealed they have 24.2M readers, and their Indy100 site had significant year over year growth of 211%, reaching 3.3M readers.

The Independent Network

Changes are made here every month

We currently track 4 sites for The Independent:

Note that we do not attempt to track every single site owned by a brand. If a domain is a placeholder, primarily hosts non-English content or focuses on a niche we don’t track then it was purposefully excluded from the above. That said, for the majority of brands we feature far more sites than they do on their own ‘Brands’ pages.

Maintained by Glen Allsopp, the founder of Detailed. You may know me as 'ViperChill' if you've been in internet marketing for a while. Detailed is a small bootstrapped team behind the Detailed SEO Extension for Chrome & Firefox (170,000 weekly users), trying to share some of the best SEO insights on the internet. Clicking the heart tells us what you enjoy reading. Social sharing is appreciated (and always noticed). You can also follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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