Oct. 02--NEW DELHI -- Indian news and information websites drew an additional 9.4 million readers in August when compared with a year ago, a 34% increase, Internet measurement website Comscore Inc. said in a report on Tuesday.
These readers also spent more time on these websites on every visit -- 41.6 minutes now compared with 31.6 minutes in August last year.
The Gujarati-language Divyabhaskar.co.in and Hindi-language Bhaskar.com, both published by DB Corp. Ltd, had the most traction among readers, with them spending 100.3 minutes and 62.1 minutes, respectively, on the websites' pages.
The number of unique visitors -- or the number of individuals visiting the website in a given period -- to Indian news and information websites increased to about 45.9 million in August from 40 million a year ago.
The Times of India website saw the most traffic among Indian news websites in August with 12.7 million readers, followed by 10.7 million readers for Yahoo-ABC's website and 8.2 million readers for HT Media Ltd's websites, Comscore said.
"This growth is a sign of the penetration of Internet in the tier-II towns. News consumption online also seems to have moved to accommodate more local content," said B.G. Mahesh, founder of Greynium Information Technologies, the company that owns news website Oneindia.in, which was number nine on the Comscore list in terms of number of unique visitors in August.
The report in a separate section highlighted news and information websites that got a large part of their readership from aboard. Firstpost.com from the TV18 group topped with 51% of their traffic coming from abroad, followed by Kerala-based Manorama group websites that got about 45% of their traffic from outside India.
Among other media companies in Comscore's top 20 list in terms of monthly unique users were India Today group, the Express group, The Hindu group, as well as digital-only publication Sify News and Information (Sify.com).
Kedar Gavane, a senior director at Comscore, clarified that the listing of certain entities such as The Hindu group was meant to convey the total Internet traffic that all news websites under those media companies were able to attract.