Mail Online is like “journalism crack” says editor Martin Clarke

Martin Clarke, publisher of Mail Online, has described the Daily Mail’s all-conquering website as the “crack cocaine” of journalism.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Clarke said people are addicted to it as he talked about the success of the paper that has beaten The New York Times and The Guardian to become the world’s biggest newspaper online.

Clarke said: “People are addicted to it. It’s like journalism crack,” as the FT reported how the Mail Online was planning to aggressively expand its international digital media empire, with plans to hire teams of reporters and ad executives across the US.

The expansion comes after the Mail Online started the New Year with a record high of 126,753,431 global monthly unique browsers in January, according to ABC figures.

That’s an increase of 12,716,350 additional browsers from December’s 114,037,081, growth of 11%. Mail Online also passed nine million unique browsers in a single day for the first time.

Growth has been partly attributed to more people accessing Mail Online through mobile applications, following ongoing uptake of new tablets and smartphones.

It is also being fuelled by success in the US where it has grown to become the third-largest online newspaper site in America. That growth means it is now bigger in the US than it is in the UK.

Like The Guardian, it is a paper that increasingly sees its future in the US, where the Mail Online competes head-to-head with sites such as BuzzFeed and the Huffington Post, as well as The NY Times and The Washington Post.

However, like many others in the market, the Mail Online is not making money in part because commodity ad rates are under so much pressure and there is so much ad inventory available.

Clarke declined to tell the FT of the Mail Online’s profitability in the US and would only say: “If we weren’t doubling down, we’d be profitable.”