NI’s biggest commercial news site Belfast Live turns seven

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28th Feb 2022

Belfast Live is celebrating its seventh birthday this month with more people than ever turning to the site for all their daily news and content.

The Reach-owned website launched in 2015 with the vision to be a news brand that would accurately reflect Northern Ireland and its capital city in news terms and was the first ‘Live’ news brand to be launched by Reach, which has four other ‘Live’ news sites in Ireland – Dublin Live, RSVP Live, Cork Beo and Galway Beo.

In seven years it has become Northern Ireland’s biggest commercial news site according to Ipsos Iris, reaching 49% of the entire online population, which is larger than any of our competitors.* (Source, Ipsos iris Jan 2022) In January, the site hit over 22.6m page views and 4.1m users accessed our site for the latest news of which 75% were returning readers.

Belfast Live is continuing to invest in its platform and audiences with the launch of four new sub-brands – MyDerry, MyTyrone, MyFermanagh and DogsLive – and bringing on board its first dedicated GAA reporter at the beginning of 2022, enhancing the extensive coverage of all local sports within Northern Ireland.

Belfast Live also scooped an award at The Drum Awards for Online Media in 2021, winning Best Regional News Site.

Cherith Andrews, Group Sales Director of Reach Solutions NI said: “Hard to believe our baby is 7 years old! When we started out, Belfast Live was a completely new concept, a totally new way of communicating with local audiences. It’s hard to believe it now reaches half the population of Northern Ireland.

“As well as this incredible audience, we now use our own customer data to partner with a wide range of local advertisers which offers them a competitive edge in the NI market. We’d like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to our readers and business partners for your support over the first 7 years of Belfast Live, we continue to listen to you all and have some exciting plans for the coming months.”

Belfast Live Editor, Ryan Smith added: “With the pace of the daily news cycle it’s not often you get time to reflect, but we’re delighted to be celebrating our seventh birthday in such a strong position.

“We remain comfortably Northern Ireland’s most-read news platform and in the last 12 months have continued to invest in our team.

“Hiring reporters in counties outside our traditional core means that we have the ability to cover Northern Ireland in a way that we haven’t before and we’re very excited about where our ‘My brands’ will go in 2022.

“We’d be nothing without our readers and the latest Ipsos figures back up the hard work that our team does every day, with close to 50% of Northern Ireland’s population reading Belfast Live in January.”

*Based on data from 6 of the largest commercial news publisher brands for Northern Ireland: Belfast Live, Belfast Telegraph, Belfast News Letter, Irish News, BBC News Northern Ireland and Planet Radio
© Ipsos, Ipsos iris Online Audience Measurement Service, 1st January – 31st January 2022, 15+.