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Major news websites lose audience due to slow load times on mobile

The latest DeviceAtlas Mobile Web Intelligence report for Q1 2017 reveals that for the largest news websites, load time on mobile was a whopping 10.5 seconds on average. That's over 3 times longer than the 3 seconds threshold most users expect according to a recent benchmark from Google. The slowest websites took an unbelievable 19-22 seconds.

Martin Clancy - 22 May 2017
2 min read

- Samsung loses up to 5% of web traffic share between Q4 2016 and Q1 2017 -

Dublin, 22 May 2017 - According to the latest study released by mobile device data expert DeviceAtlas, leading news websites fail to impress in terms of web performance on mobile. Results show that 50 of the world's most popular newspaper websites take an average of 10.5 seconds to load — over 3 times longer than most visitors will wait. The slowest websites took up to 19-22 seconds before being accessible. The research is part of the newly released Mobile Web Intelligence Report revealing mobile device usage statistics in Q1 2017.

news websites lose audience due to slow load times

This new DeviceAtlas report reveals many newspaper websites exceed the “three second” threshold, in some cases taking longer to load on a smartphone than the time it takes recite the alphabet. For example, took over 19 seconds to load on mobile in the testing conditions. This load time delay inevitably leads to higher bounce rates and fewer pages per session.

The report builds on research by Google’s DoubleClick which showed 53% of mobile site visits were abandoned if pages took longer than 3 seconds to load.

DeviceAtlas research also found that newspaper websites in India were fastest to load on mobile with 7.7 seconds on average. Similar websites based in Western countries were a lot slower, for example, 12.2 seconds in Italy and 12.8 seconds in Spain.

50 Largest Daily Newspapers

For this new report, the DeviceAtlas team handpicked 50 largest daily newspapers based in 18 countries and tested their websites for performance on mobile. Testing conditions included accessing these websites on a Nexus 5X using a 1.5 Mb/s network to emulate typical experience on a phone. Here are the most striking findings:

  • 10.5 seconds - Average load time on mobile
  • 1.35MB - Average page weight on mobile
  • 30% - Using mobile URL redirection (m-dot, mobile-dot, etc.)
  • 19-22 seconds - Slowest websites’ load time
  • 2.7-5.3MB - Heaviest websites’ page weight

DeviceAtlas Mobile Web Intelligence Report for Q1 2017 also focuses on a number of device usage statistics based on web traffic collected from hundreds of thousands of partner websites using the device detection platform. These statistics revealed that:

  • 5-5.1-inch is now the most popular diagonal screen size
  • Samsung lost up to 5% of web traffic share between Q4 2016 and Q1 2017
  • Samsung Browser is now the third most used mobile browser
  • NFC phones generate over 70% of web traffic in developed countries but only 25-40% in emerging markets

Download full report


About DeviceAtlas

DeviceAtlas (  launched in 2008 to meet the needs of web developers creating content for a wide range of mobile devices. Today it is the world’s most authoritative source of device data, based on W3C recommendations. DeviceAtlas is the leading provider of device intelligence to several industry verticals ranging from major online brands, advertising platforms, financial services, gaming, analytics providers and mobile and telecoms focused companies.