New figures released in the Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2016 for Ireland show that Landmark Media's flagship digital brands have a combined weekly digital reach of 37%, second only to RTE.ie.
The Irish Digital News Report 2016 is part of a global study on the changing ecology of news by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University.
In its analysis of digital reach across all Irish and foreign digital media brands, the report highlights RTE.ie as the nation's leading digital brand with a weekly reach of 42% of those surveyed.
In terms of Landmark media's flagship digital titles, breakingnews.ie and irishexaminer.com, the report also shows that when combined the audience reach of these titles, at 37%, exceeds that of all other digital brands with the exception of RTE.
This is ahead of Irish Independent / Herald online (36%), The Journal.ie (34%) and The Irish Times online (29%).
Reacting to the report's publication, the digital editor of irishexaminer.com, Dolan O'Hagan, said the FuJo analysis was a hugely welcome addition to the debate around the future direction of the Irish media landscape and the importance of original journalism as an essential and central plank of our democracy.
"The report's findings on the increasing importance of social media and mobile in general mirrors our internal analysis and while a lot has been achieved in that regard in recent months we would ask our loyal users to be patient as these factors and user experience in general will continue be central to our thinking around digital developments in the future.
He went on: "It is perhaps not as clear as we would like in the report but the fact is that according to these findings, when combined, the two major Landmark digital titles are now second only to RTE.ie and ahead of Independent/Herald online, journal.ie and the Irish Times online when it comes to weekly digital reach.
"That is a huge success story for a media company based outside the capital and one all employees should be proud of. We thank our ever growing audience base in every county of Ireland for granting us that privilege."
Commenting on the growth highlighted in the report, the editor of breakingnews.ie, Jill O'Sullivan, said she was was delighted to see an 8% growth in audience reach since last year, to 24%.
"We have seen phenomenal growth in our Facebook audience in the last 12 months and recently passed 400,000 likes on our Facebook page, as well as winning a Sockie award for Facebook strategy among media organisations," she said.
"Our success on social media has been a crucial factor in helping us to drive more traffic to breakingnews.ie.
"We have also seen our mobile audience growing significantly in the year. That trend is continuing with the introduction of Google AMP and Facebook's Instant Articles."
Commissioned by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, the Irish report was overseen and analysed by the Institute for Future Media and Journalism (FuJo) at Dublin City University.
The global report, reported on HERE, reveals the ever increasing importance of social media in the distribution of news and the ever growing rise of mobile as the preferred consumption platform for news.
The 100 page Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2016 for Ireland aims to supply a more 'focused examination of Irish news consumption trends across all platforms.'
In her foreword to the report Jane Suiter, Director, Institute for Future Media and Journalism (FuJo) sites Irish news consumption patterns as broadly in line with those seen globally and expresses the hope that the annual report will become "the prime source for identifying change in the fast paced news environment as well as forecasting trends for the future.
In his foreword the BAI Chief Executive, Michael O’Keeffe, said he was confident the report would "aid in the ongoing discussion relating to the future of news journalism, how audiences access their news and the challenges for us all as we encounter the seismic shifts that digital news has and will likely continue to create."