Breitbart, the right-wing website once helmed by Steve Bannon, now chief strategist to President Donald Trump, skyrocketed into prominence during the 2016 election, but has since been faced with cratering traffic and fleeing advertisers.
According to a new Digiday report, Breitbart has seen a sharp decline — of nearly 90% — in the number of advertisers on its site:
There were just 26 brands appearing on Breitbart in May, down from a high of 242 in March, according to MediaRadar, which tracks ads on websites. Many conservative sites, including Townhall, The Blaze and National Review, have also had declines, although those declines are much less pronounced than Breitbart, according to MediaRadar.
As Digiday notes, the “decline also coincides with boycotts aimed at getting advertisers to stop running ads on the site.” Per Sleeping Giants, a Twitter account tracking companies that have stopped advertising on Breitbart, counts 2,200 companies as having ceased to advertise on the website.
News that Breitbart’s advertisers have plummeted 90% in three months follows a Vanity Fair report that the website’s traffic has cratered since President Trump’s inauguration.
At the height of its popularity, Breitbart boasted 45 million unique monthly visitors, with more than two billion pageviews in 2016, according to a post written on the website.
By January, Breitbart was the 45th most trafficked U.S. website, surpassing “Fox News (#47), Huffington Post (#50), Washington Post (#53), and Buzzfeed (#64).”
A month later, per Vanity Fair, the website celebrated its ascension to 29th place in therankings, beating out PornHub and ESPN.
But just a couple of months later, Breitbart plummeted from the top of the traffic rankings, falling to 281st place by the end of May.
The steep drop has not been experienced by websites Breitbart was just months ago proud to call rivals: “Fox News is the 64th most-trafficked site in the country. Huffington Post is at 60. Buzzfeed is at 50. The Washington Post, on the strength of a series of eye-popping scoops, is at 41.”
Another fascinating nugget from the Vanity Fair piece: Breitbart’scratering traffic could have something to do with a “decline in the number of times Breitbart stories receive a link from Matt Drudge.”
Receiving a coveted link on the Drudge Report “can fuel an entire month’s worth of web traffic,” but since Bannon’s departure from Breitbart, the website has struggled to maintain a steady flow of Drudge links.
Maybe after reading the report Matt Drudge will throw Breitbart a bone — but with a sudden dearth of advertisers, it appears Breitbart suffers from more salient problems than day-to-day traffic woes.