Digital Spy

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Digital Spy
Digital Spy logo 2013.svg
Web address
Commercial? Yes
Type of site
Entertainment, media, news
Available in English
Owner Hearst Magazines UK
Created by Digital Spy Ltd
Launched 1999
Alexa rank
Increase 2,837 (September 2014)[1]
Current status Online

Digital Spy is a British entertainment and media news website launched in 1999. The site focuses on reporting breaking entertainment news related to movies, music, television and showbiz. In addition to news articles there are regular reviews posted on popular films, theatre, and concerts.

Original Digital Spy logo used from 1999 until 2013.

On 9 April 2008 it was announced that the website had been purchased by magazine publisher Hachette Filipacchi UK, a subsidiary of the Lagardère Group[2] for a "significant" sum.[3] On 1 August 2011, ownership of Hachette UK was sold to Hearst Magazines UK.[4]

As well as articles, the site also features forums which went live in March 2000, and gives readers the opportunity to discuss various topics. Representatives of several major companies including Top Up TV, Joost, BSkyB, Goodmans and Amstrad CEO Lord Alan Sugar[3][5] are registered members that have posted on the forum.


digiNEWS and ONfaq[edit]

Early January 1999. Iain Chapman launched the digiNEWS website, providing news, rumours and information on Sky's new digital satellite platform SkyDigital. At the same time, Chris Butcher launched the ONfaq website, offering similar news and information on the UK's new digital terrestrial platform ONdigital. Both sites proved to be popular, attracting a lot of attention from visitors eager for more news about these rapidly developing TV platforms.

Very quickly, Iain and Chris discussed the idea of a merger of the two sites, to create the digiNEWS Network.

The digiNEWS Network[edit]

On February 28, 1999, digiNEWS and ONfaq merged and were rebranded as sites of the new digiNEWS network.

Both sites were redesigned with common branding, and new header graphics identifying the digiNEWS network.


More sites continued to join the network - Chris Norris's cablenews:uk (covering NTL and TeleWest cable services), Mark Hughes' DVDNews (DVD news and reviews) and Neil Wilkes' TV:uk (TV news and gossip).

The network was growing, but technically it was still disjointed, served from personal webspace from ISPs such as Freeserve. Discussions with website guru Jose Cardoso began, and work started on integrating the multitude of sites into a single portal.

It was important for the new site to be easily accessible, so a .COM address was preferable, unfortunately the address was already taken, so a new name was needed. After many many emails back and forth, the name DigitalSpy was chosen and more importantly the .COM was available.


The new DigitalSpy forums went live on March 1, 2000, they were built on the UBB forum platform.

The new DigitalSpy news portal went live on May 19, 2001, running on a custom-built content management system by Jose, called RAMS.


According to Alexa Internet traffic statistics, as of October 2014, Digital Spy is the 150th most popular website in the United Kingdom,[6] with an overall Alexa ranking of 2,837.[1]

Digital Spy serves over 145 million pages to more than 20 million people every month with the discussion forums having more than 445,000 registered users and 57.3 million posts, making them amongst the world's busiest English-language social venues for entertainment and technology.[7]


  1. ^ a b " Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2014-09-20. 
  2. ^ "Lagardere buys UK web portal". Forbes. Thomson Financial News. 9 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-09. 
  3. ^ a b Byrne, CIar (28 April 2008). "Hachette spies a good match with a digital duo". London: The Independent. Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  4. ^ Rusche, Dominic (28 March 2011). "Hearst buys Elle rights in $651m Lagardère deal". The Guardian. 
  5. ^ "Alan Sugar". Retrieved 16 Feb 2011. 
  6. ^ "Top Sites in United Kingdom". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 3 October 2014. 
  7. ^ "About Digital Spy and the Digital Spy team". Retrieved 20 September 2014.