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Digital Spy (or DS as it is often known by its users) is a British entertainment and media website, noted for its forums. According to comScore figures, it is the fourth largest British entertainment website with 2.1 million unique users on its news site. According to Alexa Internet traffic statistics, as of June 2009, Digital Spy is the 76th most popular website in the United Kingdommarker, with an overall Alexa ranking of 1,904.

The site was first established on 17 January 1999 as digiNEWS before the then member sites of the digiNEWS network were merged and Digital Spy Ltd was formally incorporated in 2001. The website's latest design was launched on 1 March 2006.

On 9 April 2008 it was announced that the website was purchased earlier in the month by magazine publisher Hachette Filipacchi UK, a subsidiary of the Lagardère Group for a "significant" sum.


The site also features forums which went live in March 2000. The forums cover media as well as computing, telephony, gaming, politics, radio, sport, general discussion and less formal chatter. On 10 May 2007, the number of registered users climbed above the 200,000 mark. In February 2008 this had grown to over 245,000. To date over 87,500 users have never participated in the forums.

The forums are powered by twelve front end Apache HTML servers running on FreeBSD and a cluster of four MySQL database servers. The forums utilise the vBulletin software.

During Big Brother over 40,000 posts per day can be added to the forums - currently around 180,000 posts are made each week. The peak usage during Big Brother was in January 2007 was a new record of over 17,000 concurrent online users in the aftermath of Jade Goody's eviction. In December 2007 after the end of an X-Factor show the Digital Spy Forums saw over 20,000 online users and registered over 320,000 pages displayed between 10 and 11 p.m. on that evening.In July 2007, The Times reported on the number of customers who had registered on the forums to express their concerns and negative aspects of the Virgin Media cable service.

Representatives of several major companies including Top Up TV, Joost, Sky, Goodmans and Amstrad CEO Sir Alan Sugar are registered members that have posted on the forum.

TV Guide

As of Friday 17 November 2006 the Digital Spy website has a TV Guide powered by DigiGuide. This was changed in last quarter of 2007 to a new TV Guide powered by TV Genius.


Digital Spy:Big Brother, or more popularly abbreviated, DS:BB, brings the latest news stories, and during the series records Live Updates, in which forum members record up-to-the-minute updates from the live streaming. The site also, during the series, has columns written by journalists such as Jenni Trent Hughes as well as ex-Big Brother housemates. In 2002 DS:BB won a WebUser gold award for its Big Brother 3 coverage.

Digital Spy Soap Awards

The first annual Digital Spy Soap Awards were launched at the end of 2007, with voting running until the end of January 2008. Categories include: Best onscreen partnership; Best Newcomer; Sexiest Male / Female; Most popular Actor/Actress; Best Single Episode; Best Story line. The 2007 Awards were announced on 21 March 2008.


On 17 January 2007, the site logged 3.93 million page impressions, a figure that then rose to a new best of 4.07 million page impressions - some 180,000 unique visitors - on 18 January 2007. The previous record was 3 million impressions, set as the seventh series of Big Brother began in May 2006. By January 2008 the site had grown so that during the first 7 days of January 2008 4 of them saw over 3 million page views. December 2007 saw nearly 3 million unique visitors come to the Digital Spy Forums and the site as a whole delivered over 80 million page views.

In an article in The Independent Mike Anderson of The Sun said: "When you go to the world of online there's a whole load of new competitors, which you've got to reframe yourself on. TMZ, Digital Spy, plus the BBC, Channel 4, they all come into your zone as a competitor. Six months ago, Digital Spy was bigger than Sun entertainment brand Bizarre. It's no longer the case because we've come into that space."

US Edition

In 2009, Digital Spy launched an American edition of the site. It is mainly a reduced version of the full UK site and, as of 31 January 2008, only has the British soaps aired in the United States covered in the "Soaps" section.


  1. BBC News Article

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