The best reads are the ones worth reading. And the ones worth reading are the ones that people are reading.

This is a key principle that guides our work at Readup. Completion is positive. Abandonment is neutral. (We used to think of abandonment as purely negative, but we’ve changed our tune on that. There’s a time and place for everything and that includes partial reading.)

To drive this point home, let’s consider a simple example: book recommendations. Suppose Sara recommends twenty books to twenty friends and nineteen of them actually finish the books. Now suppose Jack recommends twenty books to twenty friends, but only one friend actually reads the recommended book. Sara is better at recommending books than Jack.

Since Readup has a humongous reading dataset (hundreds of thousands of articles, contributed by almost a thousand users across several years) we’re able to determine the sources that are, from a reader’s perspective, objectively the best.

So, without further ado, here’s the current Top Ten Publishers list, with article completion rate in parentheses:

1.) The Cut (32%)

2.) The New Yorker (30%)

3.) Vanity Fair (29%)

4.) GQ (28%)

5.) The Atlantic (26%)

6.) Bloomberg (25%)

7.) The New York Times (25%)

8.) Wired (23%)

9.) Longreads (23%)

10.) Vice (22%)

Honorable mentions:

11.) Stratechery
13.) The Guardian
14.) Slate
15.) Buzzfeed News

Note: In this analysis, we only considered data for articles greater than ten minutes long. For now, we chose not to punish publications that produce a high volume of clickbait (short articles with high and fast rates of abandonment) although we might do so in the future. And of course, we only have data for publishers who appear on Readup, although at this point that includes almost all publishers on the internet.

Thoughts? Got any ideas for new and interesting ways that we can slice and dice our reading data? As always, don’t hesitate to share your thoughts. See you in the comments.