Our recent analysis of online news metrics confirms a home truth: content is king and the way we consume news is changing even on our devices. Over the past year, online news has become a larger part of Australian consumers’ overall news consumption.
In 2013 we saw little movement in unique audience numbers, but engagement levels have significantly increased; and despite the fanfare of new arrivals – the larger news sites have grown, not lost share of time online.
Standouts include the ABC with unique audiences up by 34 percent, the Telegraph up 25 percent, and even the Guardian, without an extra media platform, has increased its unique audience by 11 percent.
In fact, the Guardian’s rise in audience numbers has eased The Australian out of the Top 10 news sites. It should be noted however, that this shift in ranking disguises the real success in The Australian’s figures which has seen significant growth in its total time online, and time per person metrics. Minutes spent on TheAustralian.com.au hit nearly 33 million in October 2013.
News sites will continue to grow engagement levels over the next three years which will drive some key changes. Firstly, we’ll see even more pressure on cross-media owners to parcel advertising in an integrated and creative way. Secondly, news sites will need to meet the challenge to feed Australians with strong and unique content to maintain share of this engaged and connected audience. Finally, there will be a strong focus on tapping into the new ways audiences are consuming news – most recently via news apps on mobile phones and tablets.
In 2014, Nielsen will be working with the IAB to delve deeper into these trends to get a real view of growth in news consumption on mobile devices.