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As we Hunt for Information, Consumption Patterns are Changing

2 minute read | March 2020


  • Time spent on news digital sites and apps up 29%
  • Weekday engagement on news sites nearly doubled
  • Desktop usage growth outpaced smartphone growth
  • Younger people (18-29 year olds) experienced the greatest shift

25 MARCH, SYDNEY – News consumption has understandably changed over the last few weeks, as people seek out information and return to news websites for regular updates. Overall time spent on news digital sites and apps is up 29% for March to date compared to the same period in February.

Data from Australia’s IAB endorsed digital measurement system, Nielsen Digital Content Ratings, reported weekday engagement last week (16th – 20th March) saw a huge increase in time spent on news sites, nearly doubling compared to the four previous weeks. For the first time in a long time, desktop usage growth outpaced smartphone growth with desktop time increasing 58% and phone time increasing 48%. It is expected desktop usage will continue to increase with the increasing amount of people working from home.

And although there have been significant increases in time for all age groups, younger people (18-29 year olds) experienced the greatest shift in behaviour with time spent on news sites nearly doubling for weekdays last week (up 93% vs previous 4 weeks) with the largest volume increase from people aged 30-39. Older Australians, who are traditionally heavy digital news consumers, still saw an increase in time of 28%.

Nielsen is committed to supporting the Australian media industry at this time and will keep updating this story as fresh data is available.

About Nielsen

Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global measurement and data analytics company that provides the most complete and trusted view available of consumers and markets worldwide. Nielsen is divided into two business units. Nielsen Global Media, the arbiter of truth for media markets, provides media and advertising industries with unbiased and reliable metrics that create a shared understanding of the industry required for markets to function. Nielsen Global Connect provides consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers with accurate, actionable information and insights and a complete picture of the complex and changing marketplace that companies need to innovate and grow. Our approach marries proprietary Nielsen data with other data sources to help clients around the world understand what’s happening now, what’s happening next, and how to best act on this knowledge. An S&P 500 company, Nielsen has operations in over 100 countries, covering more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit



Jackie Helliker

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