Australian Election Drives Record Mobile Web Usage

Australian Election Drives Record Mobile Web Usage

Australians’ use of mobile phones to access mobile news sites has reached record levels in the wake of the country’s closest ever election result, according to the latest mobile traffic figures from The Nielsen Company.

Nielsen recorded an overall volume jump of 19 percent in August, with the major news publishers being the key beneficiaries of the increase in traffic.

Amongst the major news sites, Nine News saw the largest increase in mobile traffic in August, up 27 percent from July 2010. Fairfax Digital’s SMH and The Age mobile sites were up 21 percent and 18 percent respectively, while News Digital Media’s increases 18 percent.

“The increasing ownership of smartphones and more affordable mobile data pricing plans have seen mobile Internet usage increase in recent months,” observes Matt Bruce, Managing Director of Nielsen’s online division in Australia. “This growth was given an extra jolt in August as Australians looked to mobile news sites via their mobile phones for updates on the election results and the subsequent negotiations with the Independents.”

Bruce notes that major spikes in mobile Internet usage to news sites were recorded on the day of the Federal Election and the day following (August 21 and 22), and then again on September 7 as the three Independents announced their decision, and the subsequent news that Labor had won the election.