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Audiences On Australia’s Top-10 News Sites Up A Massive 54%

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Australians have been consuming more news across the board.

According to Nielsen data, the audience of Australia’s top-10 news sites (for the week of 16th-22nd March) grew by 54% compared to the prior four-week period.

During this last week of digital content ratings, Nielsen reported that all 10 of the top-10 online news sites attracted more than 2 million viewers.

In order from the largest audience viewing to the least, the top-10 news websites are as follows: ABC News Websites, news.com.au, 7NEWS, The Guardian, smh.com.au, nine.com.au, Daily Mail Australia, The Age, Australian Community Media Network, and The Australian. The top-7 of these had a weekly audience of more than 5 million for the last week recorded.

Over the first 24 days of March, the time spent on news digital sites and apps was up some 29%, according Nielsen. In addition, weekday engagement on news sites over this period nearly doubled.

While there were increases in this metric across all age groups, younger people (aged 18 to 29) marked the most notable growth, rising by 93% in the week of 16th-20th March compared to the previous four 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,” Nielsen said in a statement, referring to the 16th-20th March.

Despite the substantial surge in viewership, many publications are still struggling due to tighter advertising budgets. However, this seems to have primarily impacted print publications so far. Today, News Corp announced that it was suspending the printing of its community newspapers. Yesterday, Nine also stated they would be suspending some of their print products.

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