Fairfax video streams see monthly decline

Fairfax Media saw a 10% drop in video streams on smh.com.au and a 14% drop in video streams on theage.com.au, an analysis of last month’s metro media audience report from the company suggests.

The growth of the company’s tablet app downloads also appeared to slow in March, with 6,824 downloads of the free SMH app and 8,022 of The Age’s app.

The latest data from Fairfax was released in the company’s monthly mastheads report this week.

The SMH fell from 7.2m streams in February to 6.5m in March. The Age fell from 4.2m to 3.6m.   

As well as being down month-on-month, streams for smh.com.au were down 5.2% year on year, while theage.com.au was up by 1.1%.

At the time of posting Fairfax had not responded to Mumbrella’s call to ask about why streams were down.

Meanwhile, the number of tablet apps of the two mastheads appear to have slowed. The SMH went up slightly from 241,915 downloaded to date to 248,739 while The Age went up from 209,608 to 217,630.

Fairfax launched its metro media audience report in February.

However, the number of unique browsers on tablet apps went up by just over 7,000 to 36,813. The Age went up by about 2,500 to 31,850.

The company also showed good progress with sales of its digital edition – which reproduces the print edition online. Monday to Friday sales of the SMH rose from 5,683 to 30,916 while Sunday sales rose from 5,281 to 37,903. The Age rose from digital edition sales of just under 5,000 to nearly 11,000.

March report:

fairfax metro audience report

(Click to enlarge)

February’s report:

fairfax metro feb

(Click to enlarge)




  1. Cognitively DIssonant
    26 Apr 12
    11:27 am

  2. Dear Fairfax,

    we come to your site for written news and analysis. Video is an annoying intrusion that slows down your site on our computers and fights the medium you’re presenting content on.

    p.s. if you insist on pursing this video ‘strategy’ and on using your journos and columnists as ‘on-camera talent’ give them a wardrobe allowance and hire a make-up artist/hairstylist – most of your guys look scruffy, unexcited and undermine the quality of the content they’re trying to present. e.g. TV critics talking about how bad a show is who are making a bad show themselves are ridiculous.

    p.p.s. thanks for the free digital subscription with my paper one.

  3. josh909
    26 Apr 12
    11:35 am

  4. I’d suggest that this is mainly due to the Fairfax sites now allowing people to login and disable autoplay.

  5. Tom
    26 Apr 12
    11:39 am

  6. They have the worst video player in the history of video players…

  7. Tom
    26 Apr 12
    11:40 am

  8. Also… The Photoshop images they produce are the worst results of clipart and photos.

  9. Me
    26 Apr 12
    11:51 am

  10. Can someone please tell me if FairfaxMedia counts page refreshes as page views?

  11. James D
    26 Apr 12
    12:14 pm

  12. Wouldn’t the volume of video streamed be entirely reliant on what was news-worthy each month? No big news = low streams

  13. Frank Black
    26 Apr 12
    1:08 pm

  14. be good to move on from autoplay sucks…yes it does. more interesting to discuss why have they not backed off. Cos online video ads exploded and the revenue got big, way too big to mess with. Should they shut it off, video inventory falls in a big hole and there’s no way of replacing the revenue.

    Insert the argument here that autoplay will drive audience away and do long term harm. True, but no-one cares when you’re in a day to day slog to hit the quarter. Outcome, autoplay stays and we’ll offer to turn it off for registered users so we can say we’ve done something when bashed by clients, agencies, trade press etc.

    Point on interesting stories is a good one. Only vid i allowed to play was Matt Newton being a spolit brat (yes..insensitive). I’ll watch that all day…but i wonder if the Fairfax audience is getting better educated on turning the video off whilst the page is loading? It’s almost a reflex action for me now…

  15. Woody
    26 Apr 12
    3:14 pm

  16. Well since Fairfax is in a race to the bottom with its website content it’s unsurprising that discerning readers are continuing to abandon them

  17. Clarity
    26 Apr 12
    3:40 pm

  18. can someone explain the massive drop in total salesl mon-friday 176,131??? The use to sell that much in one day! or is this meant to be average mon-fri sales….

  19. Interesting
    27 Apr 12
    1:10 pm

  20. @ ‘Me’: Yes, refreshed page views count as individual impressions.

    @ ‘James D’: True in the sense, if there’s no content, there are no streams; but if people weren’t demanding content online – streams across all publishers would be down… which is definitely not the case! perhaps the truth lies in the fact, as others have highlighted, the content Fairfax is producing doesn’t warrant consumer demand. Numerous times I’ve opted to view a video report on a certain story for a more in-depth/faster method of digesting the content – only to be left wishing I’d just read the story