80% of Aussies consume news digitally each month: Nielsen

New data from Nielsen suggests that growth in digital news consumption beginning in 2020 has been sustained through the first half of 2021.

So far in 2021, 80% of adult Australians consumed news digitally on websites and apps each month, as an appetite for news brought on, at least in part, by the pandemic, is remaining.

COVID-related news was a clear driver of spikes in digital news consumption, with significant government announcements relating to the pandemic resulting in lifts in total time spent consuming news among Aussies.

Nielsen Total Time Spent Minutes CEGN Category [click to enlarge]

The data was released using Nielsen’s Digital Media Ratings volumetrics data.

Nielsen’s Total Time Spent hit a peak for the year to date on 27 May when the Victorian Government announced a seven-day lockdown, at that time reaching 1.6 million hours.

The second-highest peak was on 27 June, when Total Time Spent hit 1.5 million hours as NSW went into the first day of its current 14-day lockdown.

Nielsen also found the uplift in news consumption so far in 2021 was primarily driven by additional consumption on mobile devices.

Looking at the month of June in isolation, Nielsen found that consumers actually spent 12% more time engaging with news on their mobile devices when compared to the prior corresponding month in 2020.

During that same month, average time spent consuming news on desktop devices was 6% lower than June 2020.

Nielsen Total Time Spent Mobile CEGN Category [click to enlarge]

At the turn of the year, Nielsen soft-launched its Digital Media Ratings, replacing the old Digital Content Rankings methodology.

Nielsen hasn’t released its Digital Media Ratings publicly since the change in methodology, only providing data to individual websites subscribed to its rating system.

In April, IAB Australia has revealed it will not endorse the new product.

Since then, multiple digital publications have expressed concern to Mumbrella over the new methodology, with several revealing the change saw their monthly reported numbers change significantly after the change.


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