Nielsen launches combined mobile and desktop audience numbers and reveal audiences for social sites including Twitter and Snapchat

NielsenDigital industry body IAB and Nielsen have launched Australia’s new digital audience measurement currency, fusing together audiences across desktop and mobile devices for the first time.

The new Digital Ratings (Monthly) replaces the Nielsen Online Ratings which measures the most popular news sites in the country, but also provide an insight into the audience size of services like Twitter and Snapchat.

Digital leader: Manners

Manners: Australian marketplace should be proud of DRM measurement

It aims to give the market a first look at Australia’s total digital audience, de-duplicated, across PC, smartphone and tablet for both web browsers and apps.

Alice Manners, outgoing IAB Australia CEO, told a briefing: “What DRM is doing is capturing and reporting the real year-on-year growth of unique audiences across key digital devices. It allows the market to understand how much duplication there is across devices.

“What this enables us to do by having this enhancement is ensure we maintain market confidence in our trading currency. It’s something we as an Australian marketplace should be proud of.”

DRM fuses together Nielsen’s pre-existing PC panel for home and work, consisting of 7,000 people, with nationally representative panels of Australian smartphone and tablet internet users, consisting of 2,000 smartphone users and 750 tablet users, as well as Census-tagged data for PC and mobile web.

It also uses a single-source panel and an establishment survey in an effort to provide de-duplicated audience figures.


Smith: The PC is the dominant device

Alex Smith, product leadership – digital content measurement at Nielsen, explained the comparative difference between the PC and Mac panel with the smartphone and tablet panel is “to do with the penetration of the device in the market”.

“Even though there is a lot of usage happening on smartphone and tablet, PC is still the dominant device from a penetration point of view, so we need to be representative of that market penetration,” he said.

The DRM data suggests the total active digital universe in Australia is close to 19.6m people across smartphones, computers and tablets – with 17.951m on computers, 13.170m on smartphones and 7.58m on tablets during February.

Monique Perry, Nielsen’s head of media, said: “There’s a million more people who we’re now capturing who were effectively app only users.”

According to the data for last month, Google, Facebook and Youtube are unsurprisingly the top three sites by unique audience.

For February Google had a unique audience of 19.627m with an active reach of 92.43%, while Facebook had a unique audience of 15.477m with an active reach of 78.86%.

Youtube was in at third place with a unique audience of 13.967m with an active reach of 71.16%.


Perry: Mobile led sites see massive growth

“The sites and the apps that have set themselves apart as being mobile-led, they see that massive growth. You look at YouTube and Facebook and they’ve got more than 5m stronger unique audience now because clearly they’re very mobile-led,” said Perry.

“Twitter doesn’t quite make the top 20, but it has an audience of 5.5m, which again is mobile-led.”

Looking at the social space, Facebook and Instagram topped the sector, with LinkedIn claiming third with a unique audience of 6.983m.

Twitter was fourth with a unique audience of 5.528m while Pinterest rounded out the top five with a unique audience of 4.545m.

Snapchat posted a unique audience of 3.068m. 

In the news and global category, the benefactors of the change in measurement currency were News Corp’s Herald Sun and The Daily Telegraph, which claimed the ninth and 10th slots, respectively., and ABC News Websites continued to hold the top three places they dominated in the old Online Ratings measurement system., owned by NewsLifeMedia, posted a February unique audience of 5.499m, ahead of Fairfax Media’s, which had an audience of 4.709m. ABC News websites grabbed an audience of 4.330m.

Ninemsn news websites claimed fourth place with a unique audience of 3.037m, while The Guardian, which had consistently complained the old system underreported its audience, jumped to fifth with an audience of 2.944m.


McClelland: “Reaching the top 5 was a goal”

Ian McClelland, The Guardian managing director, said in a statement: “This is a huge milestone for us, reaching top five was a goal when we launched the local edition in 2013. We’re on track with our business plan and are bolstering our capabilities in native content, data, video and events to build a sustainable business in Australia.

“The ranking is a testament to our investment in editorial. Our readers recognise The Guardian is a strong, influential and independent voice which is much needed in this country.”

Daily Mail Australia which launched with aggressive plans to be the biggest news site in Australia slips to sixth in the new standings with a unique audience of 2.866m.

Daily Mail boss Peter Holder has been very public with the company’s desire to climb up the Nielsen rankings, telling Mumbrella: “The main goal for us is to get further up in the Nielsen rankings, that’s my biggest priority, and with that other things flow on.”

Fairfax Media’s The Age came in at 7th position with a unique audience of 2.665m, with Yahoo7 news websites was eighth with an audience of 2.607m.

Tom Armstrong, Fairfax Media commercial and marketing services director, said in a statement: “DRM better reflects the fast progress Fairfax Media has made in growing digital audiences, particularly via mobile, ranking Fairfax as Australia’s most popular publisher of quality digital content and journalism, reaching almost 11m people.”

The inclusion of mobile audiences has seen the Herald Sun claim ninth place with a February unique audience of 2.545m and The Daily Telegraph claims 10th with a unique audience of 2.433m. The two News Corp titles bumped the BBC and MSN News from the top 10.

Michael Miller, executive chairman of News Corp Australasia said the company was “delighted with this second stage launch from Nielsen which gives the market insight into audiences across all digital devices for the first time”

In the statement News claimed to be Australia’s “biggest digital publisher, with a monthly reach of 11.624m” when the audiences across its assets including, REA Group and Kidspot are taken into account.

“The data affirms that News Corp Australia is by far and away the best platform to engage with Australians and is a must when planning digital campaigns,” added Miller.

For February, the BBC posted a unique audience of 2.293m while MSN News had a unique audience of 1.815m.

On dropping out of the top 10, Andrew Hunter, MSN executive producer, said: “We expected to drop out of the top 10 due to our relatively lower percentage of mobile users.

“What you will see from us, however, is a continued climb in our overall audience number – including our homepage, news, sport, finance and lifestyle sections – towards 4 million Australians as new Windows 10 users come online.”

The Huffington Post had a February unique audience of 2.185m, The Australian posted an audience of 1.505m, mobile-centric publisher BuzzFeed pulled 2.090m and Mamamia was just shy of the 1m barrier with a unique audience of 962,000.

Miranda Ward


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