Sydney siege sees surge in demand for live video coverage

Australian digital news outlets including Daily Mail Australia, News Corp and NineMSN experienced some of their biggest ever audiences as readers stayed up to date with events in yesterday’s Lindt Cafe siege in Sydney’s Martin Place.

According to preliminary numbers released by the outlets, the situation saw some of the biggest demand for streaming video yet seen in Australia.

NineMSN editor in chief Hal Crawford told Mumbrella it was the “most significant event in terms of live video” it had seen, with hundreds of thousands of people accessing the live stream from The video stream of the Nine News coverage saw a spike at 2.55am in the minutes after the siege came to an end. Crawford said the stream was “primarily accessed on mobile devices, showing how Australians were staying up to date with the siege through the night”.

The Daily Mail Australia also reported a the biggest ever audience for the site with editor Luke McIlveen confirming it was its busiest day since launching in Australia more than a year ago.

Yahoo!7 said it was the busiest day of traffic for the year, with video views four times higher than usual.

ABC News 24 recorded 428,000 views of its live video streams across all its digital platforms, compared to its usual average of 12,000.  Visitors to ABC News Online yesterday were up 246 per cent on the same day last week, with peaks between 11am and noon at 504,000, and noon to 1pm at 524,000. Its live blog had the most readers at 2.5m across the day.

News Corp’s Sydney masthead The Daily Telegraph, which removed its metered paywall for the day, said video views via its desktop site were four times higher than average, with mobile video views nine times higher.

Across the whole of News Corp Australia, viewers of its live stream were almost 80 per cent higher than the previous most-watched event, the Phil Hughes funeral.

The Guardian Australia declined to discuss its audience figures, while Fairfax Media had not responded to requests at the time of publication.

Meanwhile, the television viewing audience was spread across the major networks which had disrupted their regular schedules to provide rolling coverage, and was significantly above the usual non ratings period average.

Seven’s 6pm news bulletin attracted the most metro viewers of the day, with an audience of 1.3m. Nine’s 6pm bulletin was seen by an average of 1.2m metro viewers. Ten averaged 383,000 at 6pm, with 569,000 tuning in for its regular Eyewitness News bulletin at 5pm.

Consolidated metro numbers from 10am to midnight for Sydney saw an average of 234,882 viewers watching on Seven, 186,827 on Nine, 85,806 on the ABC, 80,766 on Ten and 30,784 on ABC News 24. However, OzTam figures do not take into account people watching TV out of home, in places such as offices.


TV Data OzTAM Pty Limited 2013. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of OzTAM. Online data provided by publishers.


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