Pub grub, extreme sport, and electric cars - Aussie platforms offer a unique look into local trends


The sustained rise in digital content consumption means Australia’s major digital publishers can offer stronger insights into trends happening across the country and help advertisers connect with the right audiences.

The pandemic has seen exponential growth in audiences and, according to Roy Morgan data, Australia's major digital publishers now reach 19.1 million Australians every month with one digital subset, Broadcaster Video-on-Demand (BVOD), establishing a new baseline for viewership with more than 1.6 million hours of BVOD content being consumed every week.

This means these platforms have even stronger data on what Australians are interested in seeing across various sectors.

Unsurprisingly, sport has been a comfort for many during lockdowns. Foxtel noticed this trend with record audiences for the NRL and AFL across both 2020 and 2021. The broadcaster also noticed a rise in less mainstream sports as more people crave more content.

“Viewing for the India cricket tour and Big Bash League last summer was also a massive hit, pointing to a big summer of cricket which kicks off with the Ashes Tour in December,” Kate Waugh, Foxtel head of sports partnerships says.

“Interestingly across Kayo’s 50+ sports, outside of our top tier sports, rating increases were seen across darts, extreme sports, karate, ocho and hot dog eating. New sports that appeared with strong viewing during lockdown included air guitar, bark in the park and spikeball.”

Another shared experience across Australia has been the frustrations of lockdown, with Pedestrian TV CEO Matt Rowley saying its readers have been mobilised by stories on receiving “you weren't home” cards from Australia Post.

“While vaccination rate coverage has been keenly read, calling out celebrity/influencer anti-vaxxers and COVID deniers also clearly lights a touch paper with our audience who hold nothing back on the harm their unsafe viewpoints are causing,” Rowley says.

“In tech and gaming people are ready to spend - if they can get their hands on the gear. On Kotaku, they continue to chase the elusive PS5 and read up on pretty much any other console like the XBox and Steam Deck.

“Finally – fed up with your internet? You're not alone. On Gizmodo they're all over anything about the NBN and its alternatives."

Pedestrian TV, not traditionally a food site, has seen an increase in recipes for cooking potato, suggesting “comfort pub grub” is missed, Rowley says.

News Corp Australia has also noticed new food trends with plant-based eating and vegan meals now the norm. Simple baking is also on the rise, with cookies ahead of banana bread for the first time.

In the travel space, News Corp Australia managing director, food and travel Fiona Nilsson says she is seeing the “revenge spend” era in travel begin as the world emerges from the pandemic.

“Luxury cruise lines, one of the hardest hit industries in travel, are experiencing record-breaking sales,” Nilsson says.

“Companies such as Silversea or Regent Seven Seas World Cruise for 2024 - with suites costing up to $250,000 per person - are selling out in a matter of hours. Cruise lines have used the past year to transform or build new ships, releasing spectacular new routes, intrepid voyages, and luxurious decors styled by the likes of Ralph Lauren to really up the ante to cater to these consumers ready to spend (and spend big).”

As people prepare to escape after the lockdowns, electric cars and hybrids appear to be a preferred choice for consumers in the future, with Drive director of content James Ward noting consumption and engagement with content about electric cars has increased dramatically over the past year.

Readership across suggests that many Australians are preparing to move to regional Australia with executive manager, economic research Cameron Kusher saying the number of views per listing across regional Australia is up 69.9% year-on-year to August 2021, more than double the 30.7% rise across the combined capital cities.

However, there are also many Australians looking to save, with Seven West Media network digital sales director Nicole Bence saying there’s been a 149% rise in “bargain hunter” content.

“Every week these trends are changing, and for marketers it can be very hard to keep up,” says Venessa Hunt, ThinkPremiumDigital general manager.

“Australia’s major digital publishers can see trends emerging before they ‘go viral’ and can help brands get ahead of that curve.

“Advertisers need to be agile, and a close relationship with these publishers is a sure way to keep ahead in such turbulent times.”

Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop us a line at

Sign up to the AdNews newsletter, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for breaking stories and campaigns throughout the day.

comments powered by Disqus