Traffic surges for premium news sites, the Guardian and Australian double audiences

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 14 April 2020

Australians are flocking to premium news websites and spending longer reading about the latest on the coronavirus crisis. 

Nielsen Digital Content Ratings reported an average increase of 57% across the top ten news sites in March compared to February.

Seven of the top ten reported audiences more than 11 million people and all recorded their highest unique audience figure since the launch of Nielsen's Digital Content Ratings. 

Nielsen Digital Content Ratings also reported increases in time spent with the overall current events and global news subcategory reaching 51 million hours in total for March, up 20 million hours since December 2019. 

The Guardian doubled its unique audience in March (+104%) to 11.6 million, moving to fourth place from seventh and claiming the crown as the country’s fastest growing news site. 

Dan Stinton, managing director of Guardian Australia, says the masthead is an effective platform for advertisers looking to reach a highly engaged audience.

“Almost half of the country read Guardian Australia last month, and it’s a readership that is deeply engaged with our journalism,” says Stinton.

“Our reach is now bigger than almost any other advertising platform - including most free to air television shows - and we believe our readers trust us a lot more than someone watching Married at First Sight or a rerun of an old footy final.

“Obviously the coronavirus crisis has impacted on many marketing budgets, but those advertisers who need to get a message out in these times will be hard pressed to find a more effective advertising vehicle than us.”

The Australian also doubled its unique audience (+101%) to rank tenth with a 4.9 million unique audience, making its debut in the top 10 since September 2018., which has been in operation for only 11 months, recorded an audience of 11.8 million, up 38%, making it the second most-visited commercial news website after (12.27 million). 

Executive producer,, Phil Goyen: “March was a tough month for so many. Our goal was to provide fast and factual information as well as comfort and understanding. We were right beside our audience every step of the way and we will remain there.”

Seven says is now the dominant news website for the under 30s demographic. Number one in both men and women, reaching 72% of the under 30 population in the country.

The rankings:

top 10

And time spent:


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