News audience surge in March: ABC audience +50%, Guardian doubles

• Nielsen March DCR: All publishers experience growth, seven over 11m

The Nielsen Digital Content Ratings have confirmed just how much traffic to Australian news publishers has grown for the month of March. There was a time when reaching 10m was a major landmark and one first achieved by news.com.au. However this month there were seven publishers with a monthly unique audience over 11m.

The ABC has topped the news rankings as it passes the 15m unique users mark.

Guardian Australia is the fastest growing news site, reaching 11.6 million Australians in March. Both publishers improved their ranking – the ABC rose from #3 to #1 month-on-month, while Guardian Australia lifted from #7 to #4.

All publishers experienced substantial growth with The Australian doubling its audience, smh.com.au jumping by 66% and The Age, nine.com.au and Daily Mail Australia all close to doubling their February audience numbers.

Nine.com.au dropped down the rankings from #2 in February to #6 in March.

Guardian Australia has shot ahead to become the country’s fastest growing news site, up 104% as 11.6 million readers turned to the masthead for reporting of the coronavirus crisis during March 2020.

Lenore Taylor, editor of Guardian Australia, said that audience growth demonstrates high levels of trust.

“I’m proud and delighted that 11.6 million Australians have put their trust in Guardian Australia’s journalism at this time,” said Taylor.

“Our Australian editorial team, and Guardian journalists around the world, are delivering distinctive, fact-based news and sharp commentary and analysis to inform and explain the events we are all living through.”

“I’d also like to thank our Guardian Australia readers, who have provided so much support and encouragement in the seven years since we launched here, and who have now made us the fourth most read news site in the nation.”

Dan Stinton

Dan Stinton, managing director of Guardian Australia, said that the masthead was 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,” said 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.”

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