Online news time up 29%: Nielsen on changing consumption patterns

• News consumption has understandably changed over the last few weeks,

Nielsen has released the following report on digital news consumption from its Digital Content Ratings (DCR) data:

Highlights:

• Time spent on news digital sites and apps up 29%
• Weekday engagement on news sites nearly doubled
• Desktop usage growth outpaced smartphone growth
• Younger people (18-29 year olds) experienced the greatest shift

News consumption has understandably changed over the last few weeks, as people seek out information and return to news websites for regular updates. Overall time spent on news digital sites and apps is up 29% for March to date compared to the same period in February.

Data from Australia’s IAB endorsed digital measurement system, Nielsen Digital Content Ratings, reported weekday engagement last week (16th – 20th March) saw a huge increase in time spent on news sites, nearly doubling compared to the four previous weeks. For the first time in a long time, desktop usage growth outpaced smartphone growth with desktop time increasing 58% and phone time increasing 48%. It is expected desktop usage will continue to increase with the increasing amount of people working from home.

And although there have been significant increases in time for all age groups, younger people (18-29 year olds) experienced the greatest shift in behaviour with time spent on news sites nearly doubling for weekdays last week (up 93% vs previous 4 weeks) with the largest volume increase from people aged 30-39. Older Australians, who are traditionally heavy digital news consumers, still saw an increase in time of 28%.

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