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COVID-19: Online news publishers keeping us informed

3 minute read | March 2020
  • Seven of the top ten news sites have a weekly audience of more than 5 million people1
  • All of the top ten have a weekly audience of more than 2 million1
  • Average weekly audience growth of the top ten news sites versus prior 4 weeks is 54%2

SYDNEY, 27 MARCH, 2020: Seven of the top 10 online news sites attracted more than 5 million people each last week (16-22 March), according to data released today by Nielsen.

Nielsen’s industry-endorsed weekly Digital Content Ratings data shows enormous growth in audiences and engagement to online news publishers’ content, with average audience growth of the top ten news sites in this latest week up 54% versus the prior four weeks.

Nielsen’s Managing Director of Media and Sports, Monique Perry said that now more than ever, Australians want to know the latest information on COVID-19. “They want to know what it means for them, their family and their livelihood. Australians are choosing and trusting digital across an array of devices to access breaking information. Our digital news publishers are providing up-to-date and relevant information to consumers and the engagement and audience metrics validate this strong and active connection,” confirmed Perry. 

IAB’s CEO, Gai Le Roy said this is not just about competitive rankings anymore. “ Our digital publishing industry continues to invest and deliver much needed trusted information to Australians. Over the last few weeks we have seen media owners develop rich new content offerings that not only include text journalism but podcasts, live streams and many other offerings to keep people up to date. The growth in audience numbers testify that this content is highly valued ,” commented Le Roy. 

“As consumers turn to these sites, we congratulate the people working so hard to deliver compelling content and we congratulate the brands and advertisers who continue to support the Australian advertising industry,” added Le Roy. 

1Source: Nielsen Digital Content Ratings, Weekly 16/03/2020 – 22/03/2020, P2+, Digital (Computer/Mobile), Text, Sub category Current Events & Global News, Unique Audience

2Source: Nielsen Digital Content Ratings, Weekly 16/03/2020 – 22/03/2020 vs Avg Previous 4 Weeks 17/02/2020 – 23/02/2020, 24/02/2020 – 01/03/2020, 02/03/2020 – 08/03/2020, 09/03/2020 – 15/03/2020, P2+, Digital (Computer/Mobile), Text, Sub category Current Events & Global News, Unique Audience

About Nielsen

Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global measurement and data analytics company that provides the most complete and trusted view available of consumers and markets worldwide. Nielsen is divided into two business units. Nielsen Global Media, the arbiter of truth for media markets, provides media and advertising industries with unbiased and reliable metrics that create a shared understanding of the industry required for markets to function. Nielsen Global Connect provides consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers with accurate, actionable information and insights and a complete picture of the complex and changing marketplace that companies need to innovate and grow. Our approach marries proprietary Nielsen data with other data sources to help clients around the world understand what’s happening now, what’s happening next, and how to best act on this knowledge. An S&P 500 company, Nielsen has operations in over 100 countries, covering more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit



Jackie Helliker

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