Time spent on news sites doubles

The time that Australians are spending on news sites has doubled in the past year, according to data released by Nielsen online, and online is becoming a larger part of news consumption.

The data highlights that during the December quarter last year Australians would spend on average 1 hour and 19 minutes a month on news websites.  However this year that number has risen to 2 hours and 39 minutes a month.

Nielsen media industry group head Monique Perry explained that Australians are tapping into the new ways of consuming news, most recently via news apps on mobile phones and tablets.

“During 2013 unique audience numbers have remained stable but engagement levels have significantly increased. Despite the fanfare of new arrivals – on average two new websites a month – the larger sites have grown, and not lost share of time online,” she said.

“Among these there have been some standouts – in the last year the ABC grew unique audiences by 34 per cent, the Telegraph by 25 per cent and even the Guardian, without an extra media platform, has increased unique audience by 11 per cent.”

Ms Perry believes that news sites will continue to grow engagement levels over the next three years, however this growth will see some changes to how the news is currently presented online.

“Firstly, we’ll see even more pressure on cross-media owners to parcel advertising in an integrated and creative way. Secondly, news sites will need to meet the challenge to feed Australians with strong and unique content to maintain share of this engaged and connected audience.”

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