Australian Media Consumption

In the last few weeks we’ve spent a lot of time in the media space, specifically the online media space: who is watching what and reading where. Usual suspects figure highly – News sites, Entertainment sites and even YouTube, sitting somewhere in between.

In particular, we’ve had a lot of interest lately in how Australians are consuming their digital media.

The New York Times newsroom, 1942. With thanks to Wikipedia.

The New York Times newsroom, 1942

Thinking about it, it’s quite amazing that, a story can be virtual from start to finish: a Twitter follower breaks some news, someone follows up with some pics on Tumblr or video on Facebook and someone weaves them all into a story that is ‘read’, even if the story is also watched or listened to.

This digital ecosystem is working well for those who embrace it, especially if you consider that the audience for a newspaper ‘should’ be roughly equal for online and off. Sure, there will be a few more expats reading about home online, but otherwise percentages ‘should’ be the same.

So, what we should see is national sites have a large but potentially niche audience and state focused titles have audience share equivalent with their populations.

What we actually see is quite different.

In the News & Media – Print category, Fairfax’s The Age is currently number 1, with stable mate Sydney Morning Herald in second place. Melbourne centric-Herald Sun has been building market-share share over the past twelve months, up almost 50% on its August 2010 share of market. All three hold between 9-9.5% of the market. The Australian is at present 4th, holiding 3.25% marketshare.

It’s worth pausing for a second to consider the New York Times, currently ranked 9th. In an action familiar to retailers, we often see Australians consistently going offshore when local sources don’t provide the quality they want. After all, if it’s a few keystrokes and a click, why not?

This occurs in the finance sector, where The Financial Times (UK) has 135% more visits than the Australian Financial Review, especially interesting given they both use paywalls.

What does this mean? It means there’s more competition than ever. It also means there’s more opportunity than ever.

As we saw some time back, Huffington Post noticed enough Australian traffic to announce a regional version; ASOS (ranked 4th, Apparel & Accessories, Aug 2010) is now bringing retail satisfaction to our shores and Net A Porter consistently sees Australia as one of its top  regions for sales. As a result, Net-A-Porter outperforms local players Forever New, Cotton On, Witchery and Country Road in the process (Monthly visit share, Aug 2010).

Similar stories lie in TV Land, where the Top 10 sites in Television received a respectable 45,543,737 visits in August. The top 10 sites in our Entertainment category received 261,307,518 visits however; Television saw an average visit length of 6.57 whilst Entertainment saw 11:59.

Counter intuitively; this lack of loyalty can be great – a business owner can see exactly when public opinion shifts and when a new entrant starts to gain traction. Throw in offline data such as sales figures or market share and you’ve yet another dimension for measurement.

If you want to gain more understanding of the dimensions in your market, contact Experian Hitwise today.

Experian Hitwise. Now you know.