Nielsen Online Ratings: SMH Retains Top Spot

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The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) has retained the top spot in online news rankings for October compared to the previous month while News.com.au recorded the largest uplift in time spent during the same period, according to results released by Nielsen.

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While overall ‘current events and global news’ remained stable at 9.9 million unique users during the month of October, the top two mastheads (SMH and News.com.au) increased their audiences by 6% and 5% respectively, compared to the prior month.

News.com.au saw ongoing success with consumer engagement, increasing time spent on their site by an additional 17% to one hour, 46 minutes making this the highest month for time spent consuming news content on record for any individual site.

Nielsen Online Ratings unique audience data confirmed SMH retained top spot in the online news category. BBC and The Herald Sun had the strongest growth in unique audience of the top ten mastheads for the month, with 12% and 11% (respectively) more people on their site in October compared to the prior month.

The Guardian moved up the ranks to sixth place, with an 8% increase in unique audience. This is the highest ranking for the masthead since their launch in the Australia market in May last year.

Nine News recorded an expected decline in unique audience of 20% as a result of the MSN separation. Consequently, MSN News moved up the ranks to 17th with a unique audience of 868,000.

Head of Nielsen’s media industry group, Monique Perry said the online news category has been heating up in the closing quarter of the year. She said: “While the overall category is flat, audiences to sites have grown leading us to believe consumers are gulping down more content, from more sites, for more time every month. We are seeing some solid competition in the hotly contested online news category.”

Nielsen confirmed more than five million Australians streamed current events and global news video content in October 2014. News.com.au has taken the top spot in the News Category for the highly sought after video streaming rankings followed by SMH and Channel Nine News. ABC has the highest time spent streaming events and global news video content.

Name Unique Audience (000) Page Views Per Person Sessions Per Person Time Per Person (hh:mm:ss)
smh.com.au 3,824 35 11.27 01:01:54
news.com.au 3,734 56 13.28 01:45:44
ABC News Websites 2,697 25 9.33 00:40:31
ninemsn News Websites 2,464 27 11.72 00:43:45
Daily Mail Australia 2,443 18 6.29 00:52:27
The Guardian 2,085 14 5.69 00:35:26
Yahoo!7 News Websites 2,024 21 8.38 00:26:08
The Age 1,983 43 12.95 01:26:26
Herald Sun 1,895 17 7.53 00:39:52
BBC 1,668 21 5.94 00:40:23

Source: Nielsen Online Ratings, Hybrid data October, 2014.