In 2020, News Media Has Redefined Its Importance To Australians’ Daily Lives

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In this op-ed, Foxtel Media national partnership manager Johan Lamprecht discusses the uptake on news consumption this year and how news media has redefined its importance to Australian’s daily lives… 

With bushfires, COVID-19, and unrest in the US with the ongoing electionn – it has been one of the biggest news years of all time.

Australians have consumed news content in record numbers the last 12 months. There has never been greater demand for up-to-date local and global information. In Australia, the percentage of heavy television news viewers rose to 70 per cent  at the beginning of the year with 69 per cent of users sharing or interacting with news on social media, a 6 per cent increase compared to last year.

All forms of the media, but specifically television and digital media have become increasingly important to people and driving the already long-established 24-hour news cycle. News publishers play a fundamental role as one of the public’s most important communication partner.

The numbers back it up: on Foxtel for example, Sky News has ranked as the #1 channel on Foxtel, with an average audience increase of 42 per cent year-on-year . With the channel’s all-day average audience up 42 per cent , the viewing trends have also reflected a shift in when people are tuning in while, seeking the latest updates, or perhaps on a break while working from home:

  • Mornings 9am-12pm delivered a record increase of 74 per cent year-on-year
  • Daytime 9am-5pm up 68 per cent year-on-year
  • Primetime 6-10pm up 32 per cent year-on-year

Online, Sky News Australia also delivered more than 650 million video views on digital platforms, up 360 per cent year-on-year .

The network has become Australia’s #1 commercial news channel on YouTube and has been the most engaged Australian media brand on Facebook for the past nine consecutive weeks. And viewers are not only following local news providers.

CNN has seen record-breaking digital traffic from Australians looking for a global perspective. In the first half of 2020 CNN.com International attracted a monthly average of 3.2M unique visitors in Australia, seeing a year-on-year increase of 66 per cent .

Additionally, CNN Digital properties generated 35 million monthly page views, surging by 85 per cent compared to the same period last year.

The record-breaking broadcast and digital engagement with news this year has been driven by the public’s desire for live press conferences and health updates, top performing primetime line-ups, exclusive interviews, investigative specials and documentary programming.

And as the US election continues to unfold, news will continue to play an essential role in helping us to understand the global trends that have a real impact here in Australia.

One thing that has become clear: in 2020 news media has redefined its importance to Australian’s daily lives.

 

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