Stuff and NZ Herald audiences continue to grow in Nielsen’s latest online rankings

Internet giants Google and Facebook continue to dominate online ratings for New Zealanders but increasing numbers of New Zealanders are visiting Stuff.co.nz and the NZ Herald, according to the latest Nielsen figures.

Nearly three million New Zealanders visited the search engine behemoth each month on average from October 2014 to September 2015 while an average of 2.3 million people clicked their way onto the preeminent social media site facebook.

Trademe was the highest rating local website which was visited by an average of 1.8 million New Zealanders over the same time period while Fairfax owned stuff.co.nz was the next local site attracting 1.73 million visitors.

Stuff also beat out the NZ Herald website in the categories of finance and sport respectively while the food and cooking categories had an international flavour with allrecipes.com, a source of last-minute culinary inspiration for many wannabe master chefs (including this reporter), and scripps networks food interactive.

In the battle of online traffic, Fairfax is still coming out on top with rival NZME’s site for the New Zealand Herald attracting only 1.3 million unique visitors on average per month.

The figures for the NZ Herald website show an increase in visitor numbers of 13 percent from the monthly average between October 2013 and September 2014 which put the site in tenth place.

This must be welcome news in the wake of redundancies taking place at NZME as the company seeks to adapt the way the 150 year-old publication provides news.

The restructure will see around 250 journalists from the New Zealand Herald, Herald on Sunday, NZME news agency, Newstalk ZB and Radio Sport relocate to the purpose-built media hub in central Auckland in December.

In a recent interview with Stoppress, NZ Herald managing editor Shayne Currie said the changes were essential in order to prepare the media company’s news brand for the future.

“Our audience patterns are ever-changing and we can’t expect that what we’ve done for the last 150 years will let us thrive in the future – we have to change with our audience demands.”

Meanwhile Stuff has enjoyed an 18 percent increase in visitor numbers from 1.47 million on average monthly between October 2013 and September 2014.

Interviewed by stoppress last year on the news site’s surpassing of content aggregating yahoo.co.nz, Fairfax’s group executive editor Sinead Boucher said it was the diverse range of content which had contributed to Stuff’s success.

“Our approach is to respond to what our audiences are interested in, not just give them a diet of news we think they should be interested in. This means the Stuff homepage is a mix of the big breaking stories and important issues, and a bit of the lighter stuff on the side.”

Yahoo, which aggregates content from mainstream media providers, appeared to have lost the interest of New Zealanders with a fall in the average monthly visitor numbers of 20 percent from 1.7 million down to 1.39 million.

In contrast to Yahoo’s dip, the MSN suite of sites—which for purposes of Nielsen’s ratings is limited to the local versions of Skype, MSN and Bing—has remained relatively stable, dipping only two percent year on year and currently sits at 1.89 million visitors (down from 1.93 million last year).  

Video-sharing site YouTube appears to have lost some of its appeal among New Zealanders with 12 percent fewer visiting the site bringing the monthly average figure down to 1.78 million for October 2014 to September 2015 from a little over 2 million between October 2013 and September 2014. However, it is worth pointing out that 40 percent of YouTube views are on mobile and that Nielsen’s ratings do not take in-app views and visits into account.        

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