There are countless ways to describe the recent national election — many of them unrepeatable here. The media watchers at The Nielsen Co. wish to add another one: mobile-phone magnet.
Australians’ use of handhelds to track the election and its aftermath led to record usage levels. Nielsen’s Mobile Market Intelligence service saw overall volume leap by 19 percent in August, compared to July, with the major news organisations the key beneficiaries of the traffic increase.
Among the major news sites, Nine News saw the largest increase in mobile traffic, with a daily average of about 79,500 unique browsers in August, up 27 percent from July. Fairfax Digital’s SMH and The Age mobile sites were up 21 percent and 18 percent, respectively, while News Digital Media increased 18 percent.
“The increasing ownership of smartphones and more affordable mobile data pricing plans have seen mobile Internet usage increase in recent months,” said Matt Bruce, managing director of Nielsen’s online division in Australia.
“This growth was given an extra jolt in August as Australians looked to mobile news sites for updates on the election results and the subsequent negotiations with Independents.”
The Nielsen data showed major spikes in mobile Internet use were recorded on election day and on the day after, Aug. 21-22. Another spike occurred Sept. 7 when the three Independents announced their decision, along with the subsequent news that Labor had won the election.
Image by Cheon Fong Lew