The Marriage Equality Referendum, the All Ireland Football final, the RBS Six Nations final and the The Late Late Toy Show were amongst the top programmes accessed digitally during 2015 according to new figures published by RTÉ.
The day of the Marriage Equality Referendum count (Saturday, 23rd May 2015) was the single biggest day for online traffic to RTÉ’s digital news platforms, with almost one million (977,000) unique browsers visiting RTÉ.ie and the RTÉ News Now app that day, clocking up 6.8 million page views.
The second busiest day of the year for RTÉ’s digital news platforms was Sunday, 11th October 2015 with 871,000 unique browsers and 6.5 million page views, when news broke of the tragic killing of Garda Tony Golden in Co. Louth. That day, sports fans also watched coverage and analysis of the Poland V Ireland game and France v Ireland Rugby World Cup game on RTÉ’s digital platforms. Budget 2016 on 13th October 2015 was the third busiest day of the year with 834,000 unique browsers and 6.1 million page views.
The tragic events at Berkeley and Carrickmines were the most-read news articles in 2015 with almost one million views (913,000) and 686,000 page views respectively. The Marriage Equality Referendum count received 668,000 page views. The sports articles with the highest traffic was the 6 Nations Final live tracker article with 452,000 page views and the Dublin versus Kerry All Ireland Football Final live tracker article with 350,000 page views.
The surprise hit of 2015 was the RTÉ.ie news article “Health warning over drying washing indoors”. The article received two spikes in traffic during 2015, having being picked up on social media across Asia in January 2015 and again towards the end of the year, when it went viral on Facebook. Teresa Mannion’s famous weather report “Don’t make unnecessary journeys” also spiked in December, with the original report and the subsequent mash-ups going viral. RTÉ’s special Christmas Eve message “Santa is on his way”, was viewed over 285,000 times in a 12 hour period on 24th December.
During 2015, RTÉ.ie attracted an average of 5.5 million unique browsers per month. With the majority of people accessing RTÉ’s online services via mobile and tablet, now over 80% of RTÉ’s online traffic is now on mobile devices, a significant change in the last number of years, with more people accessing breaking news and analysis on the move. RTÉ’s news app RTÉ News Now, is the number one news app in Ireland with 1.5 million downloads to date.
Meanwhile, the RTÉ Player served over 40 million streams across the year, with an average of 1.35 million unique browsers and 3.35 million streams per month. The RTÉ Player app has over 1.84 million downloads. According to RTÉ, connected TVs are an increasingly popular device to watch RTÉ Player on, with 51,000 streams on Connected TVs over the Christmas period alone.
February and March were the busiest month for RTÉ Player, driven by the RBS 6 Nations, Cheltenham Festival, Eastenders’ ‘Who killed Lucy Beale’ special and live episodes and Conor McGregor’s The Notorious proving to be a huge knock out hit. Across the year, the soaps (Eastenders, Fair City, Home & Away and Neighbours), as well as RTÉ News, The Late Late Show and The Sunday Game Live were the most popular shows on RTÉ Player. The Late Late Toy Show attracted the highest number of streams of any show across the year with 180,000 streams. Web extra and exclusive content on RTÉ Player from The Late Late Show, The Sunday Game, RBS 6 Nations, Storyland, Comedy Bites and the new chat show The Couch performed very well, attracting over 1.4 million streams in 2015. RTÉ Player’s new Doc Hub is also proving popular, featuring a large collection of home-grown Irish documentaries.
In terms of overall usage of the broadcaster’s apps, RTÉ now has a stable of eleven apps across news, TV, radio and children’s content. RTÉ’s radio apps including RTÉ Radio Player, RTÉ Radio 1, RTÉ 2fm, RTÉ Radio 1’s Documentary on One had a combined download of 682,000. The top five on-demand radio content across the year was RTÉ Radio 1’s Documentary on One (30th May), Liveline (23rd October), Liveline (9th June), The Marian Finucane Show (17th October) and Liveline (10th July). Elsewhere it’s YouTube channel also performed well with Gay Byrne’s interview with Stephen Fry on The Meaning of Life clocking up 6.6 million views.
RTÉ’s International Reach:
As well as serving domestic audiences, RTÉ attracts and serves international audiences. On average 25% of RTÉ.ie traffic is from international audiences and 30% of traffic to RTÉ’s radio apps was from international listeners in 2015. In the last 18 months, RTÉ has launched two bespoke services for international audiences; GAAGO and RTÉ Player International. Since its launch in June 2014, GAAGO has been streamed in over 180 countries and saw a 55% growth in international users in 2015. Launched less than a year ago, RTÉ Player International is successfully exporting RTÉ’s TV content. Serving over 4.3 million streams in 2015 across iOS, Android and Desktop, RTÉ Player International has proven to be a key focal point for the Irish Diaspora to connect with discussions dominating Irish life, major national and TV events and to catch up on their favourite shows.
Commenting on the figures released by RTÉ, Múirne Laffan, RTÉ’s Chief Digital Officer, said; “RTÉ has evolved to lead the marketplace in the delivery of digital media services in Ireland. With close to 50% of Irish adults now connecting with RTÉ using its online and mobile digital services every week, RTÉ’s digital services are central to Irish life, as millions of people at home and abroad use RTÉ’s online platforms to access the latest breaking news, TV and radio content, sports events and analysis, how and when they want to. 2015 has been a significant year for mobile, with over 80% of RTÉ’s online content now being accessed on mobile devices. Usage of Connected TVs is also on the rise and we see this becoming an increasingly popular device with consumers enjoying the big screen experience.”
“Keeping pace with changing technologies, trends and audience behaviours is a key priority as we focus on incubating new digital products and services and pushing the boundaries of content formats. Our new 1916 Centenary site www.rte.ie/1916 will be a key access and focal point for national and international audiences to engage with RTÉ’s ambitious programme of content and events to mark the centenary of the 1916 Rising,” she adds.
Meanwhile, RTÉ and Northern Ireland Screen have announced details of the five new Storyland web dramas which will be shown on the RTÉ Player.
Now in its sixth season, Storyland brings original stories to audiences and showcases Ireland’s creative talent across writing, acting, producing and directing. This season features a gripping crime drama “Costigan”, a chilling dystopian drama “Dinosaurs”, a dark coming of age drama “Hot Knives”, and comedies “Smitten” and “Quinn & O’Grady.”
According to David Crean, executive producer for RTÉ Television: “RTÉ dramas such as Rebellion, Love/Hate, Amber and Charlie have become must-watch TV shows. Encouraging Ireland’s pool of creative talent to become the hit-makers of tomorrow and to discover emerging creative entrepreneurs is vitally important to RTÉ and the TV industry on the island of Ireland. Storyland has continuously proven to be a great catalyst for actors, writers, directors and producers, to go on to establish careers in the TV and film industry. Now entering its sixth season, we are excited to bring the new season of Storyland to audiences in Ireland and around the world on RTÉ Player and RTÉ Player International.”
Andrew Reid, Head of Production, Northern Ireland Screen, added: “This is Northern Ireland Screen’s first year to be involved with Storyland and we are delighted to be working with RTÉ in supporting the development of storytelling skills. This is a welcomed partnership that allows us to create opportunities for, and invest in, a new generation of creative talent.”