With the ongoing Covid-19 crisis continuing to wreak havoc around the world, people are turning to trusted media sources for the latest news and updates from governments and health authorities. This has led to substantial increases in traffic to websites operated by publishers, including Irish publishers, according to IAB Ireland.
Figures compiled by IAB Ireland Publisher Council shows that the average increase in unique users since the Covid-19 crisis kicked off in Ireland have risen by 49% whole page views have increased by 35%. Given the nature of the content, dwell times have also increased by 23%.
IAB Ireland Publisher Council Members include Communicorp Media, DMG Media Ireland, INM, Image, Lovin Media Group, News Ireland, Packed House, Reach plc, The Irish Times and TheJournal.ie.
“To meet the challenge of meeting users’ appetite for up-to-the-minute Corona virus information from trusted sources as well as their increased need for quality lifestyle, business, entertainment content and social engagement, our online publishers have invested in increased resources and the audience growth tracked illustrates users’ response to their digital services,” says Suzanne McElligott, CEO of IAB Ireland.
According to Karl Byrne, group head of advertising sales with DMG Media Ireland, which is a member of the IAB Ireland Publisher Council: “We are seeing soaring audience numbers across our digital platforms of EVOKE, Extra.ie, Rollercoaster.ie and MailOnline Ireland as our users consume vast and varying types of content while spending more time at home during the Covid-19 outbreak. While Covid-19 related content has seen a surge in online traffic, so too has the content we create to entertain and engage across fashion, beauty, health, entertainment, business and sport. DMG digital audience has increased by 30% on last month and this continues to surge across all platforms.”
Susanne McElligott adds that an unintended consequences of the current virus outbreak is that keywords such as “coronavirus” and “COVID-19” are featuring on advertisers’ blocklists and consequentially depriving quality content publishers of essential advertiser revenue at a time when they are experiencing record audiences.
“One of the great benefits of being in a smaller market like Ireland is that there is a very close relationship between publishers, agencies and advertisers. We know that our members across all these key stakeholders are determined to work together to get through this most challenging time. Our Publisher Council members are as always committed to providing brand safe environments and will work with their agency and advertisers clients to meet their campaign specifications,” she says.
“The great audience surge experienced by our member publishers is not surprising. It is also important to recall the power of these content rich sites to drive branding results as demonstrated in IAB Ireland’s Display research from Q4 2019. This study was conducted by Red C Research and was in partnership with our Publishers Council, Chupi and Mindshare. The display research recorded a 38% increase in brand awareness, 48% in brand consideration and 16% in brand image – compelling proof of the power of our publisher members’ sites to deliver now more than ever for advertisers,” she adds.
Separately, McElligott says that IAB Ireland In continuing to support its members- many of whom are working from home- and has developed two ‘virtual’ training workshops. Facilitated by Steve Thompson, the first one kicks off on Thursday, Aprik 2nd and is called Here Comes Generation Z and will begin at 10am and conclude at 12pm.