Election Fuels Record Mobile Usage

  • Mobile web traffic jumped 19 percent
  • Ninemsn saw biggest traffic increase
  • Major spikes on election day

Australians’ use of mobile phones to access mobile news sites has reached record levels in the wake of the country’s closest ever election result, according to the latest mobile traffic figures released today by The Nielsen Company.

Nielsen’s Mobile Market Intelligence service, which measures mobile website traffic, saw overall volume jump by 19 percent in August, with the major news publishers the key beneficiaries of the increase in traffic.

Amongst the major news sites, Nine News (ninemsn.com) saw the largest increase in mobile traffic with a daily average of around 79,500 unique browsers during August 2010, up 27 percent from July 2010. Fairfax Digital’s SMH and The Age mobile sites were up 21 percent and 18 percent respectively, while News Digital Media’s news.com.au increases 18 percent.

“The increasing ownership of Smartphones and more affordable mobile data pricing plans have seen mobile Internet usage increase in recent months,” observes 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 via their mobile phones for updates on the election results and the subsequent negotiations with the Independents.”

Bruce notes that major spikes in mobile Internet usage to news sites were recorded on the day of the Federal Election and the day following (21 and 22 August 2010), and then again on 7 September as the three Independents announced their decision, and the subsequent news that Labor had won the election.