Silver streamers come of age: online video population matches web traffic

2012 closed with 15 million internet users, growth in mobile web views of 74% and a population of 11 million video streamers, Nielsen’s ‘Australian Online Landscape Review’ reports.

Each of these figures, traditionally dominated by younger generations, are now contributed to by an equal number of ‘silver surfers’ as the older generations try their hand at all aspects of internet use.

There were around four million Australians that didn’t steam video during any of their online sessions during December, but the assumption that these hail from older generations is false.

The 50 years and above age bracket in fact makes up the largest segment of internet users both in terms of the overall online population and the population of video streamers, comprising of around 31% of each category.

When it comes to the amount of video watched however, young Gen Ys – 18-24 year olds more likely to be studying than in an office job – far outstrip any other segment. An average member of this group streamed 246 videos in December, 60 more than older Gen Ys (25-34 year olds) and almost four times the number of streams accessed by those aged 50 and above.

Nielsen Dec12 video demos

Most of the videos being watched are accessed through social platforms, publishers and dedicated video sites such as YouTube and VEVO. Mi9’s network served the most video content out of the publishers, with nearly 2 million Australians streaming video on ninemsn or one of its other sites. ABC’s network ranked second with a reach of 1.1 million, while Fairfax’s out-streamed direct competitor News Limited’s properties, which failed to rank in the top 10.

In the overall website visitation rankings, Google and Facebook maintained their place as the top online brands by audience size. Skype made a rare appearance in the top 10 during December, possibly as people called home during the Christmas period.

Nielsen Dec 12 website top 10

The escalating use of mobile continued in December 2012 with mobile page views increasing to more than 334 million, a jump of 74% since January. Mobile traffic however still remains a small portion of the 38 billion page views recorded by Nielsen’s hybrid methodology for the period.


Young Gen Ys lap up twice the online video of their older counterparts

Young Gen Ys watched more than twice as much online video as the general video watching population in September, a staggering 11 hours for the month.

Nielsen’s Online Ratings ‘Video Census’ tool found the divide between young Gen Ys (18 to 24 year olds) and older Gen Ys (25 to 34 year olds) – a phenomenon which sees markedly different web use habits between the two sub-segments – was also carried out in online video viewing behaviour.

Young Gen Ys watch on average 243 videos per month, while they’re older counterparts watch significantly less (168) and spend almost four hours less watching video content.

Both however come in above the average population figure. In September, more than three‐quarters of online Aussies (11.7 million people) watched web-based video content, spending an average of around five hours watching 127 clips.

The trend towards lower online video consumption as age increases was held out across the generations, with Gen X watching 110 clips per month – nearly five hours – and Baby Boomers watching 62 – around two and a half hours.

However, as managing director of media at Nielsen, Matt Bruce, points out, while the over 55s spent the least amount of time viewing, they made up the biggest audience segment at 3.64 million.

“In terms of the total number of video streaming Australians last month, the genders are fairly evenly split,” Bruce adds. “However, in engagement terms males consumed nearly 33% more video streams than females. Apart from special interests, sports video streaming would be a significant driver of this gender skew.”

View: Marketing‘s online video infographic, which suggests sport may not be the only reason males watch more video.

Little change was recorded in the most visited websites for September, with Google maintaining its place as the most visited, closely followed by Facebook, which continues to dominate for time on site.

nielsen sep12

The escalating use of mobile usage continued in September with mobile page views increasing to more than 308 million, an increase of 3% from August 2012 and 196% since October 2011.


Gen Y divide: younger tribe less engaged with web than older

Gen Y is separating into two tribes when it comes to online engagement with the younger cohort less engaged with the internet than their older peers.

The Gen Y segment, made up of 18 to 34 year olds, is dividing into an 18 to 24-year-old group who are more likely to access the web via mobile devices and a 25 to 34-year-old group who are more likely to work in desk jobs than their younger counterparts, according to Nielsen.

Managing director  of Nielsen’s media practice, Matt Bruce, says the behaviour divide that is emerging separates Gen Y into two distinct age segments. “The younger demographic, online 18 to 24 year olds, have much lower online engagement compared to their older cohorts across average page views, average sessions and time spent,” Bruce says.

The collective Gen Y group comprised of nearly five million active internet users in August, or 31% of the online population. On average they spent 86 hours online during the month, but when divided into the two groups the older segment was far more active, logging 101 hours online compared to 65 for the younger cohort.

This is driven by two factors, Bruce says, with younger people heavier users of short and sharp sessions on mobile devices while the older segment are more likely to be working in an office environment and have a reliance on the internet and email for business activities.

18 to 24-year-olds – an audience of 2.0 million active users – made an average of 2805 page views per person during August across 55 session. By comparions, 25 to 34 year olds – and audience of 2.9 million active users – made an average of 3657 page views across 89 sessions, Nielsen’s figures reveal.

As a whole, Gen Y are among the biggest users of the mobile web, making up 44% of users in the latest one week period measure by Nielsen’s Online Ratings in August. 71% of the group own a smartphone and 56% access the mobile web on a weekly basis. Browsing the web, emailing and making video calls were among the most popular uses of mobile data within the group.

Little change was recorded in the most visited websites for August, with Google maintaining its place as the most visited, closely followed by Facebook, which continues to dominate for time on site. Gen Y’s favourite website brands closely mirrors that of the total online population.

Nielsen Aug12

Source: Nielsen Online Ratings, August 2012

Baby boomers new digital natives, rival young for online engagement

Baby boomers are the new digital natives, according to July’s ‘Online Landscape Review’ from Nielsen, which claims they are almost as engaged online as their younger cohorts.

Australians 50 to 64 years of age account for 20% of all online traffic, the research agency says, with 3.2 million of what is traditionally seen as a less tech-savvy group spending an average of 95 hours online each per month.

And reversing trends seen among the younger generations, male baby boomers are more active, spending 96.5 hours online each across 104 sessions per month, compared to 93.5 hours each across 93 sessions per month for females.

Nielsen’s managing director of media, Matt Bruce, says the lucrative and rapidly maturing boomer segment shares similar characteristics to the US baby boomer market. “While it’s well established that Boomers have the most money to spend, there is a bias to believe that older people spend less of what they have,” Bruce says, pointing to the opportunity behind connecting with them online.

Three in four online boomers visited Facebook in July and 42% own a smartphone. As a group, they’re more likely to use LinkedIn but less likely to visit or use blogs or Twitter.

Gen X – Australians aged between 35 to 49 years – eclipsed Gen Y (18 to 34 year olds) as the most active group online spending 95.75 hours online across 94 sessions compared to 84 hours online across 72 sessions.

Nielsen July 12 boomers

No change was recorded in the ranking of the top ten website groups, or brands, in July, with time online for the month relatively steady. Mobile page views continue to rise however, up 12% from June 2012 and 130% since August 2011.

Nielsen July 12

Women drawn to Woolies, Amazon and lifestyle: Nielsen Online Ratings

In the lucrative digitally-active female segment, Woolworths and Amazon are the most visited retails sites, Disney Online and win out in the family and lifestyle category and is winning the battle of the food websites.

Nielsen’s Online Ratings found that the highly engaged 25-54 year old female group accounted for 30% of the total online population in June, 33% of the total audience for mass merchandiser retail sites and 45% of all page views on Big W, Amazon and Kmart sites.

An average member of the group, which accounts for around 4.6 million Australians, spent 89 hours online for the month, viewing more than 3000 web pages across 86 sessions. Shopping is one of their favourite activities; they access Australian retail sites most frequently and have a strong relationship with online auction sites, being 11% more likely than the general online population to use eBay.

The major discount department stores all feature in the group’s most visited retail sites along with, Westfield, Coles, JB Hi-Fi and MYER. The Iconic also featured as one of their most visited sites, giving the Sydney-based online fashion site the lead in the pure-play fashion category, with 308,000 unique visitors in June.

According to Nielsen, the vast majority of women in this market segment regularly access major Australian publisher sites, such as Google, Yahoo!7 and Facebook.

In the overall rankings, Google held on to its position as the most visited site, followed closely by Facebook which still dominates the field for time on site. NineMSN’s group of sites retained third spot, followed by YouTube, Microsoft and Yahoo!7.

Small declines in page views were recorded across the board due to one day less of tracking for June than in May, however unique audience sizes for many of the top ten most visited websites dipped slightly.


Nielsen: Twitter and LinkedIn reach 13% of online population

The portion of the online population visiting social media sites has grown by 12% in the past year, according to Nielsen’s Online Ratings, with Facebook reaching 71% of the active online audience, and Twitter and LinkedIn reaching 13% each.

Nielsen’s analysis found that the member communities category, which is mostly made up of social networks, attracted a unique audience of 11.9 million Australians in April, a 12% year-on-year increase.

This increase came despite a less active month overall for internet users. April saw 15.3 million Australians go online, a drop of 5.1% month on month.

Google remained the most visited site overall, with a reach of 88% of the active online population and an average of 32 visits per person, while Facebook placed second but continued to dominate for time spent on site, at eight and a half hours per month.

Blogger, Google’s blogging platform, was the second most visited site among the member communities category, and the tenth most visited overall, with a unique audience of 4.5 million people, 30% of the active online population.

Nielsen table

Commonly used marketing tool, Twitter, was accessed by 13% of the active online population in April, with the average visitor making 6.41 visits and spending 21 minutes on site per month.

Read: The best and worst times for Facebook and Twitter posts.

LinkedIn attracted a similar audience size but slightly fewer views per person at 5.85, and less time on site at 17 minutes per month. Rising star Pinterest was visited by 6% of the active online audience, with visitors making an average of 3.47 stops and spending just over 20 minutes on site per month.

Google+ attracted an audience of 8% but suffered from lower views per person and significantly lower time on site than its competitors.


Online news audience plateaus

Few new readers have accessed online news in the past six months, according to Nielsen’s Online Ratings, as the category plateaus following a period of growth.

In March, 12.1 million Australians accessed media brands online but the overall category has seen “has seen little growth over the last six months”, according to Nielsen’s report.

Year-on-year growth has seen the category increase from 10.8 million readers in March 2011 to 12.1 million over the current period, with the audience skewing towards males over 35 year of age and households earning $75,000 or more per annum.

NineMSN/MSN remains the highest ranked media brand in terms of reach – and the third highest ranking website brand overall behind only Facebook and Google – commanding a unique audience of 10.7 million. Yahoo!7 was the only other media brand to rank in the top 10 brands, with a total of 8.0 million visitors in March.

However, in terms of engagement, the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age dominated the statistics. Nielsen’s measure of stickiness, which incorporates site reach and number of visits and time on site per reader, places the two Fairfax mastheads ahead of other media brands.

In the overall rankings, the top nine ranked brands retained their ranking, with the only change coming from Google’s Blogger sites which moved from 11th position into tenth. Facebook continues to dominate time spent on site with 7 minutes and 55 seconds per session.


Desktop use bounces back as internet traffic hits new heights

Internet traffic in January hit new heights as desktop use bounced back from a seasonal downturn and mobile browsing experienced the biggest single jump in its history, according to Nielsen’s Online Ratings.

In figures released yesterday, growth was noted across the entire online universe resulting in unique audience increases of over 5% month on month for most of the top ten brands. The biggest increase was recorded by eBay, with a 12% increase in unique audience, boosting the brand from the eighth to the seventh most visited destination by Australians. The shopping site also performed well for time on site with an average monthly time per user of one hour and 55 minutes, placing it behind only Google and Facebook.

The order of the top three – Google, Facebook and NineMSN/MSN – remained unchanged, while YouTube leapfrogged Microsoft to move into fourth place with an 8% increase in traffic.

Facebook remained streets ahead in terms of time on site with an average of eight hours and 13 minutes. The nearest competitor was Google at one hour and 57 minutes.

Head of Nielsen’s media practice group, Matt Bruce, says all the major brands swung back up this month after a seasonal dip. The increase in traffic was primarily driven by women, whose “activity levels saw a marked increase in (average page views) in January.”

“YouTube and eBay have both jumped a place in the top 10 and Blogger re-entered the top 10 brands,” Bruce says.

Of Australia’s population of 22.8 million, 16.4 million were active online during January.

The findings show that the internet is now dominated by those over 35 years of age, with 59% of users in January that age or above.

Image credit: Viktor Hertz.