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Independent media gathers steam while mainstream struggles: latest numbers

Mark Fletcher
June 17th, 2019 · 1 Comment

At Michael West’s excellent indie news and analysis site is this terrific report about the growth in engagement with independent media:

Independent public interest journalism continues to attract larger audiences. Growth in online readership at www.michaelwest.com.au jumped 67 per cent in the last quarter. Kim Wingerei at theIndependents.org.au reports.

AUDIENCE GROWTH at michaelwest.com.au is part of the broader trend — the latest report for independent digital media shows overall growth of 21.7 per cent in the 27 sites in the index, while the “big four” – Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Australian and News.com.au – continue to decline in print and battle to get enough subscribers behind their paywalls to fund their newsrooms.

In the week when Crikey announced much welcome additions to its journalism ranks, it is great to be able to report the continued growth of online independent media(1) in Australia. In the third quarterly report, the 27 online sites(2) tracked grew their web traffic numbers by 21.74 per cent from February to May 2019. With the previous period growth of 10 per cent, that is a whopping 33.9 per cent compound growth over the last six months.

Crikey is another one of the outstanding performers on the list with 49 per cent monthly growth in visits – to 446,000 in May (despite having a paywall) according to SimilarWeb – an online audience measurement service. Crikey will need that kind of growth to help support the addition of a dozen journalists in their new INQ unit (”Inquiry Journalism”), but they seem to have found the right balance with their subscription model and funding from high net worthers Cameron O’Reilly and John Fairfax.

This is not only happening in Australia. Around there world there is growth in subscriber and reader engagement with independent media. This is a healthy trend in terms of news access. It is an interesting trend for retailers of news products, like newsagents.

I subscribe to four independent news outlets in Australia. I appreciate their independence. What these sites are doing for news is similar to what our businesses can do for retail. We are independent, competing with big business.

Read more of the above article here.

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Category: Media disruption

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Jason // Jun 19, 2019 at 8:36 AM

    “and News.com.au – continue to decline in print and battle to get enough subscribers behind their paywalls to fund their newsrooms”

    news.com.au hasn’t ever had a paywall or print. How is it relevant?

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