Australians seek out entertainment and sports news online as a balance to serious news events – Ipsos iris data


Fitness related health content sees almost 18.3 million Australians engage with health websites and apps in March

23 April 2024 – Australians sought out a mix of more light-hearted entertainment and sports news content to balance the serious news events occurring locally and internationally, according to the Ipsos iris data for March.

Key celebrity and entertainment news, such as the AFL and NRL season launches, particularly the NRL Las Vegas event, the Sydney Mardi Gras parade, the Oscars winners and red carpet, and the final weeks of TV programs Married At First Sight and the Australian Idol winner grabbed the attention of Australian online news readers. Other more serious news, including Princess Katherine’s cancer diagnosis, the Matildas’ Sam Kerr’s alleged racial slur to a police officer, the wars in the Ukraine and Gaza, youth conflict in Alice Springs, the arrest of Samantha Murphy’s alleged killer, the Baltimore Bridge collapse and Moscow Concert Hall attacks, rounded out interest in online news in March.

More than 20.7 million people used a news website or app in February, reaching 96.6% of online Australians aged 14+.

The chart below shows the News brands’ ranking during March 2024 by online audience size.

Ipsos iris, Australia’s digital audience measurement currency endorsed by IAB Australia, showed the most consumed website and app categories in February were search engines (21.3 million), social networking (21.3 million), technology (21.3 million), retail and commerce (21.1 million) and entertainment (21 million).

A total of 21.5 million Australians aged 14+ used the internet in March and spent on average 4.3 hours per day, or almost 134 hours in the month, online.

Sports was the fastest growing category, up 11.2% in March compared to February 2024. It was followed by automotive (up 1.9%) and health (up 1.7%). The average time per person spent on the sports category rose by 29.8%,  reflecting the commencement of the AFL, NRL and Super Rugby seasons.

Lifestyle websites and apps also saw a significant increase in average time spent per person online for the month, growing by 11.4%.


Fit nation

Among online content consumption category insights, younger Australians aged between 14 and 24 appear to be on a fitness trend, driving the increase in health website and app audience – up 8.2% compared to February 2024.

Four in five of the health apps used by this age group were fitness related, including the Sweat Coin app (274,000 online users), Flo Period and Ovulation Tracker app (258,000), Samsung Health app (154,000), Strava app (154,000) and Google Fit app (153,000).

Overall use of health websites and apps rose 1.7% to almost 18.3 million Australians on the month prior and the time spent on health news jumped by 28.4% over the same period.

The chart below shows the Health brands’ ranking during March 2024 by online audience size.

Ipsos iris, which officially launched in March 2023, provides accurate data about the 21.5 million Australians aged 14+ who access a wide variety of digital content and services across smartphone, PC/laptop and tablet devices.

Notes for editors:

    • Ipsos iris is an independent source of truth for the media industry providing a level playing field for comparison of audience reach and characteristics and supporting the $14.7 billion Australian online advertising market ( )
    • Ipsos iris provides accuracy in solving cross-device deduplication, the biggest challenge in measuring online audiences, using a single-source multi-device panel measuring activity on 8,000 smartphone, PC, laptop and tablet devices
    • Ipsos iris provides accurate data about the number of people who visit the content of digital publishers and platforms, along with the frequency of visits and time spent by tracking digital audience behaviour across desktop/laptop, smartphone, and tablets.  It uses a hybrid methodology that combines metered data from a high quality, nationally representative, single-source passive panel with site-centric census measurement via media owner tagging.
    • In February 2024, the CTV audience currency integration from a data partnership with OzTAM launched, providing total unduplicated digital audience currency data for CTV, smartphones, tablets, and computers.
    • Ipsos iris is fully privacy compliant and cross-media ready and will continue to evolve with a roadmap of enhancements over 2024 and beyond. It will also be adaptable to changing requirements as the industry develops in future years.
    • The launch of Ipsos iris with monthly data from January 2023 was the culmination of extensive work by the IAB and its Measurement Council that commenced in early 2021 with a strategic review of industry requirements. Ipsos was awarded the IAB’s endorsement, having best met the standards on criteria across all areas of product along with criteria for operations and a future roadmap. 
    • Further information can be found at: