Resignations, red carpets, and Rupert’s retirement drive online consumption of news content in September – Ipsos iris data

Interest in finance news sees online audiences increase to 20.1 million

24 October 2023 – Major news events including high profile resignations, red carpet events for footy medals, and Rupert Murdoch’s retirement saw consumption of online news content rise by 0.6% to 20.2 million for the month of September, according to Ipsos iris, Australia’s digital audience measurement currency endorsed by IAB Australia.

There was a clutch of big news stories during September that all contributed to consumption of news sites and apps last month. Audience interest was fuelled by high profile celebrity, politician and business people in the news including the resignations of Qantas CEO Alan Joyce and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, the marriage split of Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Furness, the Russell Brand scandal, Rupert Murdoch’s retirement and golden handshake, all the red carpet action from the Dally M and Brownlow medal presentations and grand finals lead up, plus the Wallabies defeat and the future of coach Eddie Jones speculation.

The News category includes audience and time spent online on both general news and broader news content including weather, sport, lifestyle, entertainment, and business news.

The chart below shows the News brands’ ranking during September 2023 by online audience size.

Overall, Australians aged 14+ spent more than 3.7 hours per day online, or 115 hours, in September which was down 2.8% compared to August. The largest audience declines was for sport (-6.4%) dropping from the audience highs generated from the Women’s World Cup.

The most consumed website and app categories in September were social networking at 21 million, followed by search engines (20.9 million), technology (20.9 million), retail and commerce (20.7 million) and entertainment (20.6 million).

People aged 25-39 were the largest cohort online, while people aged 40 to 54 spent the most time online in September.

In the finance category, audiences rose by 0.5% in September, with 20.1 million Australians aged 14-plus spending around two hours a month consuming finance-related websites and apps.

Online banking dominates the category with almost 20 million Australians using these services.

In addition, more than 11 million Australians aged 14 and over consumed finance news related content on websites and apps in September.

Finance news audiences were more likely to be male and aged 40 plus, more likely to have a degree or higher level of education and work in professional and managerial occupations. Big finance stories including building company collapses and the impact on the housing market, RBA interest rates decisions and accompanying cost of living pressures, and consumers moving back to cash.

The chart below shows the Finance brands’ ranking during September 2023 by online audience size.


Ipsos iris, which officially launched in March, provides accurate data about the 21 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 $14.2 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.
  • Later this year CTV audience currency integration from a data partnership with OzTAM will provide 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 2023 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:

*Source: IAB Australia Online Advertising Expenditure Report (OAER FY23) prepared by PwC Australia.