When too much sport is never enough: Young women lead online consumption of Women’s World Cup content as Matildas captivate Australians in August – Ipsos iris data

The Matildas and other news events see 20.1 million people use a news website or app

22 September 2023 – Australians’ love of all things sport reached new levels during August as the FIFA Women’s World Cup saw a record 14.4 million Australians flock to sports websites and apps, and the sports sections of news sites and apps, particularly young women, according to Ipsos iris, Australia’s digital audience measurement currency endorsed by the IAB Australia.

Stories online about the Matildas’ performance and back stories of the players captivated consumption of digital websites across the month, particularly from the quarter finals onwards, with the Matildas’ penalty shoot-out against France rallying the nation. A record 14.4 million Australians consumed online sport news in August – the highest monthly sports audience for the year. The largest audience increase was among women aged 14-24 whose consumption of sport content rose by 18% compared to July as young women were inspired by the Matildas best ever performance. There were also audience increases across both men and women and all age groups.

Overall, online sports consumption among Australian audiences rose by 5.4% in August. The month’s figures grew even further than the 4.7% growth recorded in July which also coincided with the State of Origin clashes and The Ashes, showing Australians well and truly felt the Matildas’ effect. The figures represent a 10% rise in online sports consumption since June.
Australians weren’t just heading to online sports sections for all things Matildas – the popularity of the sport had a flow-on effect, with Matildas’ content also proving popular on broader news, lifestyle and entertainment websites and apps.
In the Sport category, 7news.com.au – Sport, as the free to air broadcaster of the Women’s World Cup, rose to fourth place with an audience increase of 44% compared to July. Optus Sport, as the subscription service broadcaster, rose to sixth place with an 83% increase in audience. The FIFA website and app moved from 14th to ninth position with a 43% increase in audience.
The chart below shows the Sports brands’ ranking during August 2023 by online audience size.

The Women’s World Cup also dominated the News category, alongside major national news stories such as the mushroom poisoning in Victoria, the announcement of the Voice referendum date and the Australian surfers missing and then found in Indonesia. This resulted in 20.1 million people using a news website or app in August, and people spent five hours a month on average consuming news content.

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 August 2023 by online audience size.

Overall, Australians aged 14+ spent more than 3.8 hours per day online, or 118 hours, in August which is up +1.0% compared to July. The greatest audience increases were for sport (+5.4%), homes & property (+3.5%), and telecommunications & ISP (+2.5%).

The most consumed website and app categories in August were social networking at 21 million, followed by search engines (21 million), technology (20.8 million) and retail and commerce (20.6 million) and entertainment (20.5 million).

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

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: https://iris-au.ipsos.com/