There can’t be a person on the planet who needs reminding that a pandemic has shaken our world in the last few months. The coronavirus outbreak has changed the way we work, go to school, shop, inform ourselves, and much more. In the chaos that it’s wrought, publishers have found themselves with much more to do - and in the rush to update, many have started to lose focus on audience habits. The danger is: with this focus gone, they risk losing their audiences too.
Here at smartocto, our data scientists have been studying reader patterns. We have witnessed a tremendous shift in the way people consume online news. We saw the charts on overall online consumption go rocket high, so we thought we’d do what we do best: collate our findings and present them to you to take back to your newsrooms with some actionable insights alongside.
Data available in our Story Value Engine holds some very important insights for editors, publishers, and anyone else involved in creating online content - and these will help make real connections with the audiences while covering the news on coronavirus. Some of what we discovered was far from surprising, but there were results which - as our CMO puts it - knocked us out of our fancy socks.
And then the virus hit us …
We’ve picked five remarkable insights that could help online media professionals get a sense of what has changed and just how much.
So here’s what we’ve found:
- People read about coronavirus consistently throughout the day
- People broadly read the same amount of corona related and non-corona related articles
- Search is the most common content discovery method
- Corona-related stories are not the social media magnets you might expect
- Readers react very differently to coronavirus content, depending on where they are in the world
A little note about all the data stuff
Our data was collected by looking at 31 websites that use smartocto to fuel their publishing strategy with actionable insights. These news outlets are principally located in Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands, and Norway. Our data set contains the data for the first four months of 2020, which equates to 1.5 billion article reads. That’s 1 500 000 000. We don’t mess around with small data sets here.
This is the first of what will be a series of data studies the smartocto team have done on the consumption of coronavirus-related news articles. Stay tuned.