18th January 2017: Online traffic to RTÉ’s online and mobile services (RTÉ.ie, RTÉ News Now app, RTÉ Player, RTÉ radio apps) reached record levels in 2016, attracting up to 1.2 million browsers per day, according to figures released by RTÉ today.
Commenting on the increasing reach and impact of RTÉ’s online and mobile services, RTÉ’s Chief Digital Officer, Múirne Laffan said “Within the Irish market, RTÉ operates the number one multi-media website, news and entertainment app and on-demand TV and radio services. With close to 50% of Irish adults connecting with RTÉ’s online services every week, 2016 delivered strong growth and engagement with online audiences. This reflects the increasingly important role of our online services for the public’s access and consumption of RTÉ content and our constant focus on harmonising our online services with our audiences’ lives, while evolving our offering to meet consumers’ new expectations.”
“Across our digital services, RTÉ is seeing some interesting trends. Audience expectations are constantly growing, in terms of expected product performance and the availability of our online and mobile services across multiple platforms. To keep pace with expectations, RTÉ.ie has undergone a significant redesign and its transformation will continue into 2017. The insatiable appetite for online news is reflected in the marked increase in online traffic across our online and mobile news platforms, RTÉ.ie and RTÉ News Now. RTÉ Player, which served a record 50 million streams this year, is also evolving, expanding beyond a pure catch-up TV offering, to become an exciting TV and video destination; offering extra and exclusive content and commissioning new original short form content to better serve the rise in mobile users. Live streaming of content was also significantly up this year, reflecting changing viewing habits.”
The top online news stories for 2016:
The 2016 Irish General Election, the US Election, Michael Conlan’s defeat at Rio, the Orlando nightclub shooting and Ireland’s historic victory over New Zealand in Chicago, were among the top online stories in 2016, attracting the highest peak in online traffic across RTÉ.ie and RTÉ News Now app.
The weekend of the Irish General Election attracted the biggest surge in traffic during the year, with over 31 million page views and 1.9 million unique browsers across RTÉ.ie and RTÉ News Now app across the count weekend alone. Online traffic that weekend was up by 68% compared to the 2011 General Election count weekend. 76% of total online Election traffic during the count weekend came through RTÉ.ie where extensive live interactive count information was available alongside news coverage and analysis. Dwell time for the RTÉ.ie Election site was also very high with the average online browser spending over 15 minutes on RTÉ.ie and over 10 minutes on RTÉ News Now app.
The RTÉ Sport Rio Olympics site on RTÉ.ie achieved a record 15.4 million page views and 2.1 million unique browsers across RTÉ.ie and RTÉ News Now app. Boxer Michael Conlon’s defeat in Rio attracted one of the highest surges in daily traffic to RTÉ.ie and RTÉ News Now app during the year, with 7.6 million page views. Alongside the news coverage, RTÉ’s digital production and operations team created an interactive game to see if online users could beat Russian boxer Vladimir Nikitin. Created within hours of the defeat, the online game attracted over 430,000 page views.
Increasing reach of RTÉ’s digital news platforms:
RTÉ.ie, Ireland’s number one media site with a monthly average of 54 million page views and 5.6 million unique browsers underwent a significant re-design in 2016 offering users a more seamless, responsive experience across desktop, mobile and tablet. Across the year, RTÉ.ie saw a rise in mobile traffic to 54% from 49% in 2015.
The RTÉ News Now app has achieved over 1.6 million downloads, adding over 165,000 downloads in 2016. Overall, traffic to Ireland’s number one news app increased by 26% to a monthly average of 68 million page views, while monthly unique users averaged at 426,000, an 11% increase on 2015. Reflecting the loyalty of RTÉ News Now app users, on average, daily app users opened the app 2.5 times per day consuming 5.5 pages each visit.
RTÉ Player delivers record streams in 2016:
RTÉ Player delivered a record number of streams in 2016, serving over 50 million streams, an additional 10 million streams which is a 26% increase on 2015.
During the year, Ireland’s number-one broadcast video-on-demand (VOD) service, delivered an average of 4.2 million streams per month, and an average of 1.7 million unique browsers per month, with both figures up 30% on the previous year.
Signifying changing viewing habits, live viewing on RTÉ Player was up by 74% on 2015 volumes, with 20% of monthly streams being live in 2016. Of the 2 million streams served for Euro 2016, 1.5 million streams were live.
RTÉ Player’s offering continued to evolve in 2016, moving away from being a purely catch up service, with the commissioning of more online exclusive content and extra content around some the most popular RTÉ Television series and events of the year, as well as the addition of new permanent content hubs, including Doc Hub, Food Hub and Culture Hub. Together the online extras and exclusive new shows on RTÉ Player attracted over 3 million streams.
Investing in new, up-and-coming talent, RTÉ Player commissioned more short form content to better serve mobile users and viewers on the move. New shows commissioned exclusively by RTÉ Player in 2016 including a new beauty series with Holly Carpenter What Would Holly Do?, a new food show Chef Adrian Eats Ireland, a series of comedy shorts with comedian and snapchat star Pamela Joyce and new Food Hub video recipes from Roz Purcell, Indy Power and Eva Lawes of Delicious Circle.
Across the year, the soaps remained the most popular shows on RTÉ Player, with Fair City topping the soaps with 5.8 million streams, followed by Home and Away with 5.4 million streams and EastEnders with 4.7 million streams.
To meet audience expectations for the availability of RTÉ Player on an ever-increasing range of devices and platforms, RTÉ Player is now available on eleven platforms, having launched on Sky set top boxes, the Sky GO app, as well as new LG and Samsung Tizen Smart TVs in 2016.
RTÉ’s Growing International Reach:
As well as serving domestic audiences, RTÉ’s online and mobile services, attracts and serves a large international audience, attracting an average of 2.2 million unique browsers per month. In 2016, 25% of online traffic to RTÉ.ie was from international audiences, while international traffic to the RTÉ News Now app accounts for 16% of overall traffic. In addition, 30% of traffic to RTÉ’s radio apps was from international listeners in 2016.
In 2016, RTÉ Player International (across Desktop, iOS and Android) delivered an average of 460,000 streams per month to international viewers, which reflects a 28% growth in average monthly streams on the previous year. Fair City, Nine News, Six One News, The Late Late Show and Extras were consistently the most popular programmes for audiences abroad.
In 2016, GAAGO, RTÉ and the GAA’s online streaming service for Gaelic Games around the world, continued to expand its service offering, streaming over 120 GAA events to fans in over 190 countries. With a focus on enhancing fans’ viewing experience and developing key markets, GAAGO launched a new dedicated GAAGO channel on the Roku streaming platform, bringing Gaelic Games to millions of American households.
Usage of RTÉ’s apps continued to soar in 2016. RTÉ’s stable of eleven apps across news, TV, radio and children’s content have to date been downloaded over 5 million times.
Across the RTÉ Radio Player on desktop and on mobile radio apps, the most popular on demand programmes across the year were The Sean O’Rourke Show, Liveline, Documentary on One, The Marian Finucane Show and The Ray D’Arcy Show.
The RTÉ Archives website http://www.rte.ie/archives/, a curated online public exhibition from RTÉ Archives collection, attracted a record number of online visitors and page views in 2016. Page views across the year reached 3.5 million, a 75% increase on the 2 million page views achieved in 2015. Monthly unique browsers close to doubled to 128,000 per month in 2016, compared to 67,000 average monthly visitors in 2015. Publishing new content every day in the RTÉ Archives Daily section was a major factor in driving the traffic and page view increase. In 2016, 1,267 new stories were published online in Archives Daily.
The top three viewed stories on RTÉ Archives throughout the year were archive interviews of Gabby Logan being interviewed as the Leeds Rose in 1991, talking about her ambition to be a TV presenter. The second most popular story of the year was Bibi Baskin’s interview with Mary Trump, mother of Donald Trump at the Trump Taj Mahal Hotel in Atlantic City. This was followed by RTÉ Archives’ Easter Rising collection, featuring personal accounts from those who took part in the Rising.
For reference, please contact:
Marika MacCarvill, Communications Manager, RTÉ Digital
Tel: 086-171 2568 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editor:
Data for online traffic (unique browsers and page impressions) is from ComScore Digital Analytix.