Record audience keeps ahead of YouTube

A year of huge growth for has been capped with a record unique monthly audience of more than 1.8 million, the latest New Zealand Nielsen Online Ratings show.

The Fairfax news site is ahead of YouTube, which attracted 1,758,000, for the third consecutive month and closing in on auction site Trade Me in the list of top 10 most visited online brands. It has jumped from number 8 to number 5 over the last 12 months.

The numbers follow Stuff’s recent push to a digital-centric newsroom and the growth of its user-generated content platform, Stuff Nation, which has been a powerful audience driver since its launch in 2013.

“Our dedication to digital storytelling and new digital-centric editorial and production practices have been delivering quality content to audiences, and it’s great to see these changes so well received,” group executive director for Fairfax NZ, Sinead Boucher, said. “Our growing audience figures show New Zealanders are responding well to this editorial style.”

She also credited the record audience figures to a more flexible and experimental approach to editorial. Fairfax NZ’s new content management system, introduced in December 2014, gives journalists more control over the content they publish and how they present it to audiences, in an attempt to follow international digital giants like BuzzFeed.

“We’ve put a big focus on telling stories in a digital and mobile-first way, using lots of fresh media elements like videos, images, charts, diagrams and snippets pulled out of Twitter and other sites,” Ms Boucher said. “This is well supported by our new content management system.

“It is no secret that it is our ambition to be the biggest domestic site in New Zealand – and we are certainly on our way there.”

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