Wan-Ifra’s Chartbeat analyzes Q2 digital audience data

The calm before the storm

A screenshot of just one of the several interesting graphics in the Chartbeat for Q2 of audience engagement of digital media

WAN-IFRA’s Chartbeat has issued an analysis of its audience engagement data and from around the world for the second quarter of 2020 in an article by Nick Lioudis. It’s best to read Lioudis’ report, which you can get by clicking here, but as an intro, I will attempt to summarize some of the South Asia highlights.

Lioudis states, “A significant rise in reader engagement driven by the global pandemic was front and center in our latest analysis for the quarter ending June 30. Across the globe, we saw increases in Engaged Time and referrals, yet the challenge for publishers was (and remains) translating those increased site visits into returning, loyal readers.”

If I can summarize his summary, reader engagement time varies from 36 seconds to 29 seconds. Latin America is on top at an average 36.3 seconds of audience engagement, and Central and Eastern Europe readers are at the bottom at 29 seconds. For Latin America, it’s consecutive quarters at the top. Southeast Asia is in the middle of the pack at 32 seconds tied with North America and Southern Europe.

Social referrals in Southeast Asia still far above rest

Lioudis writes, “Publishers hoping to get the attention of audiences in Southeast Asia may consider strategies around social media platforms, which referred 32% of traffic in the past quarter. Combined with their 76% of traffic referred from mobile devices, the data suggests there could be a compelling reason to experiment with audience engagement on mobile-first social platforms.”

Southeast Asia presents the dilemma of attracting readers through social media and getting them to come back, spend more time on the sites, commit to the site, and ultimately to present opportunities to turn into reader revenue. Audience loyalty also seems down in Asia in comparison to Europe.

Impact of coronavirus

Last quarter’s data summary was described as the ‘calm before the storm.’ Lioudis says this is still the situation with traffic and engagement continuing to be up at unprecedented levels. He concludes, “However, it will likely take several quarters to have a clearer idea of whether this vast increase in audience engagement can translate to greater loyalty, and ultimately, reader revenue opportunities.”

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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