The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in web traffic increases of 60 percent for online news publishers, according to a new report by technology company Parse.ly.
Parse.ly this week reported that it had counted 255.9 million content views last Thursday across its network of more than 3,000 media sites, compared to an average of 159 million content views for the previous six Thursdays—an increase of about 60 percent.
The findings were first reported by news site Axios.
COVID-19 coverage is no doubt driving the surge, according to Parse.ly, as content explicitly mentioning coronavirus now comprises up to 15 percent of daily web traffic. For contrast, 2020 election coverage was 15 times smaller than coronavirus content views between the March 6-12 period.
Coronavirus coverage has dominated the media landscape in recent weeks. It’s been so prominent, in fact, that it recently surpassed President Trump to take the number-one media topic spot, according to a recent analysis by Cision. Trump has consistently dominated the news cycle since 2016.
And now, with many schools closed and millions stuck inside or working from home, Americans’ screen time has only increased as they turn to online news publishers to stay up-to-date on virus-related coverage.
The New York Times and Washington Post have recently taken down portions of their paywalls so readers can remain informed on COVID-19 developments.
Nielsen this week also reported that Coronavirus-related health fears could result in a TV viewership climb of 60 percent.
Parse.ly’s findings were based on an analysis of eight billion page views from more than a million articles within the company’s network of more than 3,000 media sites.