Marriage Equality Referendum dominated RTÉ’s digital news in 2015

28 Jan 2016

The Marriage Equality Referendum and major sporting events dominated the broadcaster's online traffic in 2015

RTÉ has revealed that the day of the Marriage Equality Referendum was the single biggest day for online traffic to the broadcaster’s digital news platforms with almost 1m unique visitors.

RTÉ revealed that some 977,000 unique browsers visited and the RTÉ News Now app that day, clocking up 6.8m page views.

The second busiest day of the year for RTÉ’s digital news platforms was Sunday, 11 October 2015 with 871,000 unique browsers and 6.5m page views, when news broke of the tragic killing of Garda Tony Golden in Co Louth.

That day, sports fans also watched coverage and analysis of the Poland vs Ireland game and France vs Ireland Rugby World Cup game on RTÉ’s digital platforms.

‘Usage of connected TVs is also on the rise and we see this becoming an increasingly popular device with consumers enjoying the big-screen experience’

Budget 2016 on 13 October 2015 was the third busiest day of the year, with 834,000 unique browsers and 6.1m page views.

RTÉ said the tragic events at Berkeley and Carrickmines were the most-read news articles in 2015, with almost 1m views (913,000) and 686,000 page views respectively.

The Marriage Equality Referendum count received 668,000 page views.

The sports articles with the highest traffic were the Six Nations Final live tracker article with 452,000 page views and the Dublin vs Kerry All Ireland Football Final live tracker article with 350,000 page views.

Surprise viral hits

The surprise hit of 2015 was the RTÉ.ie news article: “Health warning over drying washing indoors”. The article received two spikes in traffic during 2015, having being picked up on social media across Asia in January 2015 and again towards the end of the year, when it went viral on Facebook.

Teresa Mannion’s famous weather report “Don’t make unnecessary journeys” also spiked in December, with the original report and the subsequent mash-ups going viral. RTÉ’s special Christmas Eve message “Santa is on his way” was viewed more than 285,000 times in a 12-hour period on 24 December.

Overall, attracted an average of 5.5m unique browsers per month.

The RTÉ Player video-on-demand service served more than 40m streams across the year, with an average of 1.35m unique browsers and 3.35m streams per month.

The RTÉ Player app had more than 1.84m downloads. The player saw 51,000 streams on connected TVs over the Christmas period.

“With close to 50pc of  Irish adults now connecting with RTÉ using its online and mobile digital services every week, RTÉ’s digital services are central to Irish life, as millions of people at home and abroad use RTÉ’s online platforms to access the latest breaking news, TV and radio content, sports events and analysis, how and when they want to,” the chief digital officer of RTÉ Muirne Laffan said.

“2015 has been a significant year for mobile, with more than 80pc of RTÉ’s online content now being accessed on mobile devices. Usage of connected TVs is also on the rise and we see this becoming an increasingly popular device, with consumers enjoying the big-screen experience.”

Gay marriage image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years