New Zealand

Gap widens between top NZ news sites

Nielsen Top Websites General News Category Jan 2012

Latest data from Neilsen show that has extended its lead in the General News category with growth of 29 per cent in the number of NZ-based average daily unique browsers when compared to the same category ranking a year ago.

The Wellington-based site, owned by Fairfax, now enjoys a lead of 48 per cent over long-time rival, owned by APN.

Just six months ago, the margin between the top two sites was 25 per cent. has increased its New Zealand-based news visitors by more than ten per cent while has lost almost seven per cent since August of last year.

Third-placed is down slightly in the same period, while fourth-placed and fifth-placed BBC (no URL cited) have both gained slightly.

All figures are based on NZ domestic traffic to the news sections of the various websites. They do not indicate total visitors or page views.

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Top-of-mind websites in New Zealand

New Zealand website awareness
In response to the question "Please type up to 5 domain names that you have seen or heard of recently." Source: Colmar Brunton. Base: Weighted results representative of New Zealand's online population (n=1014)

Ask a New Zealander to name a website domain name, and here’s what you get., the country’s most-visited website, is the domain most often mentioned by Kiwis, followed by,, and

The information comes from the Colmar Brunton survey Internet Domain Names in New Zealand, commissioned by the New Zealand Domain Name Commission.

As such, it isn’t a fully random sample. Instead, the researchers chose half their respondents (n=508) to be people who own or manage a domain name, and the other half (n=506) to be those who do not own or manage a domain name.

Although the researchers do not comment on it in their summary, I’m guessing this over-represents domain owners/managers when compared with the population.

Nevertheless, the research does break out results for the two groups.

In the case of the chart above, the top 5 sites remain the same when only domain owners/managers are responding. For the non owner/managers, drops to number six, being edged out by

Among the other findings:

  • 15% of respondents didn’t know what a domain name was.
  • Most respondents felt there were already enough top-level domains available.
  • Two thirds of respondents would prefer to have a .nz domain for their website. (Or does this mean they would prefer to visit a site with a .nz domain? The wording of the research summary is ambiguous, so I am inferring a bit here.)
  • Domain owners/managers have higher acceptance of .com domains, but still prefer .nz
  • Slightly more than half of respondents liked the idea of having domains with no second level, as in This is the system used in Canada and I suppose it might reduce confusion between,,, etc. But I’d hate to contemplate another rush to stake out the new streamlined domains. Don’t we give the domain registrars enough money already?

Read More extends lead in NZ-based visitors

Nielsen NZ NetRatings 2011-07

The news section of Fairfax’s news website extended its lead over the news section at APN’s in July, according to data released today by Nielsen. was in third place.

Average daily unique visitors at were 16.4 per cent higher in July than in January.

All figures are based on NZ domestic traffic to the news sections of the various websites.

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Kiwi stunt promotes breaking news on the web

Click to watch video

From the breaking news battleground in New Zealand…

One of the country’s leading news websites,, drew a crowd in downtown Auckland last Thursday, causing pedestrians to look up, grab their mobile phone cameras and start clicking.

The publicity stunt (click the video above to watch) touts the site’s commitment to being first with breaking news, while looking very much like a breaking news story itself. And of course, it’s all captured on video, which is no doubt hoping becomes a viral hit. (That would be much more likely if the stuff people offered a video embed code.)

It reminds me of the days when radio stations battled for breaking news honours. Remember 20-20 News, 60-second updates and news hotlines with weekly payouts for the best tips? This stunt brings that sort of competitive tub-thumping to online news. All good fun, but will it change reader behaviour? is owned by Fairfax, which publishes several New Zealand newspapers and owns the auction website.

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Top New Zealand news sites


The latest Nielsen NetRatings summary of newspaper and magazine websites in New Zealand shows the New Zealand Herald’s site,, holding a slim lead over the Fairfax newspapers site in terms of monthly unique visitors.

Each site draws more than two million visitors a month, placing them among the country’s most popular sites of any kind.

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Top New Zealand news sites

Top New Zealand news sites

The latest traffic summary from Nielsen NetRatings New Zealand ranks the country’s top news sites last month, including TV3 which makes a strong first appearance in the Top Five at number three.

That will be a bit of good news for the new majority owners of TV3 parent CanWest MediaWorks. Ironbridge Capital now holds a 70 per cent stake in the business, which it purchased from Canadian company CanWest Global Communications. Ironbridge is currently attempting to buy the remaining shares in CanWest MediaWorks, which are held by institutional and private investors.

The arrival of TV3 in the Top Five knocks the NewsTalk ZB radio site off the list. TV3 is also positioned ahead of rival broadcaster TVNZ’s online news service.

It should be noted, however, that the data reflect only traffic to the News sections of the sites [excluding sections such as Business, Sport, Entertainment and Lifestyle] .

As well, the rankings are based on unique visitors from within New Zealand only, which may be fewer than half of total visitors for some sites [e.g. nzherald].

<< April’s Top Five

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World’s tallest tower lights up

BlogTO reports today on the new coloured lighting system for Toronto’s CN Tower, complete with great photos taken during a test run of the system last night. The pictures were posted to the blogTO photo pool on flickr.

The Globe & Mail website also has some pictures.

New Zealanders will be familiar with the effect, which is similar to what’s been used on Auckland’s Sky Tower for several years.

Here in Toronto, where winters can be mighty gloomy, I think the computer-controlled lighting will prove a hit.

The timing is ironic, however, given the current concern over energy consumption [although the lights are energy-efficient LEDs] and a campaign in the city to turn off lights in high-rise office buildings to prevent overnight bird strikes.

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