When too much sport is never enough: Young women lead online consumption of Women’s World Cup content as Matildas captivate Australians in August – Ipsos iris data

On September 22, 2023 Media Releases

22 September 2023 – Australians’ love of all things sport reached new levels during August as the FIFA Women’s World Cup saw a record 14.4 million Australians flock to sports websites and apps, and the sports sections of news sites and apps, particularly young women, according to Ipsos iris, Australia’s digital audience measurement currency endorsed by the IAB Australia.

Stories online about the Matildas’ performance and back stories of the players captivated consumption of digital websites across the month, particularly from the quarter finals onwards, with the Matildas’ penalty shoot-out against France rallying the nation. A record 14.4 million Australians consumed online sport news in August – the highest monthly sports audience for the year. The largest audience increase was among women aged 14-24 whose consumption of sport content rose by 18% compared to July as young women were inspired by the Matildas best ever performance. There were also audience increases across both men and women and all age groups.

Overall, online sports consumption among Australian audiences rose by 5.4% in August. The month’s figures grew even further than the 4.7% growth recorded in July which also coincided with the State of Origin clashes and The Ashes, showing Australians well and truly felt the Matildas’ effect. The figures represent a 10% rise in online sports consumption since June. Australians weren’t just heading to online sports sections for all things Matildas – the popularity of the sport had a flow-on effect, with Matildas’ content also proving popular on broader news, lifestyle and entertainment websites and apps.

In the Sport category, 7news.com.au – Sport, as the free to air broadcaster of the Women’s World Cup, rose to fourth place with an audience increase of 44% compared to July. Optus Sport, as the subscription service broadcaster, rose to sixth place with an 83% increase in audience. The FIFA website and app moved from 14th to ninth position with a 43% increase in audience. The chart below shows the Sports brands’ ranking during August 2023 by online audience size. 

The Women’s World Cup also dominated the News category, alongside major national news stories such as the mushroom poisoning in Victoria, the announcement of the Voice referendum date and the Australian surfers missing and then found in Indonesia. This resulted in 20.1 million people using a news website or app in August, and people spent five hours a month on average consuming news content. The News category includes audience and time spent online on both general news and broader news content including weather, sport, lifestyle, entertainment, and business news. The chart below shows the News brands’ ranking during August 2023 by online audience size.

Overall, Australians aged 14+ spent more than 3.8 hours per day online, or 118 hours, in August which is up +1.0% compared to July. The greatest audience increases were for sport (+5.4%), homes & property (+3.5%), and telecommunications & ISP (+2.5%). The most consumed website and app categories in August were social networking at 21 million, followed by search engines (21 million), technology (20.8 million) and retail and commerce (20.6 million) and entertainment (20.5 million). People aged 25-39 were the largest cohort online during August, while people aged 40 to 54 spent the most time online.

Ipsos iris, which officially launched in March, provides accurate data about the 21 million Australians aged 14+ who access a wide variety of digital content and services across smartphone, PC/laptop and tablet devices.