International audience engagement insights: First quarter 2019

Last year, we saw how the most engaging stories spanned The Americas, Europe, and Asia, proving that sound audience engagement strategies can transcend geographies.

The first quarter of 2019 shows a continuation of that trend, as readership soars across Africa, with 78% of pageviews coming from mobile devices. Meanwhile, audiences in Central Asia are seeking more content through search engines than any other source. Want to find the most loyal readers? Look no further than Northern Europe.

Below, we offer a snapshot of the international audience engagement landscape for publishers.

Reader engagement in Latin America tops international audiences

Across the Chartbeat network, average engaged time has increased by more than 10% since the beginning of 2017. When we looked at the average number of seconds readers engaged with an article, Latin America, Middle East and Asia/Pacific regions led the way.

Africa drives engagement on mobile devices

Africa recorded the highest percentage of all pageviews from a mobile device at 78%, followed by Central Asia and the Asia/Pacific regions.

(For further reading: A Chinese news app is quietly referring millions of pageviews — here’s how global publishers can take advantage)

Google search still dominates referral traffic

Google Search traffic has doubled since January 2017, driven by a significant increase in mobile traffic. Our research shows that Central Asia has the largest percentage of all pageviews coming from search engines, followed by Latin America.

Central Asia leads pageviews from social media

Trends among the top traditional social referrers (i.e., Twitter, Facebook) — were flat to down over the past two years. From an international perspective, the Central Asia, Middle East and Africa regions made up the greatest share in percent of all pageviews coming from social platforms.

Northern Europe sees highest loyal readership

Considering the increased attention being paid to subscriptions, international loyalty trends can give publishers a clearer idea of the content and platforms that drive the most engagement. For instance, we’ve found that App direct visitors are 5.7x more loyal than platform-referred visitors, while mobile visitors exhibit more loyalty across the board.

Looking at the past quarter, Northern Europe had the highest percentage of loyal* pageviews compared to total pageviews, followed by the Middle East.

* A loyal reader is someone who returns to your site in at least 50% of days in a two-week period.

International audience engagement insights: A quarter of content

Readers throughout the world are finding (and sharing) content instantly—notably on mobile devices, and for 40% longer than desktop users, according to our data.

In Africa, the data we outlined above tells us that websites improving the mobile user experience will improve their ability to go from engagement to loyalty. Are publishers in Northern Europe, which boasts the highest percentage of loyal readers this quarter, doing enough to encourage paid subscriptions?

Our international insights only underscore the fact that there’s no single playbook to engage readers. However, these audience engagement trends can give publishers—no matter where they are based—a glimpse into what readers across geographies want and how, where, and when to offer it.

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