Digital & Online

Coronavirus: CNN.com Sees Largest Audience in its History


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As COVID-19 changed the world, audiences turned to CNN for its global coverage in March and April 2020, registering the largest audience numbers in history.

In the United States, April 2020 saw 173 million unique visitors and March saw 184 million unique visitors – an all-time record – and nearly 70% of the total U.S. internet audience in March, according to Comscore.

Globally, March 2020 registered an astounding 259 million unique visitors to CNN Digital properties – an increase of nearly 100 million users from one year ago, according to Comscore.

In multi-platform video, CNN Digital surpassed ESPN in March and was only behind YouTube, Facebook, Hulu, Vevo, Yahoo, and Netflix in digital video streams, making CNN the largest original video publisher.

Additionally, 17 out of the top 20 days in CNN Digital history occurred in 2020, according to Adobe Analytics.

CNN’s historic audience interest in this global story far outpaced all competitors digitally, with CNN holding the top position in March and April 2020 in the key categories of global news, domestic unique visitors, mobile news, multi-platform video, and millennial audience (March 2020 data is the most current available for both global traffic and multi-platform video rankings).

CNN has retained the top position for nearly 4 years for U.S. unique visitors, nearly 5 years for video and one year for global unique visitors. March and April 2020 also marked CNN Politics’ best months on record.

CNN saw a larger global audience than any other news platform in the world in March 2020, with an astounding 259 million unique multi-platform visitors (March 2020 data most current available) – an increase of nearly 100 million global unique multi-platform visitors from March 2019.

CNN began covering the COVID-19 story early on, with reporters in Asia reporting from the epicentre of the virus’ initial spread.

CNN.com – 259 million unique visitors
BBC – 257 million unique visitors
• The New York Times Brand – 217 million unique visitors
• Washington Post – 174 million unique visitors
• Yahoo News – 165 million unique visitors
• The Guardian – 160 million unique visitors

The last two months brought a historic level of audience traffic to CNN from users seeking out reliable and trusted information. This resulted in a record-high 184 million unique multi-platform visitors domestically in March 2020, the biggest month on record, and 173 million unique multi-platform visitors domestically in April 2020, the second largest month in history.

The New York Times, Washington Post and NBC News also saw historic growth, while Fox News fell to #5 in March.

As the 2020 Presidential Election Campaign evolved and governments around the world responded to COVID-19, CNN Politics ranked again as the top political news destination in March and April 2020 with a record-high 96 million multi-platform unique visitors in March and 93 million multi-platform unique visitors in April – CNN Politics’ best months on record.

CNN Politics has remained the top online political news outlet since March 2015 when the first person declared their candidacy for president in the 2016 race.

Source: Comscore MMX® Multi-Platform, Custom-Defined List, Total Digital Audience, March 2020, Worldwide Rollup. Based on CNN.com entity compared to a custom list of single brand, English-language, global competitors in the News/Information Category, including The United States, Canada, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, United Kingdom and Vietnam. CNN Brand entity used prior to October 2018. (March data is the most current available).

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