Narratiive reports that TimesLIVE traffic increased by 10.9% in April, taking it to 8.2 million South African readers (unique browsers), and a total of 9.8 million UBs. TimesLIVE Motoring was also up 46.5% from March, breaking the 300 000-reader mark.

BusinessLIVE cracked 3 million readers for the first time, ending April at 3.4 million UBs. "Our smaller sites — Times Select, Wanted Online and Vrye Weekblad — all enjoyed record traffic in April thanks to solid editorial efforts to publish a range of great content," says Riaan Wolmarans, managing editor: digital at Arena Holdings.

The table below summarises the records set in March and broken in April 2020:

All data is sourced from Narratiive, the analytics tool for the South African digital publishing industry.

Due to print distribution channels being disrupted during lockdown, the Sunday Times offered free access to the newspaper in PDF format, leading to as many as 35 000 readers paging through the virtual edition on the Sunday Times website.

This is over and above those subscribers with access to the e-edition of the paper. Wolmarans says that the website enjoyed a strong month, counting 1.8 million South African visitors during April.

"While much of Arena's online content is free to read, there has been a significant increase in the number of people signing up for digital subscriptions to paywalled content, showing that South Africans are willing to pay for quality news," concludes Wolmarans.

MultimediaLIVE, Arena's flagship YouTube channel, had a bumper April, gaining 2 500 new subscribers to take it to more than 100 000 subscriptions. It was also a record month of listens for Arena's ever-growing range of podcasts.

Lockdown offers
Arena Holdings has launched 'lockdown offers' to allow more affordable access to news content held behind the paywalls of BusinessLIVE (Business Day and Financial Mail), Sunday Times, Times Select, Vrye Weekblad, and HeraldLIVE, where readers can access 60 days of content, at a cost of only R60.

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