Second COVID-19 wave results in online news traffic spike in South Africa

Narratiive has released its website traffic report for December 2020, which showed that News24, TimesLive, and IOL are the biggest online publications in South Africa.

Narratiive is the official traffic measurement partner of the IAB South Africa and provides accurate traffic and demographics statistics for the country’s top websites.

The latest statistics show that News24 attracted a readership of 12.7 million unique browsers in December.

It was followed by TimesLive with 7.1 million readers, IOL with 5.9 million, BusinessTech with 5.7 million, and EWN with 4.6 million.

The strong performance of these publications during a traditionally quiet month was fuelled by the news of a second COVID-19 wave in South Africa.

The rise of coronavirus cases saw increased restrictions in holiday hotspots and the country moving to alert level 3 on 29 December 2020.

South Africans flocked to online news portals to stay abreast of the latest developments and find out how their holiday plans are affected by the new lockdown rules.

The table below shows the top 20 online publications in South Africa, ranked based on monthly readership.

The second table shows the largest online publishers in South Africa based on their total readership in December 2020.


Biggest South African news publications

Biggest South African Online Publications
Website Publisher Unique Browsers Page Views
News24 24.com 12,713,534 102,256,275
TimesLive Arena Holdings 7,065,100 32,172,018
IOL Independent Online 5,908,994 28,348,853
BusinessTech MyBroadband 5,709,495 18,001,437
EWN Primedia Broadcasting 4,589,095 22,328,335
The South African The South African 3,972,870 11,449,290
ENCA Sabido 3,539,399 11,099,891
Business Insider 24.com 3,204,763 14,279,586
SowetanLive Arena Holdings 3,166,146 12,746,337
Citizen Caxton CTP 2,707,884 10,498,377
Daily Maverick The Daily Maverick 2,537,701 9,833,785
BusinessLive Arena Holdings 2,105,323 6,527,433
Maroela Media Maroela Media 1,991,784 21,278,357
MSN MediaMark 1,939,067 15,860,826
Netwerk24 24.com 1,622,318 11,729,570
MyBroadband MyBroadband 1,589,672 5,929,516
Cars Cars.co.za 1,584,217 19,938,538
Soccerladuma 24.com 1,443,087 21,281,845
Kick Off South Africa 24.com 1,262,200 15,420,671
CapeTalk Primedia Broadcasting 1,140,262 2,158,433
Biggest South African Business Publications
Website Publisher Unique Browsers Page Views
BusinessTech MyBroadband Media 5,709,495 18,001,437
Business Insider 24.com 3,204,763 14,279,586
BusinessLive Arena Holdings 2,105,323 6,527,433
Moneyweb AME 1,033,445 5,060,504
Bizcommunity Bizcommunity.com 203,484 686,872
Biggest South African Technology Publications
Website Publisher Unique Browsers Page Views
MyBroadband MyBroadband Media 1,589,672 5,929,516
Techcentral NewsCentral Media 234,740 410,415
ITWeb ITWeb Limited 130,871 240,251
Memeburn Burn Media 54,757 78,063
Engineeringnews Creamer Media 33,958 115,400

Biggest South African online publishers

Biggest South African Online Publishers
Publisher Unique Browsers Page Views
24.com 19,784,658 389,031,203
Arena Holdings 11,609,423 56,564,277
MyBroadband Media 7,123,015 23,953,400
Independent Online 7,011,682 35,327,942
Caxton CTP 6,278,946 28,715,737
Primedia Broadcasting 5,967,157 26,544,008
The South African 3,977,335 11,454,752
Sabido 3,570,552 11,474,808
The Daily Maverick 2,537,701 9,833,785
DStv Digital Media 2,234,703 16,093,634
MediaMark 2,019,365 16,238,095
Maroela Media 1,991,784 21,278,357
Highbury Safika Media 1,883,977 6,269,167
Kagiso Media Limited 1,764,491 4,627,556
Cars 1,584,217 19,938,538
Portal Publishing 1,542,440 4,694,938
SABC 1,502,149 4,529,070
DAZN Media 1,364,256 14,994,448
AME 1,311,312 6,252,688
Mail & Guardian Online 748,135 1,634,520

Now read: If you invested R10,000 in these SA tech companies in 2020, here is how much you would have now

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Second COVID-19 wave results in online news traffic spike in South Africa