A combination of COVID-19 stories and the launch of a new web platform saw Wanaka App readership surge in 2020 to a record 54,240 unique readers.
Over 900,000 reader sessions were recorded in the year, up 68% on 2019 according to the latest analytics from Google.
“It is very encouraging to see the growth in readers and sessions,” Wanaka App co-owner Tony O’Regan said. “Launching a new web channel just before lockdown turned out to be good timing, with the web app adding considerably to the growth we were experiencing.”
The Wanaka App launched in 2016 as an app for mobile devices. In February 2020 the company expanded its channel offering by launching a web platform to complement the mobile channel. “The web app provides a browser-based channel for our local news and information and makes content discoverable via Google search,” Tony said.
“Our editorial team did a great job sourcing and writing local news stories across the year. It’s important these local stories are told, they create a sense of community and belonging, plus an informed public is critical for all our wellbeing,” said Tony
The COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown saw interest in local news peak in April and May, with over 100,000 reader sessions recorded in each month. “We had some staggering days as the pandemic story unfolded. Some days the app was opened over 6,000 times,” said Tony.
Page views were over 4.26 million for the year.
The local population is 15,000 people.
PHOTO: Wanaka App