New figures from Urban Airship have revealed the top UK news stories from the first six months of 2018, accoridng to the volume of push notifications sent out via UK news and media apps. The top story was the birth of Prince Louis Arthur Charles, which saw almost 83m notifications sent.
According to Reuters, mobile news notifications have grown significantly in the last year, particularly as more people rely on their smartphones for keeping on top of what's happening in the world. Urban Airship's stats found that on these key news days, engagement was often up to four times higher than the overall average for media and news apps, ranging between approximately three and five per cent.
The birth of the Royal Baby also boasted the highest notification open rate of 4.94 per cent. The rest of the top five was made up by the Royal Wedding (both the day before the event, at number two, and the day itself, at number four), President Trump cancelling the nuclear summit with North Korea at number three, and UK snow storms at number five. The remainder of the top 10 was made up of incidents such as Visa's credit card outage and the Royal Baby name announcement, as well as one day where a combination of domestic news stories combined to drive traffic high, rather than one single story dominating the news.
According to Urban Airship, media notifications often see lower direct open rates than other verticals as they tend to send a higher volume of notifications, and the message itself often conveys everything the user needs to know in that moment. However, by looking at direct interaction rates, editors can get a better idea of what resonates most with their audiences.
"To prevent alienating readers, media organisations are using data analytics to measure engagement with each story, and ultimately, each notification they send," said Nigel Arthur, managing director for EMEA & APAC at Urban Airship. "Every story someone reads, notification they click, or button they tap provides useful insight into a reader's interests and affinities that can enrich customer data for future use.
"If someone has read two or more articles about the Royal Family, chances are high they'll appreciate or at least won't mind hearing more. This is why we're seeing such increased engagement, as demonstrated here. The goal for media organisation is to boost loyalty and earn a good reputation for the stories they run, which in turn increases audience traffic, boosts engagement and ultimately opens up new advertising revenue opportunties. As the data shows, the opportunity for this lies squarely in ensuring that the notifications which are pushed to each individual reader are as relevant and timely as possible, accoridng to their personal preferences."