South Africa Online July 2020

At home entertainment and localized COVID-19 news are what draw people online in July 2020

July 2020 saw steady internet traffic across the board with internet traffic to local South African sites sitting at pre-COVID levels of just over 1 billion page views measured by Narratiive. There is still a broad interest in music, podcasts and at-home entertainment. People are now focusing on more localized COVID-related news as they are interested in the localized impact and breaking news from their immediate area.  

Top 10 Websites

Overall traffic stayed steady during July with a total of just over 1 billion page views being measured across all Narratiive measured websites. This is right on the usual average page views measured each month.

In particular, two sites showed notable month on month growth, and those were TimesLive and EWN with 33% and 58% growth in page views respectively. Both sites experienced these large increases in traffic due to successful content that gained good traction with readers.

Top 10 interest audiences

Mostly traffic to different Interest segments stayed steady month on month. However, two interest segments did show large month on month change in page views, and those were Music & Audio (31% increase) and Education (23% decline).

This is in line with overall trends we’ve seen of an increased interest in music and podcasts and in general, at-home entertainment, since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Traffic to Education Interest dropped to a previous spike in traffic in June due to schools reopening in early June for the first time since lockdown.

Top 10 Apps

Overall traffic to Apps stayed steady as well. MoneyWeb was the one app that showed large month on month growth, and this was due to its recent tagging in June 2020.

Top 10 month on month % change & reasons behind significant fluctuations

The big movers this month were again the smaller sites that overall had some very successful articles that attracted large readership relative to the usual readership of the sites.

Africa Magic was this month’s biggest climber who was on the back of keen interest in Big Brother Nigeria. SACrickets was another big climber with so many stories happening in the cricket world at the moment, from Black Lives Matter to CSA meeting leaks.

Other sites that experience considerable growth were smaller localized news publications which focused on localized COVID-19 and crime-related stories.

Top insights for the month

Age | 23.43% of the total market is aged 20 – 24 & 52.29% of all browsers are 20 – 35

Duration | Average visit duration: 2 min 55 sec ( -1,16%)

Frequency | 14.73 page views per unique browser ( 3.95%)

Device | 81.08% of traffic is from mobile phones ( 1.07%)


This report is produced by Narratiive in partnership with the IAB South Africa and is based on data collected from a footprint of sites which are tagged with the Narratiive code. Any use of this data or content is prohibited without prior consent from Narratiive. For requests to use this content or for more information about Narratiive’s measurement and please contact 

  • Audience Insights