ESPN Digital Media Sets Multiple Records in September, Reaches 105 Million U.S. Fans

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ESPN Digital Media Sets Multiple Records in September, Reaches 105 Million U.S. Fans

104.6 million total U.S. unique visitors establishes new ESPN high;
31.4 million unique visitors more than No. 2 property is largest margin ever in sports category;
New U.S. sports category records: 19.1 million daily smartphone users, 85.4 million total mobile users, and 7.4 billion mobile minutes;
476 million on-platform video views sets new ESPN mark;
2.8 billion minutes is most-streamed month ever for WatchESPN

Click to view info graphic.
Click to view info graphic.

Driven by ESPN Fantasy Football and coverage of the NFL, College Football, MLB pennant races, and U.S. Open tennis in September, ESPN reached a property-best 104.6 million unique visitors in the U.S., up 11 percent over the same month a year ago. ESPN had 31.4 million more unique visitors than No. 2 property CBS Sports, the largest margin in sports category history.

Fans spent 10.3 billion minutes using ESPN digital properties, tops in the sports category and nearly double the No. 2 property (Yahoo Sports-NBC Sports Network).

ESPN accounted for 33.5 percent of all sports category usage on digital platforms, more than the Nos. 2 and 3 properties combined (Yahoo! Sports-NBC Sports Network had 16.8 percent, NFL Internet Group 8.9 percent). September marked ESPN’s largest share of sports category usage since March 2015.

More results from the September comScore Multi-Platform report.

ESPN in the U.S. media landscape:

  • In the average minute, 238,225 people used ESPN digital properties across platforms – more than the cable TV sports network audiences of NBC Sports Network (144,033) and Fox Sports 1 (129,635).1
  • ESPN reached 41 percent of all U.S. internet users in September.
  • Beyond the sports category, ESPN was a top overall U.S. digital property on key performance indicators, including total monthly unique visitors (ranked 18th out of the more than 24,000 properties comScore measured), daily smartphone unique visitors (10th), total minutes (15th), and average minute audience (15th).
  • ESPN reached 9.1 million millennials (adults age 18-34) daily on smartphones, ranking 9th among all U.S. digital properties. ESPN beat properties such as Twitter (8.5 million), Pinterest (6.1 million) and Buzzfeed (3.3 million) on that demographic.

ESPN in the U.S. sports category:

  • ESPN reached 56 percent of all sports category users.
  • ESPN’s 98.4 minutes per visitor was the highest of the top 25 sports category properties.
  • ESPN reached 19.1 million daily unique users on smartphones, more than the Nos. 2 and 3 properties combined (Yahoo! Sports-NBC Sports Network 8.1 million, NFL Internet Group 6.7 million).
  • ESPN.com reached 86.5 million unique visitors across platforms over the course of the month – a record high – making it the largest single entity, website or app, in the sports category.
  • On mobile devices alone, 85.4 million unique users accessed ESPN content, setting a category record for mobile reach. Users spent 7.4 billion minutes with ESPN on mobile devices, also a record.
  • 69 percent of ESPN’s unique users – 72.0 million people – exclusively accessed content on smartphones and tablets. 72 percent of all time spent with ESPN digital content was consumed by mobile device users.
  • For the 8th consecutive month ESPN had the top 2 apps in the sports category in terms of monthly unique visitors. The ESPN App was No. 1 in sports category for monthly uniques (15.1 million) and No. 2 for total minutes (1.3 billion). The ESPN Fantasy App was No. 1 in total minutes in sports category (2.8 billion) and No. 2 for monthly uniques (13.4 million).
  • ESPN’s portfolio of apps reached 32.0 million unique visitors and generated 5.4 billion minutes of usage, more than any other sports media property. ESPN garnered 41 percent of all U.S. sports app usage.

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Additional results from ESPN Research & Analytics:

  • 12.0 million unique devices streamed WatchESPN content in September, up 12 percent from a year ago. Viewers spent 2.8 billion minutes with programming across all platforms (up 27 percent). September marked WatchESPN’s largest total ever for minutes streamed and second-largest total of unique devices (trailing only the World Cup-powered June 2014).2
  • Fans watched 476.3 million ESPN on-platform digital video clips in September, ESPN’s highest monthly total ever, and up 10 percent from a year ago.2

1 Source: Nielsen Media Research, 9/1-9/30/16 (Total Day, Persons 2+)
2 Source: Adobe Analytics

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