In case you missed it, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry gave an explosive interview to Oprah on Sunday (March 7), revealing the royal family’s dirty secrets we’ve all been dying to hear since “Megxit.” The interview has been trending since it aired in the United States, with more and more audiences scouring the internet to watch.
Using Similarweb’s suite of digital intelligence tools for publishers and media, we conducted market research and dove into the key trends from the last week, focusing on three of the top global VPN websites, expressvpn.com, nordvpn.com, vpnmentor.com. We looked at VPN websites to track international viewers. We also looked at traffic patterns for cbsnews.com compared to other top news sites both in the United States and globally.
As you can see, the impact of the interview on consumers’ online habits is telling.
Traffic for the top VPN websites surged 60% in the U.K., 20% globally the week of March 1-7, 2021
Since cbsnews.com had exclusive airing rights to the interview from within the United States, visits over time for three of the top VPN websites rose globally throughout last week, peaking the day of the interview.
Traffic growth, March 1-7:
- Expressvpn.com experienced 14% growth
- Nordvpn.com experienced 20% growth
- Vpnmentor.com experienced 22% growth
When looking solely at the U.K., traffic for these VPNs grew exponentially in the last week. This can be attributed to the fact that the interview was scheduled to air across the U.K. on Monday, March 8, a day after it went live in the U.S. Audiences in the U.K. who didn’t want to wait to watch, turned to VPN websites to find alternative viewing options.
Traffic growth, March 1-7:
- Expressvpn.com experienced 60% growth
- Nordvpn.com experienced 52% growth
- Vpnmentor.com experienced 38% growth
Meghan Markle becomes a top search term; from an average of 7K to nearly 100K
Globally, the search term Meghan Markle jumped 170%. The week leading up to the interview the keyword had 92,997 total search visits, previously the monthly average was 7,540.
Question queries related to the keyword Meghan Markle accounted for 11,063 total search visits over the last 28 days (as of March 7). The top searches included:
- where to watch meghan markle oprah interview
- how to watch meghan markle interview
- where to watch meghan markle interview
- meghan markle interview where to watch
- where can i watch the meghan markle interview
Cbsnews.com outperformed its competitors the week leading up to the interview
With exclusive rights over the interview, cbsnews.com had an extremely successful week. When looking at four of its major competitors – nbcnews.com, washingtonpost.com, foxnews.com, and cnn.com – CBS was the only news and media site to have a positive percent increase in traffic and engagement metrics from March 1–March 7, 2021.
Direct and organic search traffic jumped for cbsnews.com for the week of March 1. Meanwhile, the other four news sites in this data set lost traffic share, particularly cnn.com and foxnews.com, which both saw 35% less traffic.
The key takeaway here: cbsnews.com drew some traffic away from competitors in areas where they usually dominate the market share. The more consumers searched for how to watch the interview, the more cbsnews.com grabbed this market share from their competition.
Cbsnews.com also experienced a dramatic increase in traffic over time. Globally, from March 1-7, 2021, traffic share increased by 45% (1.7 million to 2.7 million). In the United States during the same timeframe, there was a 33% increase (1.5 million to 2.1 million).
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