Let’s get right into it.
Engagement to Spanish content over time
Engagement to Spanish content in the last year follows a very similar pattern to what we saw in each of the other two countries we looked at, and indeed what we have seen in the English language as well.
The engagement to content from Spain rose throughout the back end of 2019, almost doubling when looking at week-over-week engagement between June and the start of 2020.
It was at the start of March, with the arrival of coronavirus to Spanish shores, that engagement hit new weekly highs, rising to 160 million at the start of March. Unsurprisingly, this was mostly driven by coronavirus content.
But who were the top Spanish publishers that drove the most engagement?
The top Spanish publishers
There was one very clear most engaged publisher in Spain, followed by a cohort of three others that received more than 100 million engagements for the year.
The most engaged, with almost 1.5x the engagement of any of its competitors, was El Pais. The publisher’s total of 180 million engagements put it comfortably ahead of all other publishers in Spain.
The secondary cohort of highly engaged publishers included La Vanguardia, ABC, and El Mundo, with two of the three receiving more than 125 million engagements.
Other publishers that made the top ten were Telecinco, Publico, and El Diario. Publishers in the bottom half of the top ten were closer to 60 million engagements.
We’ll look at the articles that saw success for the top publishers later, but first, which articles saw success more generally among Spanish media.
The top Spanish articles
The articles that drove the most engagement for Spanish publishers did not, for the most part, come from the publishers that ranked at the top, though La Vanguardia did feature twice among the most engaged articles.
The most engaged article did not come from a traditional news site, but rather was an article with 72 sayings designed to inspire and reflect upon daily.
La Vanguardia featured only twice in the top ten, but it was in second and third place. Their most engaged article was about COVID-19 deaths in Italy reaching 812 per day, while new cases fell. This received more than 3 million engagements.
The second article from the publisher was also about a foreign country going through coronavirus, though this time it was about the French government’s reaction. The story was about France suspending rental payments, taxes, and gas, light, and water bills to try and provide some monetary relief as the economy shut down in the country.
Half of the top articles were about coronavirus in some capacity, though interestingly only one of them was about Spain, with the rest all being about how other countries were dealing with the spread of the virus and the economic fallout.
But what about the top articles specifically from the top publishers? Let’s narrow the focus a little to just include those.
Spanish publisher spotlight
As stated, the top publishers were El Pais, La Vanguardia, and ABC. Let’s look at El Pais first.
No article for El Pais featured in the top ten articles overall, with their top article reaching just over a million engagements.
This top article was about deers gathering under cherry trees in Japan in peak blossom season, an image that did the rounds in the international media.
The only other article that received more than a million engagements was about the death of Luis Eduardo Aute, a writer and musician who died in April. A number of deaths saw highly engaged headlines in El Pais, including Marcos Mundstock and Julio Angulta.
Coronavirus was not as dominant as it was in the overall top headlines, with less than half of the publisher’s top stories being about the virus.
La Vanguardia had the most highly engaged articles of the top three publishers, with two articles garnering more than 2.5 million engagements and making it into the top three overall articles in Spain for the last year.
No other articles received more than a million engagements for the publisher, however.
There was more of a focus on coronavirus for La Vanguardia, with the four top articles of the last year all being about COVID-19.
Other themes that struck a chord were the break-up of Imagine Dragons, The Netherlands’ plan to legalize euthanasia, and a boy that shaved his head so that his friend with cancer wouldn’t be the only one in their class without hair.
ABC’s top article featured in the top ten, with more than 2 million engagements, but once again this was the only article that saw more than a million engagements over the last year.
ABC was the publisher whose engagement was most driven by coronavirus. Although the top article was about child abusers in Pakistan, seven of the top ten articles were about COVID-19 around the world.
Overall, coronavirus was dominant across the web in Spain, and saw a considerable spike in engagement during the crisis. It did not dominate quite as much in the top publishers as it has in other countries for the last year, generally making up under half of the top stories, apart from for ABC.
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Benedict Nicholson is the Managing Editor at NewsWhip. An Englishman in New York, he is interested in the intersection of PR, brands, and journalism, and the trends and innovation around that.
Email Benedict via firstname.lastname@example.org.