As the year comes to an end, it’s time to look back on what made it memorable — and one way to determine this is by analyzing the stories that defined 2023.

Taboola put together a snapshot of the full readership categories and the top stories that defined them. The analysis accounts for hundreds of millions of views by readers of news articles on the Taboola network in the U.S., from January 1 through November 30.

Top news stories of the year

Together, Trump and Biden top the list of the most popular news stories of the year. Compared to 2022, readership for Trump jumped 30% and Biden rose by 20%. Leading up to the 2024 election, numerous conversations have surfaced throughout the year around the credibility and likelihood of each candidate to be the next president, piquing the interest of readers across the country.

Full list:

  • Trump/Biden
  • Elon Musk/Twitter
  • Russia/Ukraine War
  • OceanGate
  • Israel/Hamas War
  • Mega Millions/Powerball
  • Daylight savings time
  • Super Bowl LVII
  • World Series 2023
  • The rise of Ozempic

Most-read musicians

Most recently, Taylor Swift was named TIME’s 2023 Person of the Year, and Taboola has the data to prove that online interest in the star truly backs this up. Over the past year, readership for Taylor skyrocketed by 224%. From the massive success of The Eras Tour, to The Eras Tour hit movie (which received a glowing 99% rating from Rotten Tomatoes), and a new buzzy relationship with NFL player, Travis Kelce, Taylor has kept the headlines busy all year long — and will likely continue to do so into the new year.

Full list:

  • Taylor Swift
  • Miley Cyrus
  • Nick Jonas
  • Blake Shelton
  • Britney Spears

Most-read celebrities

This year, one particular royal couple was more-read about than any other celebrity — Prince Harry and Meghan Markle generated headline after headline throughout 2023. Starting in January, Prince Harry’s memoir, Spare, hit the bookshelves, and it became the fastest-selling nonfiction book of all time. In May, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle trended after news came out that Prince Harry attended his father’s coronation alone. Also in May, the royal couple trended again after the infamous New York City car chase that they were involved in stirred up conversations for weeks on end.

Full list:

  • Prince Harry/Meghan Markle
  • Taylor Swift
  • Miley Cyrus
  • Matthew Perry
  • Jada Pinkett Smith/Will Smith

Most-read TV shows

Online interest in the Wheel of Fortune outperformed any other TV show this year. According to The New York Times, general interest in game shows has remained steady over the years, despite the fact that interest in other traditional TV formats, such as soap operas and talk shows, is dwindling — thanks to the rise of streaming.

Full list:

  • Wheel of Fortune
  • Sister Wives
  • The Voice
  • Love Is Blind
  • Dancing with the Stars

Most-read movies

With every movie released in 2023, Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania topped the list of most read-about films. The movie also landed the number ten spot on the top highest-grossing movies of 2023. The film’s sequel factor, coupled with mixed reviews and continued conversations to this day around the movie’s outcome, have contributed to its popularity.

Full list:

  • Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
  • Avatar
  • Barbie
  • The Super Mario Bros. Movie
  • The Little Mermaid

Most-read sports

Super Bowl LVIIl was the most-watched TV program of all time in the U.S., so it’s no surprise that it was also the most-read sports story of the year. Viewers across the country tuned in to see the Kansas City Chiefs play the Philadelphia Eagles, as well as Rihanna’s first live performance in years — along with an unexpected pregnancy announcement. With readership for football rising 52% year over year, it’s safe to say that interest in Super Bowl LVIII has the potential to be even more popular.

Full list:

  • Super Bowl LVII
  • Damar Hamlin injury/Buffalo Bills
  • Ohio State/University of Michigan football game ticket prices
  • World Series 2023

Although the new year is quickly approaching, these stories will likely continue to pique the interest of readers around the country — Taboola’s data proves it. In addition to covering new stories in 2024, publishers should consider revisiting these topics as they plan new content for the new year.

Originally Published:

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