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Magazine readership continues to increase

These are the latest findings from the Roy Morgan Single Source survey of 50,853 Australians aged 14+ in the 12 months to December 2018.

A total of 15,189,000 Australians aged 14+ (74.2 per cent) read magazines whether in print or online either via the web or an app. That is up an impressive 1.2 per cent, or 183,000, from a year ago according to the results released today from the Roy Morgan Australian Readership report for the 12 months to December 2018.

Readership of print magazines was just under 12.6 million Australians aged 14+ (61.5 per cent), up 0.2 per cent, or 22,000, from a year ago. These are the latest findings from the Roy Morgan Single Source survey of 50,853 Australians aged 14+ in the 12 months to December 2018.

Women’s Weekly now Australia’s most widely read paid magazine

Nine of Australia’s Top 15 magazines grew their print readership in the year to December 2018, with six of the leading titles growing their readership by at least 5 per cent on a year ago. Women’s Weekly is now Australia’s most widely read paid magazine after growing readership by 5.1 per cent to 1,570,000 in 2018.

National Geographic had the biggest improvement of Australia’s leading magazines growing print readership by a stunning 20.5 per cent to 1,279,000 on the back of the special ‘Plastic or Planet’ edition in June 2018 covered in detail here. In addition the new Take 5 Bumper Monthly magazine, which launched in 2018, is now Australia’s tenth most widely read magazine with a readership of 692,000.

Coles Magazine most widely read magazine

Australia's two most widely read free magazines have continued to perform well. Coles Magazine readership was up 15.8 per cent and Fresh readership increased by 10 per cent. Other leading magazines to perform strongly include Royal Auto up by 14.9 per cent, Australian Geograpic (+14.2 per cent), Road Ahead (+1.1 per cent), House & Garden (+0.6 per cent), Taste.com.au Magazine (+0.5 per cent) and just outside the Top 15 Gardening Australia (+17.6 per cent) and Qantas magazine (+5.7 per cent).


Publication

Dec 2017

Dec 2018

% Change

‘000s

‘000s

%

Coles Magazine

4,152

4,806

15.8%

Fresh

3,875

4,264

10.0%

Women's Weekly

1,494

1,570

5.1%

Better Homes & Gardens

1,707

1,566

-8.3%

National Geographic 1,061 1,279 20.5% 

Woman's Day

1,303

1,169

-10.3%

Open Road (NSW)

1,094

1,012

-3.7%

New Idea

1,051

992

-8.1%

Royal Auto (Vic)

638

733

14.9%

Take 5 Bumper Monthly

-

692

-

Taste.com.au Magazine

646

649

0.5%

Road Ahead (Qld)

628

635

1.1%

Australian Geographic

543

620

14.2%

That’s Life

657

599

-8.8%

House & Garden

527

530

0.6%

Full Magazine Readership Results available to view here.

*Take 5 (Monthly) is an annual figure based of seven months of interviewing from June – December 2018 only.

The five most read categories of magazines

  • Food & Entertainment (6,796,000 Australians, 33.2% of the population);
  • General Interest (4,726,000 Australians, 23.1% of the population);
  • Mass Women’s (3,403,000 Australians, 16.6% of the population);
  • Home & Garden (2,834,000 Australians, 13.8% of the population);
  • Business, Financial & Airline (1,590,000 Australians, 7.8% of the population).

Food & Entertainment magazines continue strong growth led by Coles & Fresh

Food & Entertainment is again Australia's best performing magazine category and is now read by 6,796,000 Australians, or 33.2% of the population - up 8.3 per cent in the year to December 2018. Over the last year five of the 9 magazines in this category increased their readership.

Once again the category is dominated by the free supermarket titles both of which saw significant year-on-year growth - Coles Magazine with readership of 4,806,000 (up 15.8 per cent) and Woolworth’s Fresh now read by 4,264,000 Australians (up 10 per cent).

Other titles to perform well over the past year include Gourmet Traveller Wine which increased 6.3 per cent to 68,000, Taste.com.au up 0.5 per cent to 649,000 and Halliday up 26.1 per cent to 29,000.

A majority of General Interest magazines increase readership led by Geographic titles

4,726,000 Australians, or 23.1% of the population, read at least one of the general interest magazine titles. A majority of seven of the 13 general interest magazines increased their readership over the last year led by National Geographic which increased its readership by an impressive 20.5 per cent to 1,279,000.

Also performing well was local counterpart Australian Geographic which increased readership by 14.2 per cent to 620,000 and there were strong performances from several motoring club magazines including Horizons (WA) read by 260,000 (up 42.1 per cent), Royal Auto (Vic) read by 733,000 (up 14.9 per cent) and Road Ahead (Qld) up 1.1 per cent to 635,000 readers.

Mass Women’s magazines increase driven by Women’s Weekly & Take 5 Bumper Monthly

Readership of Mass Women’s magazines increased by 1.4 per cent from a year ago. These titles are now read by 3,403,000 Australians, equal to 16.6% of the population, or equivalent to around a quarter of women.

The strongest performer in the category was Women’s Weekly which increased readership by a healthy 5.1 per cent over the year to 1,570,000 and readership in the category was also boosted by the new Take 5 Bumper Monthly first published in 2018 which now has a readership of 692,000.

Other magazines in the category maintain significant readerships including Woman’s Day with a readership of 1,169,000, New Idea on 992,000, That’s Life on 599,000 and Take 5 (Weekly) on 497,000.

Home Design, Gardening Australia, Home Beautiful and Real Living increase readership

Now 2,834,000 Australians read at least one magazine in the Home & Garden category with a majority of six of the 11 magazines in the category increasing their readership over the last year.

The largest increase was for Home Design which increased its readership by 26.4 per cent to 110,000 while Gardening Australia is now read by 528,000 Australians after an impressive increase of 17.6 per cent.

Other Home & Garden titles which grew their readership include Home Beautiful which was up a healthy 9.6 per cent to 342,000, Real Living up 9.9 per cent to 100,000, Belle up 2 per cent to 102,000 and House & Garden up 0.6 per cent to 530,000.

By far the leading magazine in the category remains Better Homes and Gardens, maintaining its leadership with a readership of 1,566,000 (down 8.3 per cent).

Money Magazine up and airline magazines for Qantas, Virgin & Jetstar all increase

The Business, Financial and Airline magazines readership managed a small increase of 0.4 per cent over the last year to 1,590,000 (7.8% of the population).

Qantas Magazine increased its readership by 5.7 per cent to 406,000 and is again the best read title in the category although stablemate Jetstar had the biggest increase in the category up an impressive 34.0 per cent to 268,000. Virgin Australia Voyeur readership increased by 2.8 per cent to 218,000.

Also performing strongly was the leading finance magazine title Money Magazine which increased readership by 15 per cent to 153,000.

Health & Family, Computing & Gaming and Fishing magazine categories increase

Readership growth for magazines was not restricted to the larger magazine categories with Health & Family, Computing, Gaming & Info Tech, Fishing and the Motorcycling magazine categories all growing their audience significantly in the 12 months to December 2018.

Health & Family magazines experienced category growth of 2 per cent over the past year to be just outside the top five categories with overall readership of 1,450,000, or 7.1% of the population. Overall six of the nine magazines in the category grew their readership over the past year.

Among the fastest growing Health & Family titles were the Healthy Food Guide which is now read by 246,000 (up 72 per cent), Weight Watchers Magazine which grew its readership by 41.5 per cent to 75,000, Wellbeing with a readership of 135,000 (up 23.9 per cent) and Good Health which grew its readership by 19.2 per cent to 286,000. Nature & Health also performed well and more than doubled its readership to 100,000 over the last year however the magazine has since been closed.

Computing, Gaming & Info Tech magazines increased their readership by 5.6 per cent to a readership of 532,000. A majority of five of the eight magazines measured in the category increased their readership over the last year.

All four of the leading magazines in the category increased their readership over the past year. The category leading Playstation magazine increased its readership by 9.2 per cent to a 142,000 to hold off a surge in readership for Game Informer which was up 18.8 per cent to a readership of 139,000. Other strong performers included Xbox magazine up 6.3 per cent to a readership of 134,000 and PC & Tech Authority which increased a substantial 30.8 per cent to a readership of 102,000.

Fishing magazines also had a good year increasing category readership by 7 per cent to 292,000 once again powered by a strong performance from leading title Fishing World, up by 20 per cent to 174,000. Rival magazine Modern Fishing is now closed despite increasing readership by 2.1 per cent to 146,000.

Motorcycle magazines
were another category to enjoy a strong performance in 2018 with readership of the category increasing by 4.1 per cent to 153,000 despite the closure of one of the three titles in the category. Category leader Australian Motorcycle News had a significant increase in readership by 45.2 per cent to 122,000 and smaller rival Live to Ride was up 2.7 per cent to a readership of 38,000.

Other magazines to perform strongly included Vogue Australia up by 11.8 per cent to a readership of 397,000, Marie Claire up by 3.1 per cent to a readership of 268,000, Inside Sport up by 18.1 per cent to a readership of 124,000, Unique Cars up by 20.6 per cent to a readership of 193,000, Australian 4WD Action up by 11.9 per cent to a readership of 264,000, Empire magazine up by 9 per cent to a readership of 181,000 and Harper’s Bazaar up by 31.5 per cent to a readership of 146,000.

Magazine Cross-Platform Audiences increase strongly for leading magazines

A majority of six of Australia’s leading 10 magazines ranked by cross-platform audience managed to increase their audience in the year to December 2018.

The Women’s Weekly was one of the top performers over the last year growing its total cross-platform audience by an impressive 8.9 per cent to 2,496,000. However Taste.com.au remains the best read title across print and digital formats with a total cross-platform audience of over 3.2 million (up by 3.9 per cent).

The strongest increase amongst the top 10 leading magazines by cross-platform audience was Bauer Media title Good Health which uses the Now to Love online hub and increased its cross-platform audience by a substantial 18.2 per cent to 1,313,000. As highlighted earlier National Geographic was one of the best performers over the last year in part thanks to its special ‘Planet or Plastic’ edition in June (covered here). National Geographic recorded a 17 per cent increase in its total cross-platform audience to 1,559,000 in the year to December 2018.

A large majority of Australia’s leading magazines (eight out of the top ten magazines ranked by cross-platform audiences) continue to have a significantly larger readership via their print editions than their digital platforms. However, new platforms such as Bauer Media’s Now to Love are allowing magazine publishers to reach their audience in new ways with innovative online offerings.

Just over a year ago many of Bauer Media’s magazine brands (including Women’s Weekly, Woman’s Day, Good Health, Take 5 and others) consolidated their online presence in the Now to Love hub which now reaches over 1 million people.

Top 10 Magazines – Total Cross-Platform Audience

Publication#

Print

Digital
(web or app)

Total Cross-Platform Audience*
(print, web or app)

Dec
2017

Dec
2018

Dec
2017

Dec
2018

Dec
2017

Dec
2018

% Change

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

%

Taste.com.au

646

649

2,642

2,794

3,113

3,233

3.9%

Women’s Weekly/
Now to Love

1,494

1,570

887

1,064

2,293

2,496

8.9%

Better Homes & Gardens

1,707

1,566

312

347

1,889

1,801

-4.7%

National Geographic

1,061

1,279

381

345

1,332

1,559

17.0%

Woman’s Day*/
Now to Love

1,303

1,169

283

312

1,529

1,419

-7.2%

Good Health/
Now to Love

240

286

887

1,058

1,111

1,313

18.2%

New Idea*

1,079

992

175

163

1,218

1,123

-7.8%

Open Road (NSW)

1,051

1,012

61

71

1,081

1,043

-3.5%

Australian Geographic

543

620

210

235

719

824

14.7%

Take 5 (weekly)*/
Now to Love

495

497

280

307

733

777

6.0%


Full Magazine Total Cross-Platform Audience results available to view here.

Total cross-platform audience includes print – average issue readership and digital – website visitation and app usage in an average 4 weeks, except for weekly titles which are in an average 7 days (denoted by *). #For additional detail on the platforms available for each magazine visit the Roy Morgan website.

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan, says nearly 15.2 million Australians now read magazines whether in print or online, equivalent to almost three-quarters of the population:

“Readership of magazines in Australia continues to grow with total cross-platform audiences for Australian magazines increasing by 183,000 to nearly 15.2 million in the last year.

“In contrast to those who might question the future of print publications it is print magazines that Australians continue to turn to. Nearly 12.6 million Australians read a print magazine in the year to December 2018, an increase of 0.2 per cent on a year ago.

“The magazine industry had a strong 2018 with leading magazine categories including Food & Entertainment, General Interest, Mass Women’s, Business, Financial & Airlines, Health & Family and Computing, Gaming & Info Tech all increasing their audiences on a year ago.

“Nine of Australia’s top 15 most widely read magazine titles increased their print readership over the last 12 months and Women’s Weekly is now Australia’s most widely read paid magazine with a readership of 1.57 million, up 5.1 per cent on a year ago. When the Women’s Weekly cross-platform audience is considered the reach extends to almost 2.5 million – up an impressive 8.9 per cent on a year ago.

“A wide variety of magazines grew their readership by more than 10% form a year ago including Gardening Australia (+17.6 per cent), National Geographic (+20.5 per cent), Money Magazine (+15 per cent), Vogue Australia (+11.8 per cent), Healthy Good Guide (+72 per cent), Royal Auto (+14.9 per cent), Wellbeing (+23.9 per cent), Fishing World (+20 per cent), Unique Cars (+20.6 per cent), Harper’s Bazaar (+31.5 per cent) and Game Informer (+18.8 per cent).

“The exceptional performance of Australia’s magazines over the last year shows that even in today’s competitive marketplace, with an increasing array of media choices available, magazines offer advertisers an impressive range of mass market and also special interest options to reach hard to find consumers.”

For comments or more information please contact:
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