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Over 15.7 million Australians read newspapers in print or online

These are the latest findings from the Roy Morgan Single Source survey of 51,362 Australians aged 14+ in the 12 months to March 2019.

Roy Morgan today releases the latest readership results for Australian newspapers for the 12 months to March 2019.

Over 15.7 million, or 76.3%, of Australians aged 14+ now read or access newspapers in an average 7 day period via print or online (website or app) platforms, a fall of 2.2 per cent from a year ago.

Although most leading newspapers had a decline in total cross-platform readership there were several bright spots. The Herald Sun grew its digital audience to over 2 million while the Australian Financial Review increased its total cross-platform audience by 4.6 per cent to 1,469,000.

In addition Western Australia’s only metropolitan newspaper the West Australian grew its digital and cross-platform audience 2.2 per cent to 1,095,000 and The Saturday  Paper had strong growth across print and digital readership and grew its total cross-platform audience by 16.7 per cent to 259,000.

These are the latest findings from the Roy Morgan Single Source survey of 51,362 Australians aged 14+ in the 12 months to March 2019.

For full details of all mastheads surveyed click here.

Australia’s most widely read masthead continues to be the Sydney Morning Herald – with a cross-platform audience of 4,043,000, down 5.3 per cent from a year ago. Melbourne daily the Herald Sun with a cross-platform audience of 2,905,000 is now in front of its Sydney stablemate the Daily Telegraph which now has a cross-platform audience of 2,871,000 – despite both declining over the last year.

The Age with a cross-platform audience of 2,792,000 (down 10 per cent) and national broadsheet The Australian with a cross-platform audience of 2,465,000 (down 4.6 per cent) both declined from a year ago.

Top State-wide & National Mastheads by Total 7 Day Cross-Platform Audience (Print & Online)

Publication

Print

Digital
(web or app)

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

Mar
2018

Mar
2019

Mar
2018

Mar
2019

Mar
2018

Mar
2019

% Change

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

%

Sydney Morning Herald (SMH)

1,051

912

3,801

3,617

4,269

4,043

-5.3%

Herald Sun

1,491

1,269

1,948

2,040

2,982

2,905

-2.6%

Daily Telegraph

1,325

1,232

2,396

1,977

3,301

2,871

-13.0%

The Age

926

782

2,647

2,489

3,102

2,792

-10.0%

The Australian

858

860

1,971

1,857

2,585

2,465

-4.6%

Courier-Mail

948

900

1,338

1,064

2,033

1,750

-13.9%

Australian Financial Review (AFR)

392

360

1,103

1,212

1,404

1,469

4.6%

West Australian

669

681

542

601

1,071

1,095

2.2%



*Total cross-platform audience comprises print which is net readership in an average 7 days and digital which is net website visitation and app usage in an average 7 days.
Total Cross-Platform Audience results available to view here.


Print Newspapers now read by a third of Australians (6.8 million)

Overall nearly 6.8 million Australians read the listed print newspapers, including almost 4.8 million who read weekday issues, over 4 million who read Saturday editions and more than 3.5 million who read Sunday titles. Although print readership has declined year-on-year, the latest figures show 1-in-3 Australians (33 per cent) are reading print newspapers. In today’s digitally-focused world print newspapers continue to be an important advertising medium to reach both mass and niche audiences.

Weekend Newspaper Readership down, Sydney’s Sunday Telegraph is most read


Australia’s best read weekend newspaper is again Sydney’s Sunday Telegraph with an average issue print readership of 780,000 – down 11.2 per cent over the past year – ahead of southern stablemate Melbourne’s Sunday Herald Sun which has a print readership of 682,000 (down 17.3 per cent).

Other major titles to decline included the Saturday Herald Sun down 17 per cent to a readership of 634,000, The Weekend Australian down 2.3 per cent to a readership of 594,000, The Sunday Mail in Queensland down 5.8 per cent to a 583,000 readers and the Saturday Sydney Morning Herald down 14.5 per cent to a readership 541,000.

There were two weekend newspapers to defy the broader industry trends with the Saturday Adelaide Advertiser increasing its readership by 2.2 per cent to 327,000 and the Sunday Times in Western Australia which now has a print readership of 340,000, up by 1.8 per cent from a year ago.

Another strong performer over the past year was Schwartz Media’s The Saturday Paper which increased its readership by 8.3 per cent to 131,000.

Top Weekend Newspapers – Ranked by Print Readership*

Publication

Mar 2018

Mar 2019

% Change

‘000s

‘000s

%

Sunday Telegraph

878

780

-11.2%

Sunday Herald Sun

825

682

-17.3%

Saturday Herald Sun

764

634

-17.0%

The Weekend Australian

608

594

-2.3%

The Sunday Mail (Qld)

619

583

-5.8%

Saturday SMH

633

541

-14.5%

Saturday Age

616

503

-18.3%



*Print readership is average issue readership.

Full Newspaper Readership Results available to view here.

Newspaper Inserted Magazines: Financial Review Magazine readership up

The Financial Review Magazine has had a good year increasing its readership by 1.2 per cent to 406,000. However, although down 13.8 per cent, Good Weekend clearly remains Australia's most widely read newspaper inserted magazine with print readership of 1,006,000.

Real estate focused magazine Domain is the second most widely read newspaper inserted magazine in Australia with an impressive readership of 725,000 in the year to March 2019. 

Stellar magazine is the third most widely read newspaper inserted magazine with a readership of 661,000, down 12.8 per cent on a year ago, and Sunday Life is the fourth most widely read newspaper inserted magazine with a readership of 621,000, down 10.6 per cent.

Several newspaper inserted magazines performed strongly over the past year and lifted their readership including Boss magazine now with a readership of 154,000 (up 2.7 per cent), the STM – Sunday Times Magazine which increased its readership to 238,000 (up 0.4 per cent), Wish which now has a readership of 125,000 (up 1.6 per cent) and the Gold Coast Eye magazine which increased its readership by 22.2 per cent to 33,000.


Top Newspaper Inserted Magazines – Ranked by Print Readership*

Publication

Mar 2018

Mar 2019

% Change

‘000s

‘000s

%

Good Weekend (NSW/Vic)

1,167

1,006

-13.8%

Domain (NSW/Vic)

n/a

725

n/a

Stellar (NSW/Vic)

758

661

-12.9%

Sunday Life (NSW/Vic)

695

621

-10.6%

Weekend Australian Magazine

650

585

-10.0%

Sunday Telegraph TV Guide (NSW)

565

504

-10.8%

Financial Review Magazine

401

406

1.2%



*Print readership is average issue readership.

Full Newspaper Inserted Magazine Readership Results available to view here.


Townsville Bulletin, Hobart Mercury and NT News increase print readership in 2019

North Queensland’s Townsville Bulletin had the most impressive readership growth over the past year of all regional titles with an increase in readership of 26.5 per cent to 43,000. The Hobart Mercury increased weekday readership by 6.1 per cent to 52,000 in the year to March 2019 to become Australia’s equal second most widely read regional weekday masthead behind the Newcastle Herald.

Despite a decline in readership over the past year the Newcastle Herald – which as part of the Australian Community Media regional and community newspapers was recently sold by Nine Entertainment Company to businessman Anthony Catalano for $125 million – remains Australia’s most widely read regional title with a print readership of 56,000 (down 29.1 per cent).

Another bright spot for regional titles was the NT News based in Darwin which increased its readership by 13 per cent to 26,000 in the year to March 2019.

Top Regional Newspapers – Ranked by Print Readership (Monday – Friday)*

Publication

Dec 2017

Dec 2018

% Change

‘000s

‘000s

%

Gold Coast Bulletin

54

56

3.7%

Newcastle Herald

85

56

-34.1%

The Hobart Mercury

48

53

10.4%

Canberra Times

50

44

-12.0%

Townsville Bulletin

32

43

34.4%

Cairns Post

47

43

-8.5%

Geelong Advertiser

45

42

-6.7%



*Print readership is average issue readership.

Full Newspaper Readership Results available to view here.

Total cross-platform readership of Australia’s leading regional titles has declined over the last year. However, despite a decline in its digital audience the Canberra Times remains Australia’s most widely read regional masthead with a total cross-platform audience of 393,000 ahead of the Newcastle Herald with an audience of 216,000 and The Hobart Mercury with an audience of 200,000.

Total Cross-Platform Audience for available regional titles

Publication

Print

Digital
(web or app)

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

Mar
2018

Mar
2019

Mar
2018

Mar
2019

Mar
2018

Mar
2019

% Change

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

%

Canberra Times

99

87

382

338

452

393

-13.1%

Newcastle Herald

168

117

153

114

289

216

-25.3%

The Hobart Mercury

106

106

117

117

205

200

-2.4%

*Total cross-platform audience comprises print which is net readership in an average 7 days and digital which is net website visitation and app usage in an average 7 days.

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan, says the recent sale of Australian Community Media (ACM) to businessman Anthony Catalano for $125 million shows there is still significant value in traditional print readership businesses:

“Over 15.7 million Australians 14+ access newspapers in an average 7 day period either in print, or online via website or app. This represents over three-quarters of all Australians (76.3%) consuming newspaper content led by Australia’s most widely read mastheads.

“Nine Entertainment Company’s decision to sell the regional titles of the former Fairfax Media ACM division will come as no surprise as Nine looks to focus on its core competencies including its digital assets and the leading city dailies including The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

“However, Catalano’s decision to purchase ACM as part of a joint venture with Thorney Investment Group for $125 million shows there is a future for traditional print readership businesses. Catalano is best known for launching the Domain insert magazine which has been a huge success on the back of Australia’s long booming housing markets. The latest Roy Morgan readership figures show Domain is read by an average of 725,000 Australians.

“Other newspapers continue to perform well including Australia’s leading masthead The Sydney Morning Herald, which is read by over 4 million Australians in print or online, while News Corp’s leading titles the Herald Sun and Daily Telegraph are read by just under 3 million.

“Other titles to perform strongly over the past year are led by the national business-focused daily the Australian Financial Review which grew its cross-platform audience by 4.6 per cent to 1,469,000, the West Australian which boosted its digital audience by 10.9% to 601,000 and  Schwarz Media’s The Saturday Paper cross-platform audience by a market leading 16.7 per cent to over a quarter of a million (259,000).”


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