Back To Listing

Almost 3 million New Zealanders read newspapers and nearly 1.8 million read magazines in 2021

Roy Morgan readership results for New Zealand’s print newspapers and magazines for the 12 months to June 2021.
Roy Morgan readership results for New Zealand’s print newspapers and magazines for the 12 months to June 2021.

2.96 million, or 71.7%, of New Zealanders aged 14+ now read or access newspapers in an average 7-day period via print or online (website or app) platforms. In addition, almost 1.8 million New Zealanders aged 14+ (42.5%) read magazines whether in print or online either via the web or an app.

These are the latest findings from the Roy Morgan New Zealand Single Source survey of 6,609 New Zealanders aged 14+ over the 12 months to June 2021.

Cross-platform audience for New Zealand Herald holds steady above 1.8 million people

The standout performer during the pandemic at a masthead level has clearly been New Zealand’s most widely read publication the New Zealand Herald. The Herald had a total cross-platform audience of 1,844,000 in the 12 months to June 2021, unchanged on a year ago.

Stuff.co.nz retains the position as New Zealand’s leading news website for those on the lookout for the latest news on COVID-19 and what is going on in the country, bringing together leading newspapers the Dominion Post, The Press and Sunday Star-Times, and magazines such as the TV Guide and NZ Gardener. The total digital audience for Stuff in an average 7 days is nearly 1.72 million New Zealanders, well ahead of main rival NZHerald.co.nz on 1.56 million.

Two of the top ten titles grew their total cross-platform audience over the past year - the Otago Daily Times, which was up an impressive 32,000 (+12.7%) to an audience of 285,000 and the Taranaki Daily News, up 14,000 (+11.6%) to an audience of 132,000.

Filling out the top ten are the Sunday Star-Times in fifth place with 230,000 readers ahead of the Waikato Times on 184,000, Hawke’s Bay Today on 151,000, Bay of Plenty Times on 146,000 and the Northern Advocate on 121,000.

Despite the challenges of the past year Stuff’s newspapers have recorded a promising 2021 so far with six growing their total cross-platform audiences over the past year and an even more impressive nine growing their cross-platform audiences so far in 2021.

The nine Stuff newspapers which grew their total cross-platform audiences in the year to June 2021 compared to the year to December 2020 included the Dominion Post in Wellington, The Press, Sunday Star-Times, Taranaki Daily News, Southland Times, Manawatu Standard, Nelson Mail, Sunday News and the Timaru Herald.

Top 10 Newspapers – Total 7 Day Cross-Platform Audience (Print & Online)

Publication

Print

Digital
(web or app)

Total 7 Day Cross-Platform Audience* (print, web or app)

June
2020

June
2021

June
2020

June
2021

June
2020

June
2021

% Change

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

%

New Zealand Herald

674

584

1,537

1,598

1,844

1,844

0.0%

Dominion Post

245

224

282

276

432

428

-1.1%

The Press

185

161

195

192

314

293

-6.7%

Otago Daily Times

111

105

194

225

253

285

12.7%

Sunday Star-Times

217

177

69

62

273

230

-15.7%

Waikato Times

104

75

138

125

214

184

-14.3%

Hawke’s Bay Today

92

70

115

97

177

151

-14.6%

Bay of Plenty Times

73

62

112

101

155

146

-6.2%

Taranaki Daily News

52

65

91

91

118

132

11.6%

Northern Advocate

71

63

70

72

129

121

-6.0%

Full Newspaper Readership Results available to view here.
*Cross-Platform Audience is the number of New Zealanders who have read or accessed individual newspaper content via print or online. Print is net readership in an average 7 days. Online is net readership online in an average 7 days.

New Zealand Listener relaunches and increases their readership during the COVID-19 pandemic

The weekly New Zealand Listener was temporarily suspended from publication during 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic caused a sharp drop in advertising revenue early in the year. Later in the year New Zealand Listener was relaunched and has experienced impressive growth in the year to June 2021, up by 13,000 to an average issue readership of 213,000.

However, despite the improvement for the second-placed New Zealand Listener, New Zealand’s most widely read magazine is easily the driving magazine AA Directions which had an average issue readership of 364,000 during the year to June 2021.

Other widely read magazines included TV Guide with a readership of 171,000, Australian Women’s Weekly (NZ Edition) on 147,000, NZ Woman’s Day on 143,000, NZ House & Garden on 105,000, NZ Woman’s Weekly on 101,000, NZ Gardener on 98,000 and Cuisine & Habitat both on 84,000.

The two fishing magazines grew their readership over the past year with Fish and Game NZ, up 11,000 to a readership of 52,000 and NZ Fishing Magazines, up 16,000 to a readership of 37,000. NZ Outdoor Hunting was another winner over the past year with readership up 1,000 to 34,000.

There was also growth in the readership of several magazines in the home improvement and decorating categories including Home NZ which increased its readership by 4,000 to 49,000, Kiwi Gardener with readership up 14,000 to 43,000, Homestyle NZ with readership up 16,000 to 34,000 and Houses NZ with readership up by 4,000 to 32,000.

Several Are Media magazines including New Zealand Listener, Australian Women’s Weekly (NZ Edition), NZ Woman’s Day and NZ Woman’s Weekly were temporarily suspended from publication in the June and September 2020 quarters due to the New Zealand lockdown. The figures for these magazines show average readership for the available quarters.

New Zealand’s Top 10 Magazines by Average Issue Print Readership

Publication

June 2020

June 2021

% Reach Change

‘000s

‘000s

%

AA Directions*

416

364

-1.6%

**New Zealand Listener*

200

213

0.2%

TV Guide*

182

171

-0.4%

**Australian Women’s Weekly
(NZ Edition)*

181

147

-0.9%

**NZ Woman’s Day*

212

143

-1.8%

NZ House & Garden*

114

105

-0.3%

**NZ Woman’s Weekly*

158

101

-1.4%

NZ Gardener*

108

98

-0.3%

Cuisine

126

84

-1.2%

Habitat*

92

84

-0.3%

Full Readership Results for over 90 New Zealand Magazines available to view here.
*Roy Morgan has measured additional readership for this magazine via Cross-Platform Audiences – see next section. **Note: Are Media magazines were temporarily suspended during the June and September 2020 quarters. Results for these magazines have been suppressed for the impacted quarters, average issue readership is allocated instead.

New Zealand Listener leads cross-platform* audience growth – up over 6% on a year ago

Of the top ten magazines the ‘re-booted’ New Zealand Listener had the biggest cross-platform audience growth over the past year, up by 16,000 (+6.9%) to 243,000 in the 12 months to June 2021.

Dish also grew its total cross-platform audience over the last year, up 2,000 (+1.0%) to 147,000, to be the eighth most widely read magazine.

However, motoring magazine AA Directions is still easily New Zealand’s most widely read magazine with a market-leading total cross-platform audience of 447,000 – over 200,000 ahead of any other magazine.

Other leading magazines with strong cross-platform audiences include TV Guide on 195,000, NZ Woman’s Day on 193,000, Australian Women’s Weekly (NZ Edition) on 187,000, NZ Woman’s Weekly on 155,000, Mindfood on 149,000, NZ House & Garden on 146,000 and NZ Gardener on 140,000.

A majority of seven out of the top ten magazines grew their digital audience over the past year during the pandemic including AA Directions, up 14,000 to 166,000, Dish, up 17,000 to 95,000, Mindfood, up 14,000 to 93,000, NZ House & Garden, up 13,000 to 68,000, NZ Gardener, up 4,000 to 64,000 New Zealand Listener, up 4,000 to 63,000 and Australian Women’s Weekly (NZ Edition), up 7,000 to 59,000.

Top 10 Magazines – Total Cross-Platform Audience (Print & Online)

Publication

Print

Digital
(web or app)

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

June
2020

June
2021

June
2020

June
2021

June
2020

June
2021

% Change

‘000

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

%

AA Directions

416

364

152

166

481

447

-7.0%

**New Zealand Listener

200

213

59

63

227

243

6.9%

TV Guide

182

171

63

59

219

195

-10.8%

**NZ Woman’s Day/ Now to Love

212

143

103

73

283

193

-31.9%

**Australian Women’s Weekly (NZ Edition)

181

147

52

59

219

187

-14.6%

**NZ Woman’s Weekly/ Now to Love

158

101

103

73

237

155

-34.5%

Mindfood

108

76

79

93

166

149

-10.3%

Dish

87

79

78

95

145

147

1.0%

NZ House & Garden

114

105

55

68

154

146

-5.4%

NZ Gardener

108

98

60

64

150

140

-6.6%

Full Newspaper Readership Results available to view here.
*Cross-platform audience is the number of New Zealanders who have read or accessed individual magazine content via print or online. Print is average issue readership. Digital is average website visitation and app usage (if available) in last 7 days for weekly titles (National Business Review, New Idea, NZ Listener, NZ Woman's Day, NZ Woman's Weekly, Property Press, That's Life, Time, TV Guide) and last 4 weeks for all other non-weekly titles.

**Note: Are Media magazines were temporarily suspended during the June and September 2020 quarters. Results for some of these magazines have been suppressed for the latest quarter, average issue readership is allocated instead.

Canvas and Viva grow their readership over the last year

The Weekend New Zealand Herald newspaper inserted magazine Canvas (North Island) is again the most widely read with an average issue readership of 253,000, up 4,000 on a year ago. Also increasing its readership was Viva (North Island) with a readership of 166,000, an increase of 20,000 on a year ago.

Despite a fall in readership, Sunday is the second most widely read magazine in the category with a readership of 174,000.

Behind the three market leaders are Weekend (North Island) on 161,000, Your Weekend on 140,000 and Bite (North Island) on 124,000.

New Zealand’s Leading Newspaper Inserted Magazines by Print Readership

Publication

Jun 2020

Jun 2021

% Reach Change

‘000s

‘000s

%

Canvas (North Island)

249

253

-0.1%

Sunday

195

174

-0.7%

Viva (North Island)

146

166

0.3%

Weekend (North Island)

180

161

-0.6%

Your Weekend

151

140

-0.4%

Bite (North Island)

171

124

-1.3%

Full Readership Results for over 60 New Zealand Magazines available to view here.

Michele Levine, Chief Executive Officer, Roy Morgan, says:

“The latest Roy Morgan readership figures for New Zealand covering the year to June 2021 show nearly 3 million New Zealanders (71.7% of the population aged 14+) now read or access newspapers in an average 7-day period via print or online (website or app).

“The standout performer is again the New Zealand Herald with a total cross-platform audience of over 1.84 million, unchanged on a year ago. The New Zealand Herald is read by over four times as many people as any other newspaper.

“Leading newspapers to grow their cross-platform audiences over the last year, despite all the disruptions to normal life caused by COVID-19, were the Otago Daily Times, up 12.7% to 285,000, Taranaki Daily News, up 11.6% to 132,000 and Southland Times, up 14.8% to 116,000.

“However, in the purely digital realm Stuff holds the advantage. Over 1.71 million New Zealanders access the Stuff platform in an average 7 days. The Stuff group of newspapers brings together ten of the country’s leading newspapers such as the Dominion Post, The Press, Sunday Star-Times and the Waikato Times through their news portal Stuff.co.nz.

“In the latest figures nine out of Stuff’s ten newspapers grew their total cross-platform audiences in the year to June 2021 compared to the figures for the year to December 2020. Those newspapers to grow their audiences included the Dominion Post in Wellington, The Press, the Sunday Star-Times, Taranaki Daily News, Southland Times and the Manawatu Standard.

“New Zealand’s magazines have faced a similarly challenging period over the past 18 months since the pandemic began with intermittent lockdowns disrupting the normal course of activities and the latest lockdown centred on Auckland now extending for over a month to deal with the highly contagious Delta variant. There were several magazines that suspended their publishing during periods of the pandemic, especially in the period from April 2020 to September 2020.

“Despite these challenges the audiences for New Zealand’s magazines are holding steady and in the year to June 2021 nearly 1.8 million New Zealanders (42.5% of the population aged 14+) read magazines whether in print or online either via the web or an app.

“Magazines to grow their digital audiences over the past year include the relaunched New Zealand Listener, Dish, Fish & Game NZ, Kiwi Gardener and the National Business Review. There were also several magazines to grow their print readership led by New Zealand Listener, Fish & Game NZ¸ NZ Fishing News, NZ Outdoor Hunting, Home NZ, Kiwi Gardener and Homestyle NZ.”

Download our latest profiles of New Zealanders who read different Newspapers or Magazines.

For comments or more information please contact:
Roy Morgan - Enquiries
Office: +61 (03) 9224 5309
askroymorgan@roymorgan.com


About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate

40%-60%

25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%

1,000

±3.0

±2.7

±1.9

±1.3

5,000

±1.4

±1.2

±0.8

±0.6

7,500

±1.1

±1.0

±0.7

±0.5

10,000

±1.0

±0.9

±0.6

±0.4

20,000

±0.7

±0.6

±0.4

±0.3

50,000

±0.4

±0.4

±0.3

±0.2