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Cross-platform audience of Australian newspapers up 2.4% in a year

These are the latest findings from the Roy Morgan Single Source survey of 50,377 Australians aged 14+ in the 12 months to September 2018.

Roy Morgan today releases the latest readership results for Australian newspapers for the 12 months to September 2018.

Over 15.9 million, or 78.2%, of Australians aged 14+ now read or access newspapers in an average 7 day period via print or online (website or app) platforms, an increase of 2.4 per cent from a year ago.

Four of Australia’s leading mastheads have grown their cross-platform audiences, with national mastheads The Australian and Australian Financial Review (AFR) and leading Fairfax mastheads the Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne’s The Age  all growing their cross-platform audiences over the past year.

These are the latest findings from the Roy Morgan Single Source survey of 50,377 Australians aged 14+ in the 12 months to September 2018.

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 4,222,000, up 4.5 per cent from a year ago. This increases its lead over Sydney rival the Daily Telegraph which has a cross-platform audience of 3,073,000, down 7.7 per cent in a year.

Melbourne daily the Herald Sun with a cross-platform audience of 2,985,000 (down 1 per cent) has out-pointed local rival The Age with a cross-platform audience of 2,913,000 (up 2.5 per cent).

Both of Australia’s leading national mastheads grew their cross-platform audiences over the past year. The Australian’s cross-platform audience grew by 6.4 per cent to 2,503,000 while the business-focused Australian Financial Review’s cross-platform audience was up 5.6 per cent to 1,366,000.


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)

Sep
2017

Sep
2018

Sep
2017

Sep
2018

Sep
2017

Sep
2018

% Change

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

%

Sydney Morning Herald (SMH)

1,104

1,007

3,527

3,707

4,040

4,222

4.5%

Daily Telegraph

1,380

1,300

2,332

2,122

3,330

3,073

-7.7%

Herald Sun

1,572

1,395

1,927

2,006

3,015

2,985

-1.0%

The Age

949

853

2,405

2,519

2,842

2,913

2.5%

The Australian

913

843

1,659

1,903

2,352

2,503

6.4%

Courier-Mail

982

908

1,260

1,126

1,961

1,825

-6.9%

Australian Financial Review (AFR)

403

358

975

1,091

1,293

1,366

5.6%


*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 Readership

Overall 7.1 million Australians read the listed print newspapers, including over 5 million who read weekday issues, more than 4.2 million who read Saturday editions and nearly 3.8 million who read Sunday titles. Although print readership has declined year-on-year, the latest figures show more than 1-in-3 Australians (34.8 per cent) are reading print newspapers. In today’s digitally-focused world they continue to be an important advertising medium to reach both mass and niche audiences.


Weekend Newspaper Readership down, but Saturday Daily Telegraph is up

Australia’s best read weekend newspaper is again Sydney’s Sunday Telegraph with an average issue print readership of 837,000 – down 6.3 per cent over the past year – ahead of southern stablemate Melbourne’s Sunday Herald Sun which has a print readership of 764,000 (down 12.6 per cent).

Other major titles that declined include the Saturday Herald Sun down 10.3 per cent to a readership of 708,000, the Saturday Sydney Morning Herald down 6.9 per cent to 606,000 readers, the Sunday Mail in Queensland down 7.8 per cent to a readership of 603,000 and the Saturday Age which was down 14.4 per cent to 553,000 readers.

The Saturday Daily Telegraph managed to defy the overall trend by increasing its readership by 4.4 per cent to 543,000 and was Australia’s eighth most widely read weekend newspaper.

Readership of national broadsheet The Weekend Australian was down 8.9 per cent to 585,000 while Schwarz Media’s The Saturday Paper’s readership was virtually unchanged at 120,000.

Top Weekend Newspapers – Ranked by Print Readership*

Publication

Sep 2017

Sep 2018

% Change

‘000s

‘000s

%

Sunday Telegraph

893

837

-6.3%

Sunday Herald Sun

874

764

-12.6%

Saturday Herald Sun

789

708

-10.3%

Saturday SMH

648

606

-6.9%

The Sunday Mail (Qld)

654

603

-7.8%

The Weekend Australian

642

585

-8.9%

Saturday Age

646

553

-14.4%

Saturday Daily Telegraph

520

543

4.4%


*Print readership is average issue readership.

Full Newspaper Readership Results available to view here.

Newspaper Inserted Magazines: Domain second most read inserted magazine

Real estate focused magazine Domain is the second most widely read newspaper inserted magazine in Australia with a readership of 792,000 in the year to September 2018. However, although down 12.4 per cent, Good Weekend remains Australia's most widely read newspaper inserted magazine with print readership of 1,103,000.

The decision to pull Stellar magazine out of the Queensland market earlier this year has clearly cost the title a significant level of readership although the title is still the third most widely read newspaper inserted magazine read by 741,000 in the year to September 2018, down 27.6 per cent.Readership In NSW/Vic is down by only 0.1 per cent year on year from 742,000 in the year to September 2017 to 741,000 in the year to September 2018.

Several magazines performed strongly over the past year and lifted their readership including the Financial Review Magazine which increased its readership 2.5 per cent to 405,000, stablemate Boss magazine now with a readership of 150,000 (up 27.1 per cent) and monthly Wish magazine in The Weekend Australian up 0.8 per cent to 132,000.

Top Newspaper Inserted Magazines – Ranked by Print Readership*

Publication

Sep 2017

Sep 2018

% Change

‘000s

‘000s

%

Good Weekend (NSW/Vic)

1,259

1,103

-12.4%

Domain (NSW/Vic)

n/a

792

n/a

Stellar (NSW/Vic)

742

741

-0.1%

Sunday Life (NSW/Vic)

747

679

-9.1%

Weekend Australian Magazine

712

608

-14.6%

Sunday Telegraph TV Guide (NSW)

609

535

-12.2%

Sunday Herald Sun TV Guide (Vic)

514

460

-10.5%

Financial Review Magazine

395

405

2.5%



*Print readership is average issue readership.

Full Newspaper Inserted Magazine Readership Results available to view here.


Regional newspapers lose readership over the year

The Hobart Mercury and Canberra Times were among a number of regional titles to lift their readership in the year to September 2018. The Hobart Mercury increased weekday readership 2 per cent to 52,000 and the readership of the Canberra Times was up 2.1 per cent to 49,000.
Despite a decline the Newcastle Herald remains Australia's leading regional weekday masthead down 20.5 per cent to 62,000 ahead of the Gold Coast Bulletin down 3.5 per cent to 55,000 over the past year.

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

Publication

Sep 2017

Sep 2018

% Change

‘000s

‘000s

%

Newcastle Herald

78

62

-20.5%

Gold Coast Bulletin

57

55

-3.5%

The Hobart Mercury

51

52

2.0%

Canberra Times

48

49

2.1%

Cairns Post

51

47

-7.8%

Geelong Advertiser

49

44

-10.2%


*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. 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 449,000. The Hobart Mercury increased its digital audience over the last year but its total cross-platform audience was down slightly to 202,000.


Total Cross-Platform Audience for available regional titles

Publication

Print

Digital
(web or app)

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

Sep
2017

Sep
2018

Sep
2017

Sep
2018

Sep
2017

Sep
2018

% Change

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

%

Canberra Times

101

99

438

382

512

449

-12.3%

Newcastle Herald

165

128

130

116

270

222

-17.8%

The Hobart Mercury

96

106

111

118

206

202

-1.9%


*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:

“Over 15.9 million Australians 14+ access newspapers in an average 7 day period either in print, or online via website or app. This represents an extra 350,000 Australians now consuming newspaper content via one format or another compared to a year ago, an increase of 2.4per cent in total cross-platform audience size.

“The Sydney Morning Herald is Australia’s leading masthead with a total audience of over 4.2 million and southern stablemate The Age attracts an audience of over 2.9 million. The cross-platform audience of both titles increased over the last year with the Sydney Morning Herald up by 4.5 per cent and The Age up by 2.5 per cent.

“Other leading titles to increase their cross-platform audience included the national masthead The Australian which was up a strong 6.4 per cent to to an audience of over 2.5 million and Australia’s top business-focused publication The Australian Financial Review (AFR) which now attracts a highly valuable audience of almost 1.4 million (up 5.6 per cent).

“Other titles to perform strongly include News Corp titles the Daily Telegraph with a cross-platform audience of over 3 million – and second only to the Sydney Morning Herald, Melbourne’s Herald Sun with a cross-platform audience of just under 3 million and the Courier-Mail with an audience of over 1.8 million and Australia’s sixth most widely read newspaper.”


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