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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 50,835 Australians aged 14+ in the 12 months to December 2018.

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

Over 15.7 million, or 76.9%, 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 1.3 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 and the Australian Financial Review also increased its digital audience over the last year, up by 1.2 per cent to 1,169,000.

In addition Western Australia’s leading newspaper the West Australian grew its print readership 7.3 per cent to nearly 750,000 and The Saturday  Paper had strong growth across print readership, digital audience and total cross-platform audience.
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.

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 4,135,000, down 2.8 per cent from a year ago. Despite this decrease in audience the SMH increased its lead over Sydney rival the Daily Telegraph which now has a cross-platform audience of 2,989,000, down 13.3 per cent in a year.

Melbourne daily the Herald Sun with a cross-platform audience of 2,984,000 (down 0.6 per cent) has out-pointed local rival The Age with a cross-platform audience of 2,816,000 (down 8 per cent).


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)

Dec
2017

Dec
2018

Dec
2017

Dec
2018

Dec
2017

Dec
2018

% Change

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

%

Sydney Morning Herald (SMH)

1,056

983

3,780

3,667

4,255

4,135

-2.8%

Daily Telegraph

1,334

1,285

2512

2,091

3,446

2,989

-13.3%

Herald Sun

1,542

1,342

1,936

2,032

3,002

2,984

-0.6%

The Age

945

817

2,603

2,458

3,061

2,816

-8.0%

The Australian

888

862

1,899

1,866

2,550

2,480

-2.8%

Courier-Mail

971

894

1,312

1,095

2,022

1,779

-12.0%

Australian Financial Review (AFR)

386

364

1,155

1,169

1,453

1,439

-1.0%

West Australian 697 748   598 557   1,117 1,060  -5.1%

*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 read by over a third of Australians (7 million)

Overall nearly 7 million Australians read the listed print newspapers, including almost 5 million who read weekday issues, over 4.1 million who read Saturday editions and more than 3.7 million who read Sunday titles. Although print readership has declined year-on-year, the latest figures show more than 1-in-3 Australians (34.1 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, Sunday Telegraph is most read

Australia’s best read weekend newspaper is again Sydney’s Sunday Telegraph with an average issue print readership of 826,000 – down 6 per cent over the past year – ahead of southern stablemate Melbourne’s Sunday Herald Sun which has a print readership of 737,000 (down 12.7 per cent).

Other major titles to decline included the Saturday Herald Sun down 15 per cent to a readership of 667,000, The Weekend Australian down 6.2 per cent to a readership of 590,000, the Saturday Sydney Morning Herald down 5.2 per cent to 588,000 readers and the Sunday Mail in Queensland down 9.4 per cent to a readership of 586,000.

Defying the trend of many of its peers was The Saturday Daily Telegraph in Sydney which increased its readership by 1 per cent to 529,000 and was Australia’s seventh most widely read weekend newspaper, up from eighth in the year to September 2018.

Another strong performer over the past year was Schwartz Media’s The Saturday Paper which increased its readership by 3.2 per cent to 119,000.

Top Weekend Newspapers – Ranked by Print Readership*

Publication

Dec 2017

Dec 2018

% Change

‘000s

‘000s

%

Sunday Telegraph

879

826

-6.0%

Sunday Herald Sun

844

737

-12.7%

Saturday Herald Sun

785

667

-15.0%

The Weekend Australian

648

590

-6.2%

Saturday SMH

654

588

-5.2%

The Sunday Mail (Qld)

647

586

-9.4%

Saturday Daily Telegraph

524

529

1.0%


*Print readership is average issue readership.

Full Newspaper Readership Results available to view here.

Newspaper Inserted Magazines: Domain readership hits 800,000

Real estate focused magazine Domain is the second most widely read newspaper inserted magazine in Australia with a readership of 800,000 in the year to December 2018. However, although down 12.8 per cent, Good Weekend remains Australia's most widely read newspaper inserted magazine with print readership of 1,045,000.

Stellar magazine is the third most widely read newspaper inserted magazine with a readership of 715,000 in the year to December 2018, down 4.5 per cent on a year ago, and Sunday Life is the fourth most widely read newspaper inserted magazine with a readership of 679,000, down 3.3 per cent.

Several newspaper inserted magazines performed strongly over the past year and lifted their readership including the Financial Review Magazine which increased its readership 0.5 per cent to 408,000, stablemate Boss magazine now with a readership of 153,000 (up 13.3 per cent) and the Gold Coast Eye magazine which increased its readership by 21.4 per cent to 34,000.

Top Newspaper Inserted Magazines – Ranked by Print Readership*

Publication

Dec 2017

Dec 2018

% Change

‘000s

‘000s

%

Good Weekend (NSW/Vic)

1,199

1,045

-12.8%

Domain (NSW/Vic)

n/a

800

n/a

Stellar (NSW/Vic)

749

715

-4.5%

Sunday Life (NSW/Vic)

702

679

-3.3%

Weekend Australian Magazine

683

597

-12.6%

Sunday Telegraph TV Guide (NSW)

593

524

-11.6%

Sunday Herald Sun TV Guide (Vic)

507

427

-15.8%

Financial Review Magazine

406

408

0.5%


*Print readership is average issue readership.

Full Newspaper Inserted Magazine Readership Results available to view here.


Gold Coast Bulletin, Hobart Mercury & Townsville Bulletin increase readership

The Gold Coast Bulletin increased weekday readership by 3.7 per cent to 56,000 in the year to December 2018 to become Australia’s leading regional weekday masthead alongside the Newcastle Herald.

The Hobart Mercury and Townsville Bulletin were other leading regional titles to lift their readership over the past year. The Hobart Mercury increased weekday readership by 10.4 per cent to 53,000 and the readership of the Townsville Bulletin increased a substantial 34.4 per cent to 43,000.

However, despite a significant decline in readership, the Newcastle Herald remains level with the Gold Coast Bulletin as Australia’s most widely read weekday masthead with a readership of 56,000 in the year to December 2018 down 34.1 per cent on a year ago.


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 433,000 ahead of the Newcastle Herald with an audience of 209,000.

Total Cross-Platform Audience for available regional titles

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

%

Canberra Times

106

90

398

375

476

433

-9.1%

Newcastle Herald

176

120

156

100

292

209

-28.4%

The Hobart Mercury

106

108

126

107

212

193

-9.1%



*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 15.7 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 (76.9%) consuming newspaper content led by Australia’s most widely read mastheads.

“The Sydney Morning Herald is again Australia’s leading masthead with a total cross-platform audience of over 4.1 million while News Corp’s leading titles the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun both have total cross-platform audiences of just under 3 million.

“The Herald Sun was one of the star performers over the last year increasing its digital audience by 5 per cent to over 2 million. Joining the Victorian daily was national business-focused daily the Australian Financial Review which grew its digital audience by 1.2 per cent to 1,169,000.

“Property prices are front and centre in 2019 as market watchers are keen to know whether the declines in Sydney and Melbourne during 2018 will continue and the real estate focused Domain is well placed to take advantage of the interest now with a readership of 800,000 centred on Australia’s two largest cities. Domain is second only to Good Weekend’s readership of 1,045,000 for newspaper inserted magazines in the 12 months to December 2018.

“Other titles to perform strongly in 2018 were the West Australian which boosted its print readership for its weekday edition by 7.3 per cent to nearly 750,000 and Schwartz Media’s The Saturday Paper which grew its print readership and digital audience in 2018.”



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