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New Roy Morgan Cross-Platform Audience results show 2020 was a year of growth for Australia’s leading mastheads

Roy Morgan today releases the latest enhanced cross-platform audience results for Australian newspapers and magazines for the 12 months to December 2020 showing strong growth for Australia’s leading newspaper mastheads and across the newspaper sector more broadly.

Roy Morgan today releases the latest enhanced cross-platform audience results for Australian newspapers and magazines for the 12 months to December 2020 showing strong growth for Australia’s leading newspaper mastheads and across the newspaper sector more broadly.

In the year to December 2020 an estimated 19.2 million (91%) Australians aged 14+ read or accessed newspapers or newspaper content in some way – print editions, online via website, app or news platforms including (metropolitan, local and regional titles) in an average four weeks. This represents significant growth of 3% points from the 6 months to June when the total cross-platform audience for newspapers was 18.5 million (88%).

The total cross-platform audiences for newspaper mastheads in the 12 months to December 2020 includes an estimated 16.4 million (78%) reading or accessing metropolitan titles. In addition some 15.4 million (73%) Australians aged 14+ read or accessed a magazine or magazine content.

The 4 week cross-platform audience data measures both Newspaper and Magazine masthead reach across print and digital content by masthead for each Publisher.

These latest findings from Roy Morgan Single Source are available to Publishers, Media Agencies and Brand Advertisers on an on-going basis.

Sydney Morning Herald is Australia’s top masthead – read by over 8.5 million Australians

This 4 week cross-platform audience data now shows the standout performers for Newspapers are Nine Entertainment owned Sydney Morning Herald with a cross-platform audience of over 8.5 million ahead of its Melbourne stablemate The Age with a cross-platform audience of 6 million Australians in an average 4 week period in the 12 months to December 2020.

News Corp’s Daily Telegraph is in third place with a cross-platform audience of over 4.9 million in front of national broadsheet The Australian on 4.8 million and Melbourne counterpart the Herald Sun with a large cross-platform audience of over 4.5 million Australians.

A look at the discrete quarterly figures for the leading mastheads shows strong growth for The Australian which has increased its 4-week cross-platform audience in each quarter this year and by over 500,000 in the December quarter alone. These are the most consistent and largest increases of any masthead.

There were other strong performances in the December quarter by the Sydney Morning Herald, Financial Review, Adelaide Advertiser, Courier Mail and The Saturday Paper – all of which saw audience increases of at least 50,000. In fact The Saturday Paper has had a stellar year and its audience in the December quarter was around 300,000 people larger than in the March quarter – an audience increase of over 50%.

These new ‘digital first’ Enhanced Cross-Platform Audience results are drawn from Roy Morgan Single Source comprising multi-mode interviews with a representative sample of 61,294 Australians aged 14+ and machine based data collected in the 12 months to December 2020.

Are Media’s ‘Now to Love’ online magazine destination is read by over 2.3 million Australians

The results for the 12 months to December 2020 for Magazine Publishers are equally impressive with the 4 week cross-platform audience data showing the Are Media owned ‘Now to Love’ website attracts an audience of 2.3 million Australians in an average 4 week period. Are Media’s ‘Now to Love’ website allows magazine publishers to reach their audience in new ways with innovative online offerings.

Many of Are Media’s magazine brands (including Australian Women’s Weekly, Woman’s Day, TV Week and Take 5) have consolidated their online presence in the ‘Now to Love’ website which is adding incremental reach to already strong print based publications including Woman’s Day, estimated to reach over 1.4 million readers in an average 4 week period, and stablemate Australian Women’s Weekly with an estimated 4 week print reach approaching 1.1 million readers.

There are several other magazines with large cross-platform audiences including News Corp’s Taste.com.au Magazine with a total audience of over 3.1 million, Are Media’s New Idea with almost 2.5 million and Better Home & Gardens with well over 1.9 million readers in an average 4 weeks in the 12 months to December 2020.

Michele Levine, CEO Roy Morgan says the latest 4 week cross-platform audience data shows millions of Australians accessing newspapers and magazines via new media channels and several titles have increased their audiences during pandemic year of 2020:

“Roy Morgan’s ‘digital first’ view of the media landscape shows millions of Australians turned to online channels to access leading Newspaper and Magazine mastheads during 2020.

“The nation-wide lockdown in March and April was followed by a long second lockdown in Victoria and severe restrictions on people’s movement .throughout the year that strengthened the appeal of online news and entertainment sources that can be accessed without the risk of contracting the virus out in the community.

“The new 4 week cross-platform audience results show an estimated 19.2 million Australians aged 14+ (91%) read or accessed newspapers including metropolitan, regional and community titles in an average four weeks in the 12 months to December 2020.

“The metropolitan newspapers have a combined audience of 16.4 million Australians aged 14+ (78%) and Australia’s most widely read masthead the Sydney Morning Herald is read by over 8.5 million in an average four weeks – over 40% of Australia’s population.

“The importance Australians placed on trusted news sources to keep up-to-date with the latest rules and restrictions being implemented to stop the spread of COVID-19 provided Australia’s leading newspaper mastheads with a tremendous boost during 2020. There have been big gains in cross-platform audiences for several leading newspaper mastheads as a result. 

“The biggest winner during the December quarter was the national broadsheet The Australian  which grew its cross-platform audiences by over 500,000 from the September quarter. There was extensive coverage in The Australian of the contentious US Presidential Election in the closing months of 2020 as former President Donald Trump disputed the results throughout November and December.

“There were other strong performances from the Sydney Morning Herald, Financial Review, Courier Mail, and the Perth-based West Australian which all grew their cross-platform audiences in the December quarter.

“In the magazine realm over 2.3 million Australians now visit the ‘Now to Love’ online ‘destination’ which provides a significant boost for popular Are Media titles such as Woman’s Day, Australian Women’s Weekly and the Take 5 weekly and monthly titles.

“The comprehensive 4 week cross-platform audience results create a range of new opportunities for participating Publishers and of course Brand Advertisers. Advertisers and their Media Agencies can now use these latest metrics to better plan campaigns and profile these larger audiences.”

4 Week Newspaper Cross-Platform Audience (12 months to December 2020)

‘Cross-Platform Audience’ is the number of Australians who have read or accessed individual newspaper content via print, web, app or Apple News (and includes Monday – Friday and the weekend editions on Saturday and Sunday).

In line with traditional digital measures all results are 4 week estimates rather than print currency ‘average issue readership’ (AIR). The print currency ‘AIR’ readership estimates for newspapers are available to view in detail on the Roy Morgan website here.

 

Print
(4 weeks)

Digital
(4 weeks)
(incl. Apple News)

Total CPA
(4 weeks)
(incl. Apple News)

Publication

12m to Dec 2020 (000's)

12m to Dec 2020
(000's)

12m to Dec 2020
(000's)

Adelaide Advertiser

864

1,219

1,755

Canberra Times

190

825

978

Courier-Mail

1,474

1,834

2,888

Daily Telegraph

2,312

3,181

4,914

Financial Review

1,172

2,271

3,233

Herald Sun

2,525

2,875

4,581

Mercury

166

310

446

Newcastle Herald

226

313

524

Sunday Times

557

1,675

2,056

Sydney Morning Herald

1,969

7,699

8,502

The Age

1,612

5,185

5,991

The Australian

2,731

2,531

4,784

The Saturday Paper

458

348

781

West Australian

1,158

725

1,612

Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine says 2020 was a year full of important news stories beginning with the devastating bushfires across much of Australia, the COVID-19 global pandemic and over the last few months a contentious US Presidential Election – all these events (and more) combined to drive news audiences to record highs:

“Trusted sources of news received a huge boost during 2020 as Australians turned to familiar and reliable news outlets to keep up-to-date with the latest news on devastating bushfires last summer, the restrictions imposed to stop the spread of COVID-19 and over the last few months a disputed and contentious US Presidentisl Election.

“Millions of Australians accessed News Corp mastheads during 2020 which had a market-leading five mastheads with 4 week cross-platform audiences of well over 1.7 million for each. The leading News Corp mastheads are the Capital City based Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun, Courier-Mail and Adelaide Advertiser and the national broadsheet The Australian. which was read by well over 4.7 million Austrlaians in an average four weeks.

“Digital news channels reach huge audiences of Australians led by News Corp’s leading platform news.com.au which Roy Morgan estimates was visited by over 11 million Australians during the 12 months to December 2020 just ahead of ABC News visited by over 10.1 million.” 

4 Week Magazine Cross-Platform Audience (12 months to December 2020)

Cross-Platform Audience is the number of Australians who have read or accessed magazine content via print, web, app or Apple News.

In line with traditional digital measures all results are 4 week estimates rather than print currency ‘average issue readership’ (AIR). The print currency ‘AIR’ readership estimates for magazines are available to view in detail on the Roy Morgan website here.

Print                   (4 weeks)

Digital
(4 weeks)
(incl. Apple News)

Total CPA
(4 weeks)
(incl. Apple News)

Publication

12m to Dec 2020 (000's)

12m to Dec 2020
(000's)

12m to Dec 2020
(000's)

4X4 Australia

142

762

899

Australian Geographic

399

317

706

Australian Gourmet Traveller

148

343

483

Australian Women's Weekly

1,088

2,349

3,237

Belle

104

523

624

Better Homes & Gardens

1,326

713

1,955

Country Style

179

523

696

Frankie

212

108

315

Healthy Food Guide

154

254

406

Home Beautiful

213

194

404

House & Garden

355

523

868

Inside Out

66

523

587

Marie Claire

215

466

665

Motor

77

767

834

National Geographic

684

820

1,465

New Idea

1,266

1,363

2,492

Open Road

834

119

932

Reader's Digest

373

320

681

Real Living

62

523

583

Royal Auto

500

193

675

Street Machine

157

769

909

Take 5 (weekly)

799

2,325

2,989

Take 5 Bumper Monthly

456

2,325

2,710

Taste.com.au Magazine

447

2,825

3,176

That's Life

822

121

921

The Monthly

100

220

308

Time Magazine

423

564

961

TV Week

620

2,325

2,865

Unique Cars

104

161

262

Vogue

266

409

655

Wheels

146

763

892

Who

358

733

1,074

Woman's Day

1,431

2,355

3,515

Women's Weekly Food

198

581

771

Note 4 Week audience is 4 week readership for 7 day titles, Average Issue Readership is used for monthly &  quarterly titles.

For the record – Roy Morgan Print Readership Results

Roy Morgan provides the industry currency in readership figures and is the most influential survey on newspaper and magazine readership in Australia.

The readership estimates below are ‘average issue readership’ (AIR) over a 12 month period, and represent the number, or %, of Australians who read or look into an average issue of the particular publication.

This provides an estimate of the ‘reach’ an advertiser can expect to achieve with advertising placed in the publication.

These print readership estimates do not include the additional Australians who read the publications in their digital form online, via web, mobile or app.

The total reach – ‘cross-platform’ reach - is greater than the ‘average issue reach’ of a publication as it includes additional readers and covers a 4 week period, rather than an average issue.

Are Media has Australia’s two most widely read paid magazines – Better Homes & Gardens and Australian Women’s Weekly – both with print readerships of well over 1 million

Better Homes & Gardens is Australia’s most widely read paid magazine with an average issue print readership of 1,326,000 in the year to December 2020 and is followed by Australian Women’s Weekly with an average issue print readership of 1,088,000. These two Are Media magazines are clearly the most widely read paid magazines in Australia.

The two leaders are followed by Are Media’s Woman’s Day with an average issue print readership of 722,000, National Geographic on 684,000 and Are Media’s New Idea on 630,000. Performing strongly were That’s Life Mega Monthly which increased average issue print readership by 13.5 per cent to 461,000 and That’s Life which was up 0.8 per cent to 479,000.

Other magazines to perform strongly and increase their average issue print readership include TV Week (+19.7 per cent to 316,000), 4x4 Australia (+12.3 per cent to 146,000) and Money Magazine (+16.1 per cent to 137,000).

Coles Magazine & Fresh most widely read and Bunnings Magazine read by almost 1.3m

Australia's two most widely read free magazines are again Coles Magazine with an average issue print readership in the year to December 2020 of 4,404,000 and Fresh with a readership of 3,903,000.

Bunnings Magazine is the third most widely read free magazine. It has an average issue print readership in the year to December 2020 of 1,268,000, an impressive increase of 6.9 per cent on a year ago as many Australians have indulged in some home renovations making the hardware retailer’s magazine one of only five with an average issue print readership of more than 1 million Australians.

The five most read categories of magazines by average issue print readership

  • Food & Entertainment (6,230,000 Australians, 29.6% of the population);
  • General Interest (3,402,000 Australians, 16.1% of the population);
  • Home & Garden (3,066,000 Australians, 14.6% of the population);
  • Mass Women’s (2,676,000 Australians, 12.7% of the population);
  • Business, Financial & Airline (943,000 Australians, 4.5% of the population).
Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine says an unprecedented year in 2020 has provided huge challenges to traditional publishers but there are still millions of Australians who enjoy reading print magazines as Australia looks forward to a post-COVID return to ‘normality’:

“Australia has handled the COVID-19 pandemic better than most countries and early in 2021 we are now looking forward to a rollout of COVID-19 vaccines beginning in the next few weeks.

“However, it will take until October 2021 for all Australians to be given access to one of the vaccines and this means we can look forward to more disruptions to businesses this year with potential lockdowns and border closures remaining a possibility as Australia looks to keep COVID-19 suppressed.

“The concerns about passing on COVID-19 when meeting in person has meant  digital channels such as Are Media’s ‘Now to Love’ online destination have gained a substantial following during 2020 as a place consumers can go to find their favourite content. The ‘Now to Love’ destination integrates several leading titles under one easy to remember banner and has attracted an average four week audience of over 2.3 million Australians in the 12 months to December 2020.

“Are Media has undisputed strengths in homes, beauty, entertainment and lifestyle categories with an extra focus on being the leading provider of premium content for women and connecting with them on the things they care about. Are Media brings together the impressive suite of magazines formerly owned by Bauer Media and Pacific Magazines.

“Despite the challenges faced by publishers during 2020 with periods of lockdown forcing many non-essential businesses from which magazines are sold to close, there are still many magazines with large average issue print readerships including five magazines with a print readership of over 1 million and nearly a dozen with average issue print readerships of 500,000+ Australians.

“Are Media’s Better Homes & Gardens is Australia’s most widely read paid magazine with an average issue print readership in the year to December 2020 of over 1.3 million and stablemate Australian Women’s Weekly with an average issue print readership of nearly 1.1 million reaches a huge number of Australians each month.

“There have been several magazines to increase their average issue print readership over the last year including TV Week up 19.7 per cent to 316,000, That’s Life up 0.8 per cent to 479,000, That’s Life Mega Monthly up 13.5 per cent to 461,000, Money Magazine up 16.1 per cent to 137,000, 4x4 Australia up 12.3 per cent to 146,000 and Australian Golf Digest up 40.4 per cent to 66,000.”


Visit the Roy Morgan website for further details on Roy Morgan’s latest average issue print readership figures for Magazines: http://www.roymorgan.com/industries/media/readership/magazine-readership.

Roy Morgan’s latest 7 day print readership figures for Newspapers: http://www.roymorgan.com/industries/media/readership/newspaper-readership.

For comments or more information please contact:
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