If the latest figures from Roy Morgan Research are anything to go by, Aussies are embracing printed magazines more and more every year, with digital channels proving a useful extension of the print brand.
Not to be compared with the less optimistic results from the recent ABCs, Roy Morgan released the latest Australian Magazine Print Readership and Cross-Platform Audience results for the year to September 2016, which show print magazines reached 12,575,000 Australians (14+), up 2.7 per cent compared with the 12 months to September 2015.
Food & Entertainment was once again the best-performing category overall (with the combined reach of included titles growing 17.1 per cent).
Other categories enjoying an increase in popularity include Sports (up 15.4 per cent), General Interest (up 6.0 per cent), Health & Family (up 5.0 per cent), Business, Financial & Airline (up 4.7 per cent), Music & Movies (up 3.1 per cent), Women’s Fashion (up 1.2 per cent), TV (up 0.7 per cent) and Home & Garden (up 0.2 per cent to 3,157,000)
The rising interest in Food & Entertainment is due in part to the continuing strong growth for both supermarket titles, Coles Magazine (up 31.0 per cent to 3,672,000) and Woolworth’s Fresh (up 25.4 per cent to 3,272,000). However two other Top 20 titles in the category also posted double-digit gains: Taste.com.au Magazine (up 36.7 per cent to 607,000), and Recipes+ (up 13.2 per cent to 421,000).
Not to be outdone, some smaller titles also posted strong gains that reiterated the category’s overall advance, including Selector (up 44.9 per cent to 100,000), Gourmet Traveller Wine (up 20.7 per cent to 105,000) and Delicious (up 5.5 per cent to 364,000).
But what are the top 20 most-read magazines YOY?
There’s been a shake-up in the order of the top 20 most-read magazines since the previous Readership result in June.
Open Road is up to sixth (up 15.5 per cent year-on-year to 1,145,000 per average issue), pipping New Idea (down 4.8 per cent to 1,139,000), while Royal Auto (up 3.8 per cent to 622,000) has moved into 10th ahead of House & Garden (up 2.3 per cent to 612,000).
Australian Geographic rose two spots to 13th (up 23.7 per cent to 569,000); and, with a comparatively small decline, Take 5 (down 7.0 per cent to 535,000) has nevertheless overtaken Super Food Ideas (down 10.2 per cent to 521,000).
The two major magazine publishers battle it out for the top spots in cross-platform readership. Better Homes and Gardens is the most-read paid-for magazine overall with 2,125,000 readers in print or online, ahead of Australian Women’s Weekly with 1,975,000.
Digital has brought new readers to magazine brands. 388,000 read Better Homes and Gardens via digital—70 per cent of whom are additional: people who don’t also read the magazine in print. Four in five digital readers of the Australian Women’s Weekly ’s 411,000 readers via website or app are non-print readers.
Across all magazines measured cross-platform, an average 82 per cent of each title’s digital audiences are expanding on the print readership, including 12 with more than 90 per cent of digital audiences reading exclusively online.
Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan Research, said, “The continued success of both Coles Magazine and Fresh highlights the increasing influence of retailers in the media space.
“In a recent interview, Michael Scott from Myer considered all the ways you can interact with Myer as their “owned-media”. Roy Morgan Research shows marketers how all their different ‘media’ platforms—including magazines, websites, loyalty cards, and even store visitation—combine to deliver an unduplicated “total cross platform” reach.
“When we look at Woolworths and all their assets, the supermarket’s total cross platform reach among shoppers, magazine readers and loyalty subscribers is 14.6 million Australians 14+, just ahead of Coles with 14.4 million—despite the latter’s 400,000 more magazine readers.”