Print Still Preferred but Online Up, Says EMMA

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The Newspaper Works’ CEO Mark Hollands shares what’s happened in the latest EMMA results.

Angela Cross
Posted by Angela Cross

The newspaper industry transformation to a balance of printed and digital newspapers has been underscored by the first year-on-year data released by EMMA (Enhanced Media Metrics Australia) for the 12 months to June, 2014.

Print is the preferred format for most readers and more than half of all print readers also consume a digital newspaper.

These latest results show newspapers’ total cross-platform audience at 16.4 million people.

Printed newspapers remain the core of the industry. Nine out of 10 newspaper readers consume a printed edition, compared with five out of 10 for the digital formats. There are 14.6 million readers of printed newspapers, almost four out of five (83%) Australians aged 14+.

Print readership declined 4%, according to EMMA, while an 11% increase in digital consumption of newspapers has stabilised overall readership.

EMMA data across only key national, metropolitan and regional papers found: (This figure excludes community newspapers, whose number will be released shortly).

  • Total masthead readership (print, desktop, mobile and tablet and) is stable, increasing 14.3 million to 14.5 million
  • Digital readership is up 11%, from 9.5 million to 10.7 million
  • Print readership is down 4% YOY, from 13.2 million to 12.7 million.

“Overall cross-platform readership is up and several newspaper brands are delivering strong growth and large audiences, which make newspapers a compelling proposition for advertisers,” said The Newspaper Works CEO Mark Hollands.

“Print continues to be central to newspaper reading habits as a trusted source of news and information. The first available year-on-year EMMA data shows what we have been seeing throughout the year, a migration to digital content and slight incremental declines in print.”

The percentage who access newspapers digitally — desktop, tablets, mobiles — continues to climb. Twelve months ago, 55% of the population read a digital newspaper over a four-week period. In the period from July 2013 to June 2014, this increased to 61%.

“On current trends, the number of readers accessing digital newspapers will overtake those reading print copies within the next few years,” said The Newspaper Works research and insights manager, Brian Rock,.

“Consumer demand, especially among older readers, will ensure printed newspapers continue for many years. The small decline in their readership was driven by the under 40s, whose audience size is 4.86 million, or 63% of this demographic.

“Readership in the 55+ segment increased 2% to 4.49 million, or 82% of this demographic.”

The Newspaper Works CEO, Mark Hollands added: “One year on, EMMA has proven that the change in newspaper readership dynamics is real and continuing. Yes, print is in slow decline but not at the rates some would suggest and digital audiences are growing every month. We have demonstrated that EMMA is a legitimate, robust and accurate audience measurement survey.