the Sydney Morning Herald remains the most read newspaper across both print and digital, according to the latest Enhanced Media Metrics Australia figures, but it’s not all sunshine and roses for the print side of the business.
The data shows that the SMH finished 2015 with Australia’s largest cross platform readership, reaching 4.9 million readers. The Daily Telegraph followed with 4 million readers and the Herald Sun with 3.9 million.
However, that doesn’t mean it’s all good news for newspapers, with print numbers dropping compared to the previous year, while mobile continues to climb, snagging readers along the way.
The Daily Telegraph, published by News Corp, saw total readership across all platforms of 3.98 million, dropping by 2.3 per cent, while the The Sydney Morning Herald’s audience was down by 5.6 per cent to 4.86 million, per the emma stats.
The Australian’s audience of 2.83 million dipped 4.3 per cent, but still stayed almost twice the size of Fairfax Media’s The Australian Financial Review, where its monthly audience is running at 1.45 million, down 1.4 per cent.
However, News Corp’s The Advertiser, Mercury, NT News and The Sunday Times turned things around and bucked the declining trend, recording overall audience gains for the period.
Readership of media on mobile devices, nevertheless, continues to be the real hero in the future of newspaper content, gaining 16 per cent more readers, taking the number to 3.6 million.
Accessing news and information on smartphones is emerging as a clear favourite among Aussies and is growing at a faster pace than other digital platforms, however the PCs and laptops of the nation are still proving the most popular mode to read news media, with 9.4 million fans subscribing to this trend.
Readership of news media on tablets hovers around the three million mark.
Readership of news media across digital platforms remains steady at 11.4 million, or 63 per cent of the population, but according to the emma figures, it’s the old print medium that is still the preferred medium for news media readers, at 77 per cent of the population.
“The emma data shows that readers are accessing their news content from a range of platforms depending when, where and how they like it,” The Newspaper Works CEO Mark Hollands said.
Still championing the value of print, Hollands added, “The early commitment by Australians news media publishers to continuous innovation and evolution of their brands across all platforms has paid off and the emma data demonstrates that news media audiences are both large and engaged, providing a valuable target for advertisers”.