A total of 15,007,000 Australians aged 14-plus (74.3 per cent) read magazines whether in print or online either via the web or an app, down 0.3 per cent, or 45,000, from a year ago according to the results released today from the Roy Morgan Australian Readership report for the 12 months to March 2018.
Readership of print magazines was just under 12.6 million Australians aged 14-plus (62.3 per cent), virtually unchanged from a year ago.
Top 15 Magazines: Print Readership
Australia’s two most widely read magazines grew their print readership strongly over the past year with Coles Magazine readership up 15.4 per cent and Fresh increasing by 19.2 per cent – both free magazines. Better Homes & Gardens, Women’s Weekly and Woman’s Day remain the top three most widely read paid magazines.
Other leading magazines to increase their print readership included National Geographic (+1.3 per cent), Royal Auto (+9 per cent), Road Ahead (+5.8 per cent) and just outside the Top 15 both Gardening Australia (+13.6 per cent) and Super Food Ideas (+1.5 per cent).
The five most read categories of magazines
- Food & Entertainment (6,507,000 Australians, 32.2 per cent of the population);
- General Interest (4,505,000 Australians, 22.3 per cent of the population);
- Mass Women’s (3,293,000 Australians, 16.3 per cent of the population);
- Home & Garden (2,934,000 Australians, 14.5 per cent of the population);
- Business, Financial & Airline (1,648,000 Australians, 8.2 per cent of the population).
Food & Entertainment magazines grow strongly
Food and entertainment is now Australia’s best performing magazine category and is now read by 6,507,000 Australians, or 32.2 per cent of the population, up 11.3 per cent in the year to March 2018. Over the last year more than half of the 11 magazines in this category increased their readership.
This category is dominated by the free supermarket titles both of which saw exceptional year-on-year growth – Coles Magazine with readership of 4,367,000 (up 15.4 per cent) and Woolworth’s Fresh now read by over four million Australians for the first time with a readership of 4,054,000 (up 19.2 per cent).
Other titles to perform well over the past year include Selector which increased 27.9 per cent to 87,000 readers and Super Food Ideas up 1.5 per cent to 467,000 readers.
Readership of Coles Magazine & Woolworth’s Fresh by quarter
General Interest magazines have broad appeal
Some 4,505,000 Australians, or 22.3 per cent of the population, read at least one of the general interest magazine titles. The category leading title National Geographic has a readership of 1,096,000 (up 1.3 per cent).
Other strongly performing magazines in the category include motoring magazines Royal Auto (Vic) read by 690,000 (up nine per cent), Road Ahead (Qld) up 5.8 per cent to 617,000 and Horizons (WA) which increased a stunning 44.4 per cent year-on-year to 205,000 readers.
Mass Women’s magazines third most widely read magazine category
Although the readership of mass women’s magazines has decreased year (down 5.4 per cent from a year ago) a very impressive 3,293,000 Australians, equal to 16.3 per cent of the population, read these titles.
Women’s Weekly remains the category leader and member of the ‘million plus readers club’ with a readership of 1,481,000 ahead of Woman’s Day on 1,290,000 and New Idea on 1,052,000. That’s Life on 632,000 and Take 5 on 498,000 maintain significant readerships.
The recent decision by Bauer Media to publish a monthly edition of Take 5 magazine – in addition to its weekly is a new strategy that marketers, advertisers and Roy Morgan, will be watching closely to see how it impacts upon the Take 5 weekly edition readership.
Home Design and Gardening Australia grow strongly
The fourth most popular category of magazines remains home and garden publications, despite a drop of 2.7 per cent in the last 12 months. Almost three million (2,934,000) Australians now read at least one magazine in this category.
Several magazines performed strongly over the year led by Gardening Australia increasing its readership by 13.6 per cent to 451,000 and Home Design up 36.0 per cent to 102,000. Other home and garden magazines which grew their readership include Country Style up three per cent to 275,000, Handyman up 3.8 per cent to 193,000, Vogue Living up 6.3 per cent to 118,000 and Inside Out up 4.0 per cent to 130,000.
Better Homes and Gardens maintains its dominant position in the category with a readership of 1,701,000 (down five per cent).
Business, Financial & Airline magazines Virgin Australia Voyeur and The Monthly up
The business, financial and airline magazines readership trend was down 7.8 per cent to 1,648,000. Two magazines went against the trend with Virgin Australia Voyeur up 2.3 per cent to a readership of 222,000 and The Monthly which was up 1.3 per cent to a readership of 158,000.
Qantas Magazine remains the lead title in the category with readership of 399,000 (down 10.1 per cent) ahead of New Scientist on 356,000 (down 12.3 per cent) and Time magazine on 331,000 (down 2.6 per cent).
Other magazine titles to perform strongly included health and family focused magazine Wellbeing up 54.4 per cent to a readership of 122,000, automotive magazines Wheels up 24.6 per cent to 299,000 readers, Street Machine up 11.3 per cent 257,000 readers and NW up 18.4 per cent to 180,000.
Women’s Fashion and Men’s Lifestyle Magazines are growing their audiences
Women’s fashion and men’s lifestyle magazines are two of the four magazine categories to grow their audience in the 12 months to March 2018. The two gender oriented categories join the two most widely read magazine categories of food and entertainment and general Interest magazines.
Women’s fashion magazines have experienced category growth of 2.6 per cent over the past year to be the seventh most widely read category overall with readership of 1,221,000, or six per cent of the population in the year to March 2018.
The fastest growing women’s fashion magazine was Cosmopolitan Bride which increased its readership by 16.7 per cent to a readership of 42,000 followed by Elle magazine, now read by 164,000 people (up 5.1 per cent). Vogue Australia was also a strong performer increasing its readership to 346,000 (up 2.4 per cent).
Men’s lifestyle magazines have grown by 0.6 per cent over the past with overall readership of 648,000, or 3.2 per cent of the population in the year to March 2018.
Leading men’s Lifestyle magazine Men’s Health increased its lead as the best read magazine in the category increasing its readership by 6.2 per cent to 377,000. Inside Sport was the fastest growing men’s lifestyle magazine in the year to March 2018 with readership up by 14.2 per cent to 121,000. Also recording an increase was GQ was up by 4.4 per cent to a readership of 95,000.
Magazine Cross-Platform Audience
Of Australia’s leading ten magazines ranked by cross-platform audience seven retain a significantly larger readership via their print editions than their digital platforms. As more magazine publishers expand their online offerings this is slowly changing although magazines remain significantly more reliant on print editions than their online engagement.
Just under a year ago many of Bauer Media’s magazine brands (including Women’s Weekly, Woman’s Day, Good Health, Mother & Baby, Take 5 and others) consolidated their online presence under category banners such as Now to Love which has a digital audience of 872,000. The results in the cross platform table below reflect this new positioning and therefore year on year comparisons are not available for all titles.