Roy Morgan Research has released the latest Australian Magazine Readership results for the year to June 2014.
Roy Morgan’s media industry experts look at who’s winning, who’s growing, and the impact of digital delivery on total cross-platform audience numbers.
A tight race at the top
The battle between the top three paid-for magazines has intensified with now fewer than 100,000 readers separating first and third. In June 2014, Better Homes and Gardens (1,819,000 readers) just pipped the Australian Women’s Weekly (1,800,000) to become the country’s most-read glossy. Readership of both magazines grew year-on-year, with Australian Women’s Weekly up 1.4% and Better Homes and Gardens up 3.2%.
These strong results bumped June 2013 victor Woman’s Day down to third overall with 1,729,000 readers, but it remains the clear number one weekly magazine.
Supermarket mags get super marks
Two free in-store supermarket publications remain the most-read magazines in Australia. Coles Magazine leads with almost three million readers (2,917,000) per average issue. Woolworths’ Fresh magazine was the fourth fasting growing magazine in Australia, up 30% to an average of 2,182,000 readers per issue.
The Australian edition of Elle is off to a strong start since its launch in September last year. With an average so far of 151,000 readers to June 2014, the magazine is already nipping at the heels of established women’s fashion glossies InStyle (167,000) and Harper’s Bazaar (190,000).
But the stand-out performer in the category is Frankie, up 21.4% in the year to 363,000 readers -overtaking Vogue Australia (316,000).
The launch of Elle and growth for Frankie more than compensated for the loss of Madison a year ago and helped keep the Women’s Fashion category readership steady overall (down just 0.7%).
Home and Garden magazines together grew by 2.1% from June 2013 to 2014, with two-thirds of all titles in the category posting gains.
As well as Better Homes and Gardens, other mags to gain readers include Inside Out (up 30.6%), Home Design (up 18.3%), Real Living (up 14.6%)—each among the Top 20 fastest-growing magazines overall.
Country Style and Handyman also made solid gains, up 7.8% and 6.9% respectively, while readership of Belle and Gardening Australia remained steady.
Flights of fancy
The airline magazine category is up 3.6% from June last year, driven by a robust 3.8% rise in readership for category leader QantasThe Australian Way (to 489,000 readers) and a stellar 17.9% rise for Jetstar (to 230,000 readers).
June 2014 marks the first published results for Wine Companion, which has recorded 60,000 readers per average issue in the year. The bimonthly magazine joins Gourmet Traveller Wine (up 5.1% to 123,000) and Selector (down 1% to 95,000) in the category, demonstrating the ongoing demand for quality print journalism on wine.
With ever more people going online, via website or app, to access magazine content, Roy Morgan has long provided total cross-platform audience numbers for those publications with an online presence. In the year to June 2014, the majority of these magazines scored an increase in the number of people visiting the website or using the app.
The publication with the fastest growing cross-platform audience is The Monthly. Buoyed by a spike in print readership for the magazine’s special 100th issue in May, the average issue print readership for the year to June 2014 was the same as the year before—however 54,000 more people now access the magazine’s digital content than they did a year ago, giving the magazine a total cross-platform audience of 261,000 people, an increase of 26.1%.
Two magazines impressively notched up an increase in audience across both their print and digital platforms: Harper’s Bazaar (up 14.7% overall to 250,000) and Reader’s Digest (up 9.0% to 882,000).
Print is average issue readership; digital is website visitation and app usage in an average 4 weeks for monthly magazines and average 7 days for weekly magazines (denoted by *).
The digital audience for Marie Claire ballooned by a massive 72%, boosting its total reach by almost 50,000 more people in an average month (a 9.7% gain on June 2013 results).
Other strong gains in cross-platform reach were for Gourmet Traveller (up 7.0% to 397,000) and Famous (up 6.7% to 336,000).
Vogue continues to lead the way in evolving its content across platforms as the only magazine brand where digital audience (421,000) exceeds the print readership (316,000). Compared with June 2013, an extra 33,000 people on average each month are accessing Vogue’s digital content.
Tim Martin, general manager of media, Roy Morgan Research, said: “The positive readership performances across a diverse range of magazine categories in the latest Roy Morgan results demonstrate the ongoing appeal that both broad and niche magazines continue to hold for the Australian consumer.
“It makes sense that magazines remain a core component of advertisers’ marketing communications strategy given the strength of the relationships which print magazines have with their readers.
“Roy Morgan Research’s Single Source data is the preferred multi-media audience measurement currency used by the majority of Australian media strategy, planning and buying agencies and telecommunications, financial services and automotive brands.”
Check out what was happening on the newspaper space here.