SMH Tops EMMA Total Masthead Readership

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The Sydney Morning Herald is Australia’s number one news masthead cross-platform in total readership, according to EMMA data.

The audience measurement survey has released year-on-year comparisons for the first time and shows SMH’s audience has grown by 19% year-on-year, with 5.4 million Australians reading The Sydney Morning Herald across all platforms (print, web, mobile and tablet) each month. The SMH now leads its nearest competitor by more than one million readers.

The Sydney Morning Herald has gained a remarkable 862,000 readers over the last year and has remained the number one news masthead in total readership every month since EMMA’s inception one year ago today. This is not only testament to our quality, independent journalism, it also demonstrates that readers are turning to the Herald in greater numbers, giving us a large and engaged audience,” Fairfax Media’s Australian publishing media managing director Allen Williams said​.

Fairfax Media’s growth in digital audiences is driving total masthead readership increases, according to EMMA. A total of 8.3 million Australians aged 14+ accessed Fairfax Media properties from web, mobile or tablet in June 2014, which was up 23% year on year. This also includes 2.8 million Australians aged 14+ who have accessed Fairfax Media content from a mobile phone or tablet, an increase of 17% over the last year.

Williams added: “Our digital audiences continue to grow rapidly across our mastheads, across web, mobile and tablet as readers engage with our content, supporting our strategy of offering audiences content where and when they want it. On our websites, theage.com.au grew 17% year on year and afr.com increased its audience by an impressive 73%.”

Key highlights from the EMMA data include:

  • smh.com.au web audience aged 14+ has grown 40% year on year to 3.47 million in June 2014. According to digital measurement industry standard, Nielsen Online Ratings, smh.com.au was the number 2 most popular news website in Australia in June 2014.
  • The Sydney Morning Herald has the highest news masthead audience on tablet and mobile devices, with almost 1.2 million Australians accessing the Herald on either a mobile or tablet device. The tablet and mobile audience has grown 12% over the last year.
  • In printed editions, The Sydney Morning Herald reaches 1.7 million readers in NSW every week, while The Age reaches 1.3 million readers every week in Victoria
  • Three quarters (75%) of The Sydney Morning Herald’s audience accesses it on digital platforms, up from 67% one year ago, and 45% still access it via print editions. For The Age, 75% access it on digital platforms and 50% of readers still use printed editions.
  • The Age grew its total masthead readership by 3% over the last year, to 3.4 million people in June 2014. Monthly audience to theage.com.au grew 17% year on year to 1.99 million people accessing the website in June. The Age tablet and mobile audience also grew year on year, up 9% to 928,000.
  • The Australian Financial Review grew total masthead readership by 3% over the last year to nearly 1.4 million. The afr.com web audience has grown a huge 73% over the last 12 months, with 400,000 Australians aged 14+ accessing afr.com each month. The Australian Financial Reviewtablet and mobile audiences have grown 14% over the last year to more than 100,000.
  • The Brisbane Times audience is expected to continue grow further with the launch of the new iPad app last week. Currently 848,000 people accessed the Brisbane Times on web, mobile or tablet in June 2014, growing 7% on same period last year.
  • The Canberra Times on Monday to Friday and also Sunday have grown by 7% and 8% respectively. Overall, the Canberra Times has 3% more readers than one year ago.
  • Fairfax regional news websites are also growing digital audiences. Almost 1.4 million people access Fairfax regional news websites, up 40% year on year.
  • More than 3.9 million people accessed Domain across platforms (print, web, mobile, tablet), with its total cross-platform audience growing 9% over the last year. The highest growing audience for Domain is on tablet and mobile with almost 1.2 million people accessing Domain on a tablet or mobile device, up 31% on same time last year.

As expected, average issue readership for most major newspapers is down year on year.

The Sydney Morning Herald has declined average readership year on year -7% Monday to Friday and on Saturday and The Sun-Herald has declined -9%.The Age Monday to Friday average issue readership is down -2%, Saturday down -11% and Sunday down -9%. ]

The Australian Financial Review Monday to Friday average issue readership is down -1% and the weekend edition is down -31%.

Source: EMMA (Enhanced Media Metrics Australia) data for the 12 months to June 2014.

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