Newspaper mastheads up even though print readership down

Newspaper mastheads up even though print readership down

Many of Australia’s major newspapers have upped their masthead audiences, even though fewer people are reading the print editions.

Seven out of the ten main capital city daily newspapers increased their masthead audiences from March 2013 to March 2014, according to Roy Morgan research.

From further analysis of the masthead of major newspapers Tim Martin, general manager of Roy Morgan, says advertisers need to examine “not only how audiences differ between publications but how they differ within publications”.

 (FYI: Masthead audience is the number of people who read or access content by a publisher across all platforms such as print, website and mobile smartphone or tablet apps in an average seven days.)

According to the research, Fairfax’s Australian Financial Review scored the highest growth of 22.8% while The Sydney Morning Herald had the largest audience increase over the year of 6% (or 189,000 people).

This has extended the paper’s lead over competitor News Corp’s The Daily Telegraph (up 3.5%) and Herald Sun (up 0.7%) as Australia’s most-accessed masthead.

Using Helix Personas, a data integration tool that allows Roy Morgan to split up the Aussie population into different personas and communities, Martin said the research firm can pinpoint readership to help advertisers’ targeting potential.

 “In Victoria, people in the young, hip and cashed-up ‘New School Cool’ persona (203) are below average readers of the Herald Sun masthead overall—but they form the biggest bloc of online-only readers: more than 1 in 12 people on the Herald Sun site or app,” he said.

“And in NSW, ‘Quiet Achievers’ (210) comprise just 1 in 50 print-only SMH (Sydney Morning Herald) readers, but 1 in 20 online-only readers. 

“‘Average Aussies’ (306) are big fans of The Daily Telegraph print edition, but you’d be wasting your money trying to target them online. ‘Career and Kids’, however, are just as likely to be reading the Telegraph online only as in print only.”

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