Australia’s News Media Audience Grows For Second Consecutive Year: emma

Australia’s News Media Audience Grows For Second Consecutive Year: emma

News media grew by two per cent in 2017 for the second consecutive year, according to the latest emma (Enhanced Media Metrics Australia) data1.

In December 2017, 16.9 million people, or 90 per cent of the population (aged 14 and over), read news media across all platforms.

Almost three quarters of the population (74 per cent, or 13.8 million people) consumed news media on digital devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops. Newspapers alone were read by 12.8 million people, or 68 per cent of the population in December.

National news media was read by 2.5 million, or 13 per cent, of the population. Metro newspapers were read by 10.6 million people, or 56 per cent of consumers, over the same period.

Regional and community news media brands were read by 6.5 million people, or 35 per cent of the population during December. A total of 3.1 million people (or 17 per cent aged 14 and over), read regional newspapers, while community newspapers were read by 3.5 million (or 19 per cent aged 14 and over).

NewsMediaWorks CEO Peter Miller said: “Since 2015, we have seen more than half a million additional Australians turning to news media, consuming premium content they know they can trust2. The great majority of major news brands have seen readership growth in print and digital audiences in 2017.

“In contrast, Australian’s social media usage is now in year-on-year decline3, consistent with negative audience growth in Canada and the US.

“News media’s engaged and growing audience is a proven way to build businesses – something advertisers continue to recognise and support.”

The Sydney Morning Herald is Australia’s highest-reaching title across all platforms, with 5.18 million readers. The Daily Telegraph followed, reaching 4.18 million readers and the Herald Sun on 4.1 million (see table below). 

Cross-platform readership (000s, last four weeks) December 17
The Sydney Morning Herald / 5185
The Daily Telegraph / 4186
Herald Sun / 4102
The Australian / 3175
The Age / 2978
Courier-Mail / 2509
The West Australian / 1751
The Australian Financial Review / 1661
Adelaide Advertiser / 1566
Sunday Times / 1303
Canberra Times / 710
Gold Coast Bulletin / 516
Newcastle Herald / 505
The Mercury (Tas) / 435
Sunshine Coast Daily / 382



  1. emma, 12 months to December 2017. Readership based on last four weeks. Trends compared with 12 months to December 2016. Survey conducted by Ipsos Connect, people 14 and over, Nielsen Digital Ratings (Monthly), December 2017. Following the introduction of Nielsen Digital Ratings Monthly (DRM) data into emma in February 2016, year-on-year comparisons of digital audiences are valid from February 2017 onwards.
  2. Galaxy Research online questionnaire, June 2017 was conducted among a nationally representative sample of 2863 Australians aged 18 years and older. Results referred to are Net ADTRUST and Net CONTENT TRUST which, on a scale from 1 to 7, is percentage agreeing (5,6,7) less percentage disagreeing (1,2,3).
  3. emma, 12 months to December 2017. 12.6 million Australians used Social networking (e.g. Facebook, Twitter) in the last 7 days – a decline of 1 per cent against 2016.


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