Digital news media readership is up 9% year on year, from 9.9 million to 10.8 million, according to emma data for the 12 months to November 2014. This figure represents 61% of the Australian population aged 14 years and older, compared with 57% in the 12 months to November 2013.
The number of readers accessing content on tablets is up 16% year-on-year, from 2.5 million to 2.9 million, while the number of readers using mobile phones has increased 28%, from 2.3 million to 2.99 million.
Print news media continues to reach more readers than digital platforms do despite a 2% year- on-year decline across all newspapers (national, metropolitan, regional, rural and local community newspapers). Over four weeks, 14.5 million people read a printed newspaper, which equates to 82% of people aged 14 years and older.
Total newspaper readership in line with population growth
The total combined newspaper readership across print and digital over the four-week period to November 2014 is 16.3 million, a 2% increase on the previous year. This is keeping pace with population growth, reaching 92% of the Australian population aged 14 years and older, which is exactly the same percentage as this time last year.
The Sydney Morning Herald remains Australia’s most-read newspaper, with 5.3 million print and digital readers, followed by The Daily Telegraph (4.35 million), the Herald Sun (4.28 million), The Age (3.6 million) and the Courier-Mail (3.3 million).
Digital readers younger, especially mobile readers
Most readers consume news media content on both digital devices and in print. The majority of digital readers also read printed newspapers (83%), while most print readers newspapers also access digital newspaper content (62%).
Readership on digital devices skews younger compared with printed newspapers. The average age for readers of printed newspapers is similar to that of total digital readers across all devices: PCs, tablets and mobile phones (46 years for print vs 44 for total digital). Readers accessing content on tablets and mobile phones are younger: 41 years for tablets, and 34 years for mobile phones.
“Readers accessing news media content on tablet and mobile drove most of the growth in digital readership, with almost 3 million Australians accessing news media content each month via tablet or mobile. This is impressive,” The Newspaper Works chief executive officer Mark Hollands said.
“Digital’s gains across all formats, but particularly mobile, reflect Australia’s sustained appetite for news media. More readers want this content where and when they want it and mobile news media delivers this.
“Publishers’ strategies to engage and inform readers across digital channels are obviously working, and we anticipate that growth across all digital channels will continue throughout 2015.”