Magazines: Readership Stabilises, But It’s All About Food & Women’s

Magazines: Readership Stabilises, But It’s All About Food & Women’s

A total of 12,565,000 Australians aged 14-plus (62.5 per cent) read print magazines – down 0.7 per cent or 93,000, from a year ago – according to the results released today from the Roy Morgan Australian Magazine Readership report for the 12 months to December 2017.

However, the audience reach of magazines is extended to 15 million Australians 14-plus when you include magazine reading online (either via the web or an app).

Unfortunately, the major magazine publishers have all withdrawn from the circulation audit meaning Roy Morgan’s readership results are the independent measure of magazine performance.

As expected, Australia’s best read magazines continue to be food, women’s and automative clubs. According to Roy Morgan, Coles Magazine is the most read magazine in the country with 415,200 readers – a YOY increase of 11 per cent.

Check out the top 15 most read magazines below:

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Women’s Fashion Magazines – again the fastest growing category

Women’s Fashion magazines have led the way in the 12 months to December 2017 readership results with the largest year-on-year category growth – up an impressive 9.6 per cent – to be the seventh most read category overall at 1,267,000 or 6.3 per cent of the population.

Category leader Frankie was the fastest growing women’s fashion magazine increasing 19.7 per cent to a readership of 407,000 followed by Elle magazine, now read by 171,000 (up 17.1 per cent). Vogue Australia was also a strong performer increasing its readership to 355,000 (up 8.9 per cent).

The five most read categories of magazines:

Food & Entertainment, Australia’s most loved magazine category, grew strongly in 2017

Food and entertainment is one of Australia’s fastest growing magazine categories and is now read by 6,276,000 Australians, or 31.2 per cent of the population, up 6.7 per cent in the year to December 2017.

This category is dominated by the free supermarket titles both of which saw exceptional year-on-year growth – Coles Magazine with readership of 4,152,000 (up 11.3 per cent) and Woolworth’s Fresh now read by 3,875,000 (up 13.1 per cent).

General interest magazines

Some 4,484,000 Australians, or 22.3 per cent of the population, read at least one general interest magazine (down 0.8 per cent) with the leading titles being National Geographic with readership of 1,061,000 (down 3.4 per cent).

In addition, Road Ahead (Qld) has performed strongly with readership up 13.2 per cent to 628,000, although still behind leading motoring club titles Open Road (NSW) with readership of 1,051,000 (down 6.9 per cent) and Royal Auto (Vic) read by 638,000 (down 0.6 per cent).

Mass Women’s magazines

Although the readership of mass women’s magazines has decreased in 2017 (down 5.3 per cent from a year ago) a significant 3,356,000 Australians, equal to 16.7 per cent of the population, continue to read these titles.

Women’s Weekly remains the clear category leader with readership of 1,494,000 (down 7.7 per cent) ahead of Woman’s Day virtually unchanged from 12 months ago on 1,303,000 (down 0.8 per cent) and New Idea on 1,079,000 (down 5.8 percent). Both That’s Life on 657,000 (down 5.2 per cent) and Take 5 on 495,000 (down 6.3 per cent) maintain significant readerships.

Home and garden magazines

The fourth most popular category of magazines remains Home & Garden publications, despite a drop of 4.4 per cent in the last 12 months. Almost three million (2,959,000) Australians now read at least one magazine in this category equal to 14.7 per cent of the population.

Several magazines managed to perform strongly over the year led by Gardening Australia increasing 14.8 per cent to 449,000, Country Style up 14.0 per cent to 293,000, Vogue Living up 17.9 per cent to 132,000 and Home Design – up 11.5 per cent to 87,000.

Better Homes and Gardens maintains the dominant position in the category with a readership of 1,707,000 (down 7.3 per cent) ahead of House and Garden on 527,000 (down 16.7 per cent).

Business, financial and airline magazines

Qantas Magazine remains the lead title in the category with readership of 384,000 (down 17.8 per cent) just ahead of New Scientist on 370,000 (down 9.1 per cent) and Time magazine on 344,000 (down 1.7 per cent).

Readership in this category declined over the past year, down 7.7 per cent to 1,655,000 Australians.

Other magazine titles to perform strongly included health & family focused magazine Wellbeing up 25.3 per cent to a readership of 109,000 and automotive magazine Wheels up 18.3 per cent to a readership of 291,000.

Magazine cross-platform audience

Of Australia’s leading 10 magazines ranked by cross-platform audience seven of the ten retain a significantly larger readership via their print editions than their digital offerings – a clear contrast to their print newspaper cousins, although this picture is slowly changing as more magazine publishers expand and refine their online offerings.

Just under a year ago many of Bauer Media’s magazine brands (including Women’s Weekly, Woman’s Day, Good Health, Mother & Baby, Take 5 and others) consolidated their online presence under category banners such as Now to Love which has a digital audience of 887,000. The results in the cross platform table below reflect this new positioning and therefore year on year comparisons are not made.

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