Over 15.9 million, or 78.2 per cent, of Australians aged 14-plus now read or access newspapers in an average seven day period via print or online (website or app) platforms, an increase of 2.4 per cent from a year ago.
Four of Australia’s leading mastheads have grown their cross-platform audiences, with national mastheads The Australian and Australian Financial Review (AFR) and leading Fairfax mastheads the Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne’s The Age all growing their cross-platform audiences over the past year.
These are the latest findings from the Roy Morgan Single Source survey of 50,377 Australians aged 14-plus in the 12 months to September 2018. You can read all the results here.
Australia’s most widely read masthead continues to be The Sydney Morning Herald – with a cross-platform audience of 4,222,000, up 4.5 per cent from a year ago. This increases its lead over Sydney rival The Daily Telegraph which has a cross-platform audience of 3,073,000, down 7.7 per cent in a year.
Melbourne daily The Herald Sun with a cross-platform audience of 2,985,000 (down one per cent) has out-pointed local rival The Age with a cross-platform audience of 2,913,000 (up 2.5 per cent).
Both of Australia’s leading national mastheads grew their cross-platform audiences over the past year. The Australian’s cross-platform audience grew by 6.4 per cent to 2,503,000 while the business-focused Australian Financial Review’s cross-platform audience was up 5.6 per cent to 1,366,000.
Overall 7.1 million Australians read the listed print newspapers, including over five million who read weekday issues, more than 4.2 million who read Saturday editions and nearly 3.8 million who read Sunday titles. Although print readership has declined year-on-year, the latest figures show more than 1-in-3 Australians (34.8 per cent) are reading print newspapers. In today’s digitally-focused world they continue to be an important advertising medium to reach both mass and niche audiences.
Weekend newspaper readership down, but Saturday Daily Telegraph is up
Australia’s best read weekend newspaper is again Sydney’s Sunday Telegraph with an average issue print readership of 837,000 – down 6.3 per cent over the past year – ahead of southern stablemate Melbourne’s Sunday Herald Sun which has a print readership of 764,000 (down 12.6 per cent). You can read the full results here.
Other major titles that declined include the Saturday Herald Sun down 10.3 per cent to a readership of 708,000, the Saturday Sydney Morning Herald down 6.9 per cent to 606,000 readers, The Sunday Mail in Queensland down 7.8 per cent to a readership of 603,000 and the Saturday Age which was down 14.4 per cent to 553,000 readers.
The Saturday Daily Telegraph managed to defy the overall trend by increasing its readership by 4.4 per cent to 543,000 and was Australia’s eighth most widely read weekend newspaper.
Readership of national broadsheet The Weekend Australian was down 8.9 per cent to 585,000 while Schwarz Media’s The Saturday Paper’s readership was virtually unchanged at 120,000.
Newspaper inserted magazines: Domain second most read inserted magazine
Real estate focused magazine Domain is the second most widely read newspaper inserted magazine in Australia with a readership of 792,000 in the year to September 2018. However, although down 12.4 per cent, Good Weekend remains Australia’s most widely read newspaper inserted magazine with print readership of 1,103,000.
The decision to pull Stellar magazine out of the Queensland market earlier this year has clearly cost the title a significant level of readership although the title is still the third most widely read newspaper inserted magazine read by 741,000 in the year to September 2018, down 27.6 per cent. Readership In NSW/Vic is down by only 0.1 per cent year on year from 742,000 in the year to September 2017 to 741,000 in the year to September 2018.
Several magazines performed strongly over the past year and lifted their readership including the Financial Review Magazine which increased its readership 2.5 per cent to 405,000, stablemate Boss magazine now with a readership of 150,000 (up 27.1 per cent) and monthly Wish magazine in The Weekend Australian up 0.8 per cent to 132,000.