Roy Morgan: Food & Gardening Titles Defy Trends As Magazine Readership Continues To Fall

Roy Morgan: Food & Gardening Titles Defy Trends As Magazine Readership Continues To Fall
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Recent Roy Morgan data has revealed Aussies still love their food and gardening magazines as other titles, like mass women’s publications, continue to fall.

In total, readership of print magazines is down 2.5 per cent from a year ago with 13.3 million Australians aged 14 and older reading them.

Coles Magazine & Fresh most widely read while Bunnings Magazine read by almost 1.1 million

Australia’s two most widely read free magazines are continuing to perform well. Coles Magazine readership was up 3.1 per cent to 4,762,000 and Fresh readership increased by 1.7 per cent to 4,194,000.

Bunnings Magazine is the third most widely read free magazine and now read by 1,096,000 making the hardware retailer’s magazine one of only six read by more than 1 million Australians.

Other leading magazines to perform strongly just outside the top 15 include Reader’s Digest (+3.6 per cent to 428,000) and Vogue Australia (+13.5 per cent to 420,000). New titles such as That’s Life Mega Monthly read by 403,000 and Women’s Weekly Food read by 340,000 have also had a strong start.

Better Homes & Gardens and Women’s Weekly are most widely read paid magazines

Five of Australia’s yop 10 magazines grew their print readership in the year to September 2019. Better Homes & Gardens is Australia’s most widely read paid magazine with print readership up 3.1 per cent to 1,673,000 ahead of the Women’s Weekly with a readership of 1,434,000.

In addition, National Geographic marginally grew its print readership by 0.9 per cent to 1,286,000 while Australian Geographic was up an impressive 17.2 per cent to 675,000.

Super Food Ideas had the largest readership increase of the top magazines, up 39.5 per cent to 590,000.

Annotation 2019-11-01 105743

The five most read categories of magazines

  • Food & entertainment (6,792,000 Australians, 32.7 per cent of the population);
  • General interest (4,615,000 Australians, 22.2 per cent of the population);
  • Mass women’s (3,181,000 Australians, 15.3 per cent of the population);
  • Home & garden (3,129,000 Australians, 15.1 per cent of the population);
  • Business, financial & airline (1,508,000 Australians, 7.3 per cent of the population).

Mass women’s magazines set to be dominated by merged Bauer & Pacific Magazines

Mass women’s magazines are now read by 3,181,000 Australians equal to 15.3 per cent of the population. Bauer’s recent purchase of Pacific Magazines brings together Bauer’s leading titles including Women’s Weekly, Woman’s Day and Take 5 with Pacific titles New Idea and That’s Life.

Women’s Weekly leads the category with a readership 1,434,000, although down 6.8 per cent from the royal wedding boosted high of a year ago ahead of Woman’s Day with 921,000 readers.

A larger readership via print than digital 

A majority of Australia’s leading magazines (six out of the top ten magazines ranked by cross-platform audiences) have a larger readership via their print editions than their digital platforms.

The exceptions are Taste.com.au, Take 5 Bumper Monthly, TV Week Close Up and Good Health via the Now to Love online hub.

Bauer Media’s Now to Love online hub allows magazine publishers to reach their audience in new ways with innovative online offerings. Many of Bauer Media’s magazine brands (including Women’s Weekly, Woman’s Day, Good Health, TV Week and Take 5 consolidated their online presence in the Now to Love hub which reaches well over 1.2 million people.

Top 10 Magazines – Total Cross-Platform Audience

Annotation 2019-11-01 105756

Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine said:  “The latest results from the Roy Morgan readership survey shows Australians are still in love with their magazines with over 15.2 million Australians now reading magazines, whether in print or online, up by 88,000 on a year ago and equivalent to nearly three-quarters of the population.

“Print magazines remain the favoured channel for Australians to indulge their favoured magazine content with nearly 13.3 million Australians now reading print magazines and remain far more widely read than their digital alternatives.

Bauer’s recent decision to purchase rival Pacific Magazines for $40 million from Seven West Media consolidates Bauer’s leadership in several key categories including mass women’s magazines, home & garden magazines, health & family magazines, TV magazines and women’s lifestyle magazines in which either Bauer or Pacific are the leading publishers.

“The enlarged Bauer Media has some tough decisions to make about whether to continue publishing several popular existing titles or whether to consolidate further in the period ahead. Key to understanding which magazines have a future is to analyse in detail the audiences of similar magazines to determine whether they’re read by the same people or diverse audiences.

“An impressive new magazine to be launched in the last year is the Bunnings Magazine for the popular garden and hardware retailer. The Bunnings Magazine has already attracted an audience of 1.1 million Australians making it one of only six magazines in Australia with a seven-figure readership.”

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