Roy Morgan: Newspaper Readership Down 3.7% YOY, While AFR Seriously Bucks The Trend

Roy Morgan: Newspaper Readership Down 3.7% YOY, While AFR Seriously Bucks The Trend

Roy Morgan today released the latest readership results for Australian newspapers for the 12 months to September 2019. Now 15.4 million, or 74 per cent, of Australians aged 14-plus read or access newspapers in an average seven day period via print or online (website or app) platforms, a fall of 3.7 per cent from a year ago.

The standout performer over the past year is again the Australian Financial Review (AFR) which increased its total cross-platform readership by a significant 17.1 per cent to 1,599,000 driven by a substantial increase in the AFR’s digital audience – up by 24.6 per cent to 1,359,000.
WA’s only daily metropolitan newspaper the West Australian grew its digital readership and increased its cross-platform audience by 2.9 per cent to 1,066,000 and The Saturday Paper had even stronger growth and grew its total cross-platform audience by 8.2 per cent to 250,000.

Australia’s most widely read masthead is the Nine Entertainment owned Sydney Morning Herald – with a cross-platform audience of 4,209,000, virtually unchanged on a year ago. Melbourne stablemate The Age is the second most widely read with a cross-platform audience of 2,852,000.
The News Corp daily the Herald Sun is in third with a cross-platform audience of 2,801,000 in front of its Sydney counterpart the Daily Telegraph which now has a cross-platform audience of 2,524,000 – although both have declined over the last year.
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Print Newspapers now read by around three-in-ten Australians (6.2 million)
Nearly 6.2 million Australians read the listed print newspapers, including over 4.3 million who read weekday issues, almost 3.6 million who read Saturday editions and more than 3.1 million who read Sunday titles. Although print readership has declined year-on-year, these figures show around 30 per cent of Australians read print newspapers. In today’s digitally-focused world print newspapers continue to be an important advertising medium to reach both mass and niche audiences.
Weekend Newspaper Readership down from a year ago
Australia’s best read weekend newspaper is again Sydney’s Sunday Telegraph with an average issue print readership of 656,000 – down 21.6 per cent over the past year – ahead of southern stablemate Melbourne’s Sunday Herald Sun which has a print readership of 586,000 (down 23.3 per cent).
Other major titles to decline included the Saturday Herald Sun down 20.9 per cent to a readership of 560,000, The Weekend Australian down 6.5 per cent to 547,000, The Sunday Mail in Queensland down 11.8 per cent to 532,000, the Saturday Sydney Morning Herald down 25.9 per cent to 449,000 and Melbourne’s Saturday Age down 19.9 per cent to 443,000 readers.
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Newspaper Inserted Magazines: Readership of The Deal, Boss & SA Weekend increases
Three newspaper inserted magazines have managed to increase their readership over the last year despite broader industry trends led by the AFR’s Boss Magazine which increased its readership by 16.7 per cent to 175,000.
Also increasing their readership was The Deal magazine for which readership increased 13.6 per cent to 75,000 and SA Weekend now with 238,000 readers, up 3.9 per cent.
However, although down 25.2 per cent, Good Weekend clearly remains Australia’s most widely read newspaper inserted magazine with print readership of 825,000. Real estate focused magazine Domain is the second most widely read with a readership of 687,000, down 13.3 per cent.
The Weekend Australian magazine is now the third most widely read newspaper inserted magazine with a readership of 544,000, down 10.5 per cent on a year ago, ahead of Stellar magazine read by 510,000, down a significant 31.2 per cent on a year ago. Sunday Life is the fifth most widely read newspaper inserted magazine with a readership of 475,000, down 30 per cent.
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Townsville Bulletin and The (Launceston) Examiner increase print readership
North Queensland’s Monday-Friday Townsville Bulletin had the most impressive readership growth over the past year of all regional titles with an increase in readership of 14.3 per cent to 40,000.
Another bright spot for regional titles was The Examiner of the Tasmanian city of Launceston which increased its weekday readership by 6.7 per cent to 32,000 in the year to September 2019.
Despite a decline in readership over the past year the Newcastle Herald remains Australia’s most widely read weekday regional title with a print readership of 51,000 (down 17.7 per cent).
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he total cross-platform audiences of Australia’s leading regional titles has again declined over the last year. Despite this decline in its digital audience the Canberra Times remains Australia’s most widely read regional masthead with a total cross-platform audience of 361,000 ahead of the Newcastle Herald with an audience of 217,000 and The Hobart Mercury with an audience of 190,000.
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