Roy Morgan: Magazine Readership Slightly Up, Print Sales Slightly Down

Roy Morgan: Magazine Readership Slightly Up, Print Sales Slightly Down

A total of 15,117,000 Australians aged 14-plus (74.1 per cent) read magazines whether in print or online either via the web or an app. That is up 0.7 per cent, or 110,000, from a year ago according to the results released today from the Roy Morgan Australian Readership report for the 12 months to September 2018.

Readership of print magazines was over 13.6 million Australians aged 14-plus (66.8 per cent), down 0.4 per cent, or 57,000, from a year ago. 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.

Clear majority of Top 15 magazines grow their print readership

Nine of Australia’s Top 15 magazines grew their print readership over the past year, with six of the leading titles growing their readership by at least five per cent on a year ago. In addition, the new Take 5 (Monthly) magazine has entered the list as the ninth most widely read magazine in Australia.

National Geographic had the strongest performance of Australia’s leading magazines growing its print readership by 21.2 per cent to 1,275,000. Australia’s two most widely read free magazines also performed well. Coles Magazine readership was up 16.2 per cent and Fresh readership increased by 7.7 per cent.

Better Homes & Gardens remains Australia’s most widely read paid magazine with more than 1.6 million readers.

Other leading magazines to perform strongly include Women’s Weekly (readership up by 4.1 per cent), Royal Auto (up 12.9 per cent), Magazine (up nine per cent), Road Ahead (up 8.9 per cent), Australian Geographic (up 1.1 per cent), House & Garden (up 3.6 per cent) and just outside the Top 15 Gardening Australia was up 34.2 per cent.

The five most read categories of magazines

Food and entertainment (6,648,000 Australians, 32.6 per cent of the population)
General interest (4,706,000 Australians, 23.1 per cent of the population)
Mass women’s (3,396,000 Australians, 16.7 per cent of the population)
Home and garden (2,882,000 Australians, 14.1 per cent of the population)
Business, financial and airline (1,602,000 Australians, 7.9 per cent of the population)

Food & Entertainment magazines continue strong growth led by Coles & Fresh

Food and entertainment is again Australia’s best performing magazine category and is now read by 6,648,000 Australians, or 32.6 per cent of the population – up 8.3 per cent in the year to September 2018. Over the last year more than half of the 10 magazines in this category increased their readership.

The category continues to be dominated by the free supermarket titles both of which saw exceptional year- on-year growth – Coles Magazine with readership of 4,618,000 (up 16.2 per cent) and Woolworth’s Fresh now read by 4,124,000 Australians (up 7.7 per cent).

Other titles to perform well over the past year include Gourmet Traveller Wine which increased 19.6 per cent to 67,000, up 9 per cent to 667,000 and Donna Hay up 1.5 per cent to 279,000.

A majority of General Interest magazines increase readership led by National Geographic

Some 4,706,000 Australians, or 23.1 per cent of the population, read at least one of the general interest magazine titles. Eight of the 13 magazines in the category increased their readership over the last year with category leading title National Geographic increasing its readership by an impressive 21.7 per cent to 1,275,000.

Other strongly performing magazines in the category include motoring magazines Horizons read by 249,000 (up 67.1 per cent), Royal Auto (Vic) read by 709,000 (up 12.9 per cent) and Road Ahead (Qld) up 8.9 per cent to 658,000 readers.

Mass women’s magazines readership boosted by new Take 5 monthly magazine

Readership of mass women’s magazines managed an increase of one  per cent from a year ago. These titles are now read by 3,396,000 Australians, equal to 16.7% of the population.

The category was boosted by the new Take 5 monthly magazine which captured a readership of 736,000 with its first inclusion on the survey while Women’s Weekly remains the category leader increasing readership by 4.1 per cent to 1,539,000 ahead of Woman’s Day with readership of 1,246,000.

Other magazines in the category maintain significant readerships including New Idea on 1,038,000, That’s Life on 621,000 and Take 5 (Weekly) on 500,000.

Home Design, Gardening Australia, Real Living and House & Garden all up strongly

Now 2,882,000 Australians read at least one magazine in the home and garden category with seven of the 11 magazines in the category increasing their readership over the last year.

Among these seven magazines House & Garden is the leading magazine and is now read by 540,000 Australians (up 3.6 per cent) with rival Gardening Australia close behind on 534,000 and up a stunning 34.2 per cent on a year ago.

Other home and garden titles which grew their readership include Home Design which was up a stunning 53.9 per cent to 117,000, Real Living up 11.5 per cent to 97,000, Home Beautiful up 1.9 per cent to 322,000, Handyman up 2.1 per cent to 194,000 and Belle up one  per cent to 102,000.

By far the leading magazine in the category remains Better Homes and Gardens, maintaining its leadership with a readership of 1,623,000 (down 6.1 per cent).

Qantas magazine most widely read while Jetstar & Virgin Australia Voyeur both up

The business, financial and airline magazines readership trend was little changed over the last year down marginally by one per cent to 1,602,000 (7.9 per cent of the population).

Qantas Magazine is again the best read title in the category with a readership of 404,000. Stablemate Jetstar was up an impressive 18.5 per cent to 243,000. Virgin Australia Voyeur readership increased by 8.1 per cent to 226,000.

Finance magazine titles to perform strongly included Money Magazine up 18.9 per cent to 151,000 and WA Business News up 45.8 per cent to 35,000.

Health and family, motoring, fishing and men’s magazines increase their audiences

Health and family, motoring, fishing and men’s magazines are four additional magazine categories outside the biggest five which grew their audience in the 12 months to September 2018.

Health and family magazines experienced category growth of 5.8 per cent over the past year to be just outside the top five categories with overall readership of 1,479,000, or 7.3 per cent of the population. Overall eight of the 10 magazines in the category grew their readership over the past year.

The fastest growing health and family title was nature and health which increased its readership by an exceptional 111.9 per cent to a readership of 89,000. Other strong performers included Healthy Food Guide which is now read by 224,000 (up 73.6 per cent), Wellbeing with a readership of 132,000 (up 50 per cent) and Fitness First which grew its readership by 24.6 per cent to 76,000.

Motoring magazines increased their readership by 4.8 per cent to a readership of 1,041,000. All but one of the eight magazines measured in the category increased their readership over the last year.

The strongest performer in the category was Unique Cars which increased its readership by an impressive 35.1 per cent to 200,000- while Overlander 4WD was up 18.5 per cent to a readership of 96,000. Other solid performances in the category were by Motor which increased its readership by eight per cent to 149,000, Australian 4WD Action which was up 7.6 per cent to 255,000, Just Cars which increased readership by 7.1 per cent to 212,000 and Street Machine with readership up by 5.6 per cent to 263,000.

Fishing magazines increased their readership as a category by 1.4 per cent to 288,000 led by leading title Fishing World, up 22 per cent to a readership of 172,000. Other magazines to perform strongly included Inside Sport up by 28.2 per cent to a readership of 132,000, Harper’s Bazaar up by 36.9 per cent to a readership of 152,000, OK magazine up by 14.4 per cent to a readership of 167,000, Golf Australia up by 16.2 per cent to a readership of 79,000 and Playstation magazine up by 18.1 per cent to 150,000.

Magazine cross-platform audience – Women’s Weekly up strongly

Of Australia’s leading 10 magazines ranked by cross-platform audience the Women’s Weekly was again among the top performers over the last year growing its total cross-platform audience by an impressive 7.8 per cent to 2,450,000. However remains the best read magazine title across print and digital formats with a total cross-platform audience of more than 3.2 million (up by 2.6 per cent).

As highlighted earlier National Geographic was one of the best performers over the last year in part thanks to its special ‘Planet or Plastic’ edition in June and the 130 year old American magazine recorded a 15.5 per cent increase in its total cross-platform audience to 1,541,000 in the year to September 2018.

It’s worth noting that the majority of Australia’s leading magazines (seven out of the top 10 magazines ranked by cross-platform audiences) still retain a significantly larger readership via their print editions than their digital platforms. However, new platforms such as Now to Love are allowing magazine publishers to reach their audience in new ways with innovative 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 the category banner of Now to Love which has a digital audience of 1,017,000. The results in the cross platform table below reflect this new positioning and therefore year on year comparisons are not available for all titles.

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