Study: Australia’s Magazine Readership Increases To 15.2 Million

Study: Australia’s Magazine Readership Increases To 15.2 Million

A total of 15,245,000 Australians aged 14-plus (74.1 per cnet) read magazines in print or online either via the web or an app. That is up 1.6 per cent, or 238,000, from a year ago according to the results released today from the Roy Morgan Australian Readership report for the 12 months to March 2019.

Readership of print magazines was just under 12.6 million Australians aged 14-plus (61.2 per cent), unchanged from a year ago. These are the latest findings from the Roy Morgan Single Source survey of 51,362 Australians aged 14+ in the 12 months to March 2019.

Women’s Weekly increases lead as Australia’s most widely read paid magazine

Nine of Australia’s Top 15 magazines grew their print readership in the year to March 2019, with five of the leading titles growing their readership by at least 5 per cent. Women’s Weekly is Australia’s most widely read paid magazine after growing readership by 3.7 per cent to 1,536,000 in the year to March 2019.

Australian Geographic had the biggest improvement of Australia’s leading magazines growing its print readership by a stunning 25.2 per cent to 666,000 while international counterpart National Geographic has also had an impressive year growing print readership by 21.2 per cent to 1,328,000 and is now Australia’s fifth most widely read magazine. The new Take 5 Bumper Monthly magazine, which launched in the second half of 2018, is now Australia’s eleventh most widely read magazine with a readership of 652,000.

Coles Magazine most widely read magazine closes in on readership of five million

Australia’s two most widely read free magazines are continuing to perform well. Coles Magazine readership was up 10.8 per cent to 4,840,000 and Fresh readership increased by 3.8 per cent.

Other leading magazines to perform strongly include Gardening Australia up by an impressive 20.8 per cent, Road Ahead (+5.5 per cent), Royal Auto (+4.2 per cent), Open Road (+1 per cent) and just outside the Top 15 House & Garden (+1.5 per cent), Reader’s Digest (+11.1 per cent) and Qantas Magazine (+5.8 per cent).

The five most read categories of magazines

  • Food & Entertainment (6,790,000 Australians, 33 per cent of the population);
  • General Interest (4,855,000 Australians, 23.6 per cent of the population);
  • Mass Women’s (3,384,000 Australians, 16.5 per cent of the population);
  • Home & Garden (2,802,000 Australians, 13.6 per cent of the population); business, financial & airline (1,560,000 Australians, 7.6 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 6,790,000 Australians, or 33 per cent of the population – up 4.3 per cent in the year to March 2019. Over the last year five of the 9 magazines in this category increased their readership.

Once again the category is dominated by the free supermarket titles both of which saw year-on-year growth – Coles Magazine with readership of 4,840,000 (up 10.8 per cent) and Woolworth’s Fresh now read by 4,210,000 Australians (up 3.8 per cent).

Other titles to perform well over the past year include Gourmet Traveller Wine which increased 18 per cent to 72,000, Australian Gourmet Traveller up 5.9 per cent to 179,000 and Halliday up 50 per cent to 33,000.

Ten General Interest magazines increase readership led by geographic titles

Some 4,855,000 Australians, or 23.6 per cent of the population, read at least one of the general interest magazine titles. An impressive 10 of the 13 general interest magazines increased their readership over the last year led by Australian Geographic which increased its readership by an impressive 25.2 per cent to 666,000.

Also performing well was National Geographic which increased readership by 21.2 per cent to 1,328,000 and there were strong performances from several motoring club magazines including Horizons (WA) read by 282,000 (up 37.6 per cent), SA Motor read by 230,000 (up 10 per cent), Road Ahead (Qld) read by 651,000 (up 5.5 per cent) and Royal Auto (Vic) read by 719,000 (up 4.2 per cent).

Mass Women’s magazines increase driven by Women’s Weekly & Take 5 Bumper Monthly

Readership of Mass Women’s magazines increased by 2.8 per cent from a year ago. These titles are now read by 3,384,000 Australians, equal to 16.5 per cent of the population.

The strongest performer in the category was Women’s Weekly which increased readership by a healthy 3.7 per cent over the year to 1,536,000 and readership in the category was also boosted by the new Take 5 Bumper Monthly first published in 2018 which now has a readership of 652,000.

Other magazines in the category maintain significant readerships including Woman’s Day with a readership of 1,097,000, New Idea on 945,000, That’s Life on 585,000 and Take 5 (Weekly) on 500,000.

Belle, House & Garden, Gardening Australia and Home Beautiful increase readership

Now 2,802,000 Australians read at least one magazine in the Home & Garden category with a clear majority of seven of the 11 magazines in the category increasing their readership over the last year.

The largest increase was for Belle which increased its readership by 21.9 per cent to 117,000 while Gardening Australia is now read by 545,000 Australians after an impressive increase of 20.8 per cent.

Other Home & Garden titles which grew their readership include Home Beautiful which was up 11.5 per cent to 340,000, Real Living up 19.8 per cent to 103,000 and House & Garden up 1.5 per cent to 543,000.

By far the leading magazine in the category remains Better Homes and Gardens, maintaining its leadership with a readership of 1,513,000 (down 11.1 per cent).

Money Magazine up and airline magazines for Qantas, Virgin & Jetstar all increase

Overall the Business, Financial and Airline magazines readership experienced a small decrease of 1.4 per cent over the last year to 1,560,000 (7.6 per cent of the population).

However, despite the overall decline, all three leading Airline magazines increased their readership over the last year led by a 30.8 per cent increase to 276,000 for Jetstar, and a 5.8 per cent increase to 422,000 for Qantas Magazine which is again the best read title in the category. Virgin Australia Voyeur readership increased by 3.6 per cent to 230,000.

Also performing strongly was the leading finance magazine title Money Magazine which increased readership by 18.3 per cent to 149,000.

Health & Family, Computing & Gaming and Fishing magazine categories increase

Readership growth for magazines was not restricted to the larger magazine categories with Health & Family, Computing, Gaming & Info Tech, Fishing and the Motorcycling magazine categories all growing their audience in the 12 months to March 2019.

Health & Family magazines experienced category growth of 1.6 per cent over the past year to be just outside the top five categories with overall readership of 1,449,000, or 7 per cent of the population. Overall seven of the nine magazines in the category grew their readership over the past year.

Among the fastest growing Health & Family titles were the Healthy Food Guide which is now read by 264,000 (up 72.5 per cent), Fitness First magazine which grew its readership by 94.5 per cent to 107,000, Good Health with a readership of 308,000 (up 27.8 per cent), WellBeing with a readership of 145,000 (up 18.9 per cent). Nature & Health also performed well and more than doubled its readership to 104,000 over the last year however the magazine has since been closed.

Computing, Gaming & Info Tech magazines increased their readership by 10.3 per cent to a readership of 545,000. A majority of four of the six magazines measured in the category increased their readership over the last year.

All three of the leading magazines in the category increased their readership over the past year. The category leading PlayStation magazine increased its readership by 20.9 per cent to 156,000 to hold off a surge in readership for Xbox magazine which was up 23.9 per cent to a readership of 145,000. Other strong performers included Game Informer magazine up 7.3 per cent to a readership of 133,000 and PC PowerPlay which increased 12.5 per cent to a readership of 72,000.

Fishing magazines also had a good year increasing category readership by 9.5 per cent to 299,000 once again powered by a strong performance from leading title Fishing World, up by 37.2 per cent to 203,000 while Fresh Water Fishing Australia increased readership by 13.8 per cent to 74,000.

Motorcycle magazines were another category to enjoy a strong performance over the last year with readership of the category increasing by 19.4 per cent to 160,000. Category leader Australian Motorcycle News had a significant increase in readership by 60.3 per cent to 125,000 and smaller rival Live to Ride was up 39.4 per cent to a readership of 46,000.

Other magazines to perform strongly included Vogue Australia up by 21.4 per cent to a readership of 420,000, Marie Claire up by 13.3 per cent to a readership of 289,000, Unique Cars up by 21.2 per cent to a readership of 200,000, Australian 4WD Action up by 17.9 per cent to a readership of 270,000 and Harper’s Bazaar up by 27.6 per cent to a readership of 148,000.

Magazine Cross-Platform Audiences increase strongly for leading magazines

A majority of seven of Australia’s leading 10 magazines ranked by cross-platform audience increased their audience in the year to March 2019.

The Women’s Weekly was one of the top performers over the last year growing its total cross-platform audience by an impressive 14.8 per cent to 2,586,000. However remains the best read title across print and digital formats with a total cross-platform audience of over 3.2 million (up by 4.8 per cent).

The strongest increase amongst the top 10 leading magazines by cross-platform audience was Bauer Media title Good Health which uses the Now to Love online hub and increased its cross-platform audience by a substantial 34.1 per cent to 1,474,000. National Geographic was one of the best performers over the last year in part thanks to its special ‘Planet or Plastic’ edition in June (covered here). National Geographic recorded an 18 per cent increase in its total cross-platform audience to 1,603,000 in the year to March 2019.

A large majority of Australia’s leading magazines (eight out of the top ten magazines ranked by cross-platform audiences) continue to have a significantly larger readership via their print editions than their digital platforms. However, new platforms such as Bauer Media’s Now to Love are allowing magazine publishers to reach their audience in new ways with innovative online offerings.

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