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Don’t worry, be ‘appy’: newspaper apps on the rise

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January 2012 — December 2012 (n = 21,275).

As digital technology continues to impact ever more on our daily lives, newspapers have adapted accordingly. While print editions are still read by millions, Australians are increasingly turning to the internet, tablets and smartphones for their news fix. And as recent findings from Roy Morgan Research reveal, major newspapers such as The Age and Sydney Morning Herald are meeting the challenge head on with popular news websites and custom-built smartphone and tablet apps.

Asked whether they’d used any newspaper apps in the last seven days, 221,000 Australians aged 14+ reported using the Sydney Morning Herald’s app, while 199,000 used The Age’s app. Apps produced by The Australian, the Herald Sun and the Daily/Sunday Telegraph were also popular.

Readers in New South Wales (including the ACT) registered the highest usage of newspaper apps, while the 25-34 age group had the highest proportion of users.

Newspaper apps used in an average 7-day period

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January 2012 — December 2012 (n = 21,275).

Newspapers: a multimedia experience

However, the popularity of apps does not spell the end for printed newspapers and their websites. In fact, Australians who use newspaper apps also tend to engage regularly with the same newspaper mastheads in other forms and across platforms — particularly via the internet but also in print. Of the Sydney Morning Herald’s app users, for example, 86% also accessed the newspaper’s website in an average seven-day period.

George Pesutto, Industry Director — Media, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Australian newspapers have worked hard to stay abreast of emerging technologies and the growing popularity of their apps and websites suggests they’re succeeding.

“Newspaper publishers would be pleased to know that a significant portion of their audience accesses their content across a variety of platforms.

“Never have so many Australians read these mastheads — albeit in multiple formats. Now the real challenge for publishers is how to leverage this massive audience of news junkies to generate revenue. The answer is proving far more complex than keeping and growing readership.”

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George Pesutto, General Manager Media & Communications

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