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Roy Morgan Newspaper Print Readership and Cross-Platform Audience Results for December 2015

Roy Morgan Research's latest Print Readership and seven-day Cross-Platform Audience results for Australian Newspapers for the 12 months to December 2015.

Roy Morgan Research today releases the latest Print Readership and seven-day Cross-Platform Audience results for Australian Newspapers for the 12 months to December 2015.


Monday to Friday, Saturday and Sunday Newspapers

A year ago, The Age was the darling of the newspaper world, gaining readers in an environment where no others could. But in the subsequent 12 months to December 2015, the title has now suffered double-digit declines from those lofty results, down on Monday to Friday (down 16.1% to 475,000), Saturday, (down 15.4% to 588,000) and Sunday (down 19.0% to 470,000).

Other major metro editions (which had already endured equivalently heavy declines in years past) are now holding steady. Readership changed less than 1% for the Monday to Friday editions of the Sydney Morning Herald (down 0.8% to 514,000) and West Australian (up 0.9% to 435,000), as well as the Saturday editions of the Daily Telegraph (up 0.5% to 599,000) and the Weekend Australian (unchanged at 663,000).

Among the most prominent successes: the Saturday edition of the Australian Financial Review gained readers (up 25.2% to 159,000); The Mercury in Tasmania gained on Saturdays (up 4.9% to 108,000) and almost maintained its average weekday readership (down 1.3% to 78,000); Sunday was sunny for both the Sunday Tasmanian (up 2.2% to 92,000) and Sunday Territorian (up 10.0% to 33,000); and the Gold Coast Bulletin managed the ultimate feat of adding readers on both weekdays (up 4.0% to 78,000) and the weekend (up 10.0% to 88,000).

Despite shedding 50,000 print readers per average edition, the Herald Sun remains the country’s most-read Monday to Friday newspaper (down 5.6% to 842,000). 

View the full Newspaper Average Print Issue Readership Results

Newspaper Inserted Magazines

Moving from a newsstand magazine to a monthly insert in the Financial Review in April 2015 has helped give Smart Investor a readership boost (up 9.0% to 97,000). 

Reflecting the Gold Coast Bulletin’s success on Saturdays, readership of the paper’s inserted Gold Coast Eye also grew (up 8.9% to 49,000).

Wish grew 6.6% to score 81,000 readers per average issue, while the Weekend Australian Magazine (up 1.6% to 704,000) and the Australian Financial Review Magazine (up 1.6% to 453,000) continue to reach more readers on average than the papers they come inside.

View the full Newspaper Inserted Magazine Readership Results


Ten of 14 mastheads expanded their Digital reach in 2015, as more Australians accessed newspaper content by website or app.   

Five mastheads scored double-digit growth in digital audiences: the Mercury (up 44.8% to 126,000), the Financial Review (up 33.4% to 447,000), the Sunday Times (28.2% to 555,000), the Newcastle Herald (up 24.2% to 149,000), and the Daily Telegraph (up 11.8% to 1,258,000). For the Financial Review and the Mercury, Digital growth supplemented gains in seven-day net Print readership to deliver Total Cross-Platform Audience increases of 13.9% and 20.7% respectively; the other three mastheads also increased their Total Cross-Platform Audiences as Digital gains exceeded declines in Print.  

Weekly Digital reach also grew for The Australian (up 7.9% to 1,032,000), the West Australian (up 7.9% to 545,000) and the Sydney Morning Herald (up 1.6% to 2,796,000)—enough in each case to offset the contraction in Print and deliver virtually unchanged Total reach.  

Launching in March 2014, The Saturday Paper doesn’t yet have two full year-on-year results for comparison, however compared with the previous readership results for September 2015, the title grew in both Print (up 13.1% to 112,000) and Digital (up 21.4% to 119,000), for a rising Cross-Platform Audience (up 15.2% to 220,000).

Overall, 11 of these 14 metro mastheads now reach over 50% of their Audiences via website or app in an average week.

View the full Newspaper 7-day Cross Platform Audience Results

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“People increasingly access news throughout the day using multiple devices, whether it’s their tablet over breakfast in the morning, a phone on the train, a desktop at work or a laptop in the evening.

Roy Morgan Audiences is a game-changing new tool that can measure and evaluate unique digital audiences across devices, and provide owners and advertisers with twice-daily updates on who has been reached, how many times, via which of their devices.

“With Roy Morgan Single Source in the background, it represents a major leap toward a unified cross-media audience measurement currency. Roy Morgan Single Source is already used by the majority of Australian media strategy, planning and buying agencies.”

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About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%