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Magazines continue to accumulate more readers

Roy Morgan Research Magazine Print Readership and Cross-Platform Audience results for the year to September 2016.

Australians are embracing printed magazines with another increase in year-on-year readership. Digital channels are also reaching new audiences for magazine brands and providing even more ways for existing readers to engage. Roy Morgan today releases the latest Australian Magazine Print Readership and Cross-Platform Audience results for the year to September 2016. Print magazines reached 12,575,000 Australians (14+), up 2.7% compared with the 12 months to September 2015.

Print Readership

There has been broad and varied growth across a range of magazine categories. Food & Entertainment was once again the best-performing category overall (with the combined reach of included titles growing 17.1%). Other categories enjoying an increase in popularity include Sports (up 15.4%), General Interest (up 6.0%), Health & Family (up 5.0%), Business, Financial & Airline (up 4.7%), Music & Movies (up 3.1%), Women’s Fashion (up 1.2%), TV (up 0.7%) and Home & Garden (up 0.2% to 3,157,000)

Top 20 Most-Read Magazines September 2016

 

Title

Average Issue Readership

Change since September 2015

1

Coles Magazine

3,672,000

31.0%

2

Fresh

3,272,000

25.4%

3

Better Homes and Gardens

1,854,000

1.2%

4

Women's Weekly

1,648,000

-5.9%

5

Woman's Day

1,333,000

-10.3%

6

Open Road (NSW)

1,145,000

15.5%

7

New Idea

1,139,000

-4.8%

8

National Geographic

1,087,000

9.6%

9

That's Life

687,000

-11.7%

10

Royal Auto (Vic)

622,000

3.8%

11

House & Garden

612,000

2.3%

12

Taste.com.au Magazine

607,000

36.7%

13

Australian Geographic

569,000

23.7%

14

Road Ahead (Qld)

537,000

-7.3%

15

Take 5

535,000

-7.0%

16

Super Food Ideas

521,000

-10.2%

17

Reader's Digest Australia

493,000

-8.7%

18

TV Week

473,000

0.0%

19

Qantas Magazine

440,000

0.0%

20

Recipes+

421,000

13.2%

There has been some movement in the order among the Top 20 most-read magazines since the previous Readership result in June: Open Road is up to sixth (up 15.5% year-on-year to 1,145,000 per average issue), pipping New Idea (down 4.8% to 1,139,000); Royal Auto (up 3.8% to 622,000) has moved into 10th ahead of House & Garden (up 2.3% to 612,000); Australian Geographic rose two spots to 13th (up 23.7% to 569,000); and, with a comparatively small decline, Take 5 (down 7.0% to 535,000) has nevertheless overtaken Super Food Ideas (down 10.2% to 521,000).

Looking at the fastest-growing categories, the rising interest in Food & Entertainment is due in part to the continuing strong growth for both supermarket titles, Coles Magazine (up 31.0% to 3,672,000) and Woolworth’s Fresh (up 25.4% to 3,272,000). However two other Top 20 titles in the category also posted double-digit gains: Taste.com.au Magazine (up 36.7% to 607,000), and Recipes+ (up 13.2% to 421,000). Not to be outdone, some smaller titles also posted strong gains that reiterated the category’s overall advance, including Selector (up 44.9% to 100,000), Gourmet Traveller Wine (up 20.7% to 105,000) and Delicious (up 5.5% to 364,000).

As well as both the ever-popular ‘Geographics’ and the three Motoring Club titles featured in the Top 20, growth in the General Interest category was supported by a rise in readership for mid-tier titles Big Issue (up 16.8% to 209,000) and RM Williams Outback (up 5.2% to 222,000), niche publications Australian Traveller (up 25.0% to 80,000) and Cosmos (up 1.1% to 92,000), plus the West Australian and Tasmanian home-delivered motoring mags Horizons (up 5.7% to 129,000) and Journeys (up 7.3% to 88,000).

Covering as it does a range of genres, overall growth in the Business, Financial & Airline category came from a variety of titles: The Monthly (up 17.2% to 170,000), New Scientist (up 10.6% to 375,000), Time (up 9.6% to 332,000), and Australian Property Investor (up 7.1% to 105,000). There was no turbulence at all for Qantas Magazine, with exactly the same number of readers per average issue now as a year ago (440,000)—however Jetstar magazine climbed higher (up 24.4% to 214,000) to approach Virgin Australia Voyeur (down 4.5% to 236,000).  

In closely fought races, a number of competitors gained ground, claimed the lead, or took advantage of a vanquished foe:

  • Cosmopolitan is up 5.9% to 307,000—perhaps aided by the closure of direct competitor Cleo in March.
  • Men’s Fitness (up 21.4% to 153,000) beefed up against a trimmed down Men’s Health (down 7.2% to 349,000)
  • Fishing World (up 10.5% to 168,000) netted Modern Fishing (down 16.8% to 144,000)
  • Wheels (up 11.7% to 258,000) overtook Street Machine (down 3.8% to 226,000)
  • Xbox lost some readers (down 8.5% to 140,000) but still outplayed PlayStation (down 12.7% to 137,000)—while cross-console Game Informer remained on top of the category leaderboard (although down 14.6% to 146,000)

View the full Magazine Print Readership Results

Cross Platform Audiences

The two major magazine publishers battle it out for the top spots in cross-platform readership. Better Homes and Gardens is the most-read paid-for magazine overall with 2,125,000 readers in print or online, ahead of Australian Women’s Weekly with 1,975,000.

Digital has brought new readers to magazine brands. 388,000 read Better Homes and Gardens via digital—70% of whom are additional: people who don’t also read the magazine in print. Four in five digital readers of the Australian Women’s Weekly ’s 411,000 readers via website or app are non-print readers.

Across all magazines measured cross-platform, an average 82% of each title’s digital audiences are expanding on the print readership, including 12 with more than 90% of digital audiences reading exclusively online.

Digital also allows consumers to engage with the magazine brands in more ways than one. Real-life weeklies Take 5 and That’s Life have achieved high cross-over readership between their print and online versions. Half of Take 5’s 72,000 digital readers also read the magazine in print within the same seven-day issue cycle. Competitor That’s Life also has one of the greatest rates of cross-over, with a third of the magazine’s online audiences reading both the print and digital versions of the magazine.

View the full Magazine Cross-Platform Readership Results

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Readership of print magazines continues to grow, up 2.7% year-on-year, including almost 100,000 compared with previous quarterly results in June.

“The continued success of both Coles Magazine and Fresh highlights the increasing influence of retailers in the media space. The leading supermarkets and department stores each produce their own magazines through collaboration with the major print publishing houses.

“In a recent interview, Michael Scott from Myer considered all the ways you can interact with Myer as their “owned-media”. Roy Morgan Research shows marketers how all their different ‘media’ platforms—including magazines, websites, loyalty cards, and even store visitation—combine to deliver an unduplicated “total cross platform” reach.

“When we look at Woolworths and all their assets, the supermarket’s total cross platform reach among shoppers, magazine readers and loyalty subscribers is 14.6 million Australians 14+, just ahead of Coles with 14.4 million—despite the latter’s 400,000 more magazine readers.” 

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