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Australia's leading magazines buck conventional wisdom and grow their print readership

Results released today from the Roy Morgan Australian Magazine Readership report for the 12 months to June 2017 show that 10 of Australia’s leading 15 titles increased their print readership over the past year.

Results released today from the Roy Morgan Australian Magazine Readership report for the 12 months to June 2017 show that 10 of Australia’s leading 15 titles increased their print readership over the past year.

The good news for magazine publishers is that a total of 12,470,000 Australians aged 14+ (62.6 per cent) read print magazines according to the latest data for the 12 months to June 2017 virtually unchanged from a year ago (down only 0.1%).

The withdrawal of major publishers from audited circulation results for magazines last year now means Roy Morgan's readership results are the only truly independent measure of magazine performance now available.


Top 15 Magazines: All Categories – Print Readership

Publication

June 2016

June 2017

% Change

‘000s

‘000s

%

Coles Magazine

3,498

3,755

7.3%

Fresh

3,095

3,590

16.0%

Better Homes & Gardens

1,861

1,733

-6.9%

Women's Weekly

1,772

1,471

-17.0%

Woman's Day

1,352

1,281

-5.3%

New Idea

1,121

1,132

1.0%

National Geographic

1,064

1,078

1.3%

Open Road (NSW)

1,107

1,064

-3.9%

That's Life

678

698

2.9%

Royal Auto (Vic)

593

646

8.9%

Taste.com.au Magazine

573

619

8.0%

Road Ahead (Qld)

543

598

10.1%

Australian Geographic

537

560

4.3%

House & Garden

607

531

-12.5%

Take 5

521

522

0.2%

Full Magazine Readership Results available to view here.


The five most read categories of magazines


Food and entertainment magazines

Read by 5,877,000 Australians, or 29.5% of population, this category is dominated by free supermarket titles Coles Magazine with readership of 3,755,000 (up 7.3 per cent) and Woolworth’s Fresh now read by 3,590,000 (up 16.0 per cent).

This category has undergone long-term growth, including a year on year category increase of 5.6 per cent largely on the back of these two free supermarket titles.


General interest magazines

Now 4,419,000 Australians, or 22.2% of the population, read at least one general interest magazine, the leading title being National Geographic with readership of 1,078,000 (up 1.3 per cent) and local competitor Australian Geographic with readership of 560,000 (up 4.3 per cent).

In addition, leading motoring club titles Open Road (NSW) with readership of 1,064,000 (down 3.9 per cent), Royal Auto (Vic) read by 646,000 (up 8.9 per cent) and Road Ahead (Qld) read by 598,000 (up 10.1 per cent) also continue to service significant audiences within their respective States.

Readership of general interest magazines has been remarkably stable over the past year (up 0.5%).


Mass Women’s magazines

In contrast to the fortunes of the two top categories, the readership of Mass Women’s magazines has been under long-term pressure although 3,385,000 Australians continue to read with the category (down 6.5 per cent from a year ago) and equal to 17.0% of the population.

While Women’s Weekly remains the category leader with readership of 1,471,000 (down 17.0 per cent) ahead of Woman’s Day on 1,281,000 (down 5.3 per cent). Other titles managed to gain readership over the past year including New Idea on 1,132,000 (up 1.0 per cent) closing the gap on Woman’s Day to 149,000 readers, That’s Life on 698,000 (up 2.9 per cent) and Take 5 up 0.2% to 522,000.


Home and Garden magazines

The fourth most popular category of magazines remains Home and Gardens, despite a drop of 7.5 per cent in the last 12 months after a period of relative stability. 2,933,000 Australians now read at least one magazine in this category equal to 14.7% of the population.

Despite a decline Better Homes and Gardens maintains a dominant position in the category with a readership of 1,733,000 (down 6.9 per cent) ahead of House and Garden on 531,000 (down 12.5 per cent). Bucking the category trend was Handyman which has remained stable year on year at a readership of 185,000.


Business, Financial & Airline Magazines

Readership in this category declined over the past year, down 2.9 per cent to 1,694,000 Australians.

Qantas magazine remains the lead title in the category despite a year on year decline of 9.7 per cent. New Scientist grew it’s readership to 377,000 (up 1.9 per cent) and Time magazine held steady with a readership of 339,000.


Magazine Cross-Platform Audience

Of Australia’s leading 10 magazine ranked by cross-platform audiences nine of the ten retain a significantly larger readership via their print editions than their digital offerings.

Earlier this year many of Bauer’s magazine brands consolidated their online presence under category banners such as Now to Love. The results in the cross platform table below reflect this new positioning and therefore year on year comparisons are not made.


Top 10 Magazines – Total Cross-Platform Audience

Publication#

Print

Digital
(web or app)

Total Cross-Platform Audience*
(print, web or app)

 

June
2016

June
2017

June
2016

June
2017

June
2016

June
2017

% Change

 

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

%

Taste.com.au

573

619

2,862

3,286

Women’s Weekly

1,772

1,471

933

2,305

Better Homes & Gardens

1,861

1,733

381

343

2,140

1,942

-9.3%

Woman’s Day*

1,352

1,281

336

1,549

National Geographic

1,064

1,078

338

369

1,345

1,357

0.9%

New Idea*

1,121

1,132

285

183

1,361

1,285

-5.6%

Open Road (NSW)

1,107

1,064

70

57

1,136

1,094

-3.7%

Take 5*

521

522

328

802

Reader’s Digest

480

468

401

341

855

790

-7.6%

Australian Geographic

537

560

287

254

778

767

-1.4%

Full Magazine Total Cross-Platform Audience results available to view here.

Total cross-platform audience includes print – average issue readership and digital – website visitation and app usage in an average 4 weeks, except for weekly titles which are in an average 7 days (denoted by *). #For additional detail on the platforms covered for each magazine visit the website.

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Over the past year Roy Morgan has emphasised an increasing trend impacting many industries in Australia – the move to an ‘experience economy’ as consumers move away from traditional notions of ‘ownership’.

“This trend has been explored in the recent Roy Morgan State of the Nations on the Automotive and Retail industries and the upcoming State of the Nation on Media will closely analyse its impacts across the breadth of the industry.

“Our analysis of the latest trends shaping the magazine industry today reveals an industry in flux as these competitive pressures and changing consumer habits provide different challenges for different types of publications.

“As noted in today’s newspaper readership release newspaper inserted magazines (NIMs) have seen an increase in print readership over the past year and this increase is matched by 10 of 15 of Australia’s most widely read magazines – the pleasant experience of reading your favourite glossy still retains widespread appeal.”

To learn more about Roy Morgan’s Readership research, call (+61) (3) 9224 5309 or email askroymorgan@roymorgan.com.

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