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Newspaper masthead readership grows to 15.9 million

These are the latest findings from the Roy Morgan Single Source survey of 50,139 Australians aged 14+ over the 12 months to December 2017.

Roy Morgan Research today releases the latest readership report for Australian newspapers for the 12 months to December 2017.

15.9 million Australians 14+ now read or access newspapers in an average 7 day period either in print, or online via website or app – ‘cross-platform’.

Cross-platform audiences have increased for four out of Australia’s top five leading mastheads and for the first time four of Australia’s leading mastheads now have an audience of over 3 million Australians.

These are the latest findings from the Roy Morgan Single Source survey of 50,139 Australians aged 14+ over the 12 months to December 2017.

For full details of all mastheads surveyed click here.

Australia’s most widely read masthead is again the Sydney Morning Herald – with a cross-platform audience of 4,255,000, up 0.4 per cent from a year ago ahead of Sydney rival the Daily Telegraph with a cross-platform reach of 3,446,000, up an impressive 5.9% in a year.

For the first time Melbourne dailies The Age with a cross-platform reach of 3,061,000 up 4.7 per cent in a year; and the Herald Sun with a cross-platform reach of 3,002,000 down 1.6 per cent in a year both have cross-platform audiences of over 3 million.

Australia’s two leading national mastheads experienced strong cross-platform audience growth with The Australian up 3.1 per cent to 2,550,000 and the Australian Financial Review growing even faster, up 8.3 per cent to 1,453,000.


Top State-wide & National Mastheads by Total Cross-Platform Audience (Print & Online)

Publication

Print

Digital
(web or app)

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

Dec
2016

Dec
2017

Dec
2016

Dec
2017

Dec
2016

Dec
2017

% Change

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

%

Sydney Morning Herald (SMH)

1,132

1,056

3,644

3,780

4,238

4,255

0.4%

Daily Telegraph

1,478

1,336

2,188

2,512

3,254

3,446

5.9%

The Age

959

945

2,464

2,603

2,924

3,061

4.7%

Herald Sun

1,552

1,542

1,951

1,936

3,050

3,002

-1.6%

The Australian

931

888

1,756

1,899

2,474

2,550

3.1%

Courier-Mail

1,099

971

1,344

1,312

2,153

2,022

-6.1%

Australian Financial Review (AFR)

415

386

1,048

1,155

1,342

1,453

8.3%

*Total cross-platform audience comprises print which is net readership in an average 7 days and digital which is net website visitation and app usage in an average 7 days.

Total Cross-Platform Audience results available to view here
.


Print Readership

Overall 7.5 million Australians read print newspapers, including nearly 5.4 million who read weekday issues, over 4.5 million who read Saturday editions and nearly 4.1 million who read Sunday titles. Although print readership has declined during 2017, the latest print readership figures show over 37.5 per cent of Australians still read print newspapers demonstrating that they continue to be an important medium for advertisers to use when targeting large numbers of key demographics.


Weekend Newspaper Readership down, but AFR Weekend & The Saturday Paper up

Australia’s leading weekend newspaper is again Sydney’s Sunday Telegraph with a print readership of 879,000 – down 8.9 per cent over the past year ahead of southern stablemate Melbourne’s Sunday Herald Sun with a print readership of 844,000 (down 2.1 per cent).

Other major titles lost ground including the Saturday Herald Sun down 4.6 per cent to a readership of 785,000, the Sunday Mail in Queensland which declined a sizeable 12.4 per cent to a readership of 647,000 and the Saturday Age which was down 5.0 per cent to a readership of 627,000.

However, it was several national weekend papers that out-performed the category averages with the weekend Australian Financial Review increasing its readership by an impressive 12.8 per cent to 132,000 while readership of The Weekend Australian was down only slightly to 629,000 (down 1.1 per cent). Relatively new entrant  The Saturday Paper also increased readership by 0.9% to 115,000.


Top 6 Weekend Newspapers – Ranked by Print Readership*

Publication

Dec 2016

Dec 2017

% Change

‘000s

‘000s

%

Sunday Telegraph

965

879

-8.9%

Sunday Herald Sun

862

844

-2.1%

Saturday Herald Sun

823

785

-4.6%

The Sunday Mail (Qld)

739

647

-12.4%

Weekend Australian

636

629

-1.1%

Saturday Age

660

627

-5.0%

*Print readership is average issue readership.

Full Newspaper Readership Results available to view here.


Newspaper Inserted Magazines - Stellar increases nearly 20%

Relative newcomer Stellar increased its print readership by an impressive 19.8 per cent to 1,052,000 in the year to December 2017, but despite a decline in readership Good Weekend remains Australia's most widely read newspaper inserted magazine with print readership of 1,199,000 (down 10.0 per cent).

Other newspaper inserted magazines failed to match the performance of Stellar with Sunday Life on 702,000 (down 11.1 per cent) and the Weekend Australian Magazine on 683,000 (down 2.8 per cent).

Strong performers outside the top 5 included the Financial Review Magazine which increased its readership 22.3 per cent to 406,000, Boss magazine which surged 25 per cent to 135,000 and Wish which improved 18.3 per cent to 129,000.


Top 6 Newspaper Inserted Magazines – Ranked by Print Readership*

Publication

Dec 2016

Dec 2017

% Change

‘000s

‘000s

%

Good Weekend

1,332

1,199

-10.0%

Stellar

878

1,052

19.8%

Sunday Life

790

702

-11.1%

Weekend Australian Magazine

703

683

-2.8%

Sunday Telegraph TV Guide

617

593

-3.9%

Sunday Herald Sun TV Guide

473

507

7.2%

*Print readership is average issue readership.

Full Newspaper Inserted Magazine Readership Results available to view here.


Newcastle Herald the star Regional Newspaper in 2017

The Newcastle Herald is the star performer amongst Australia's regional weekday mastheads in 2017 growing print readership by 7.6 per cent to 85,000 over the past year. The Newcastle Herald was the only leading regional weekday masthead to grow print readership in 2017. The Gold Coast Bulletin with 54,000 readers was down 11.5 per cent and the Canberra Times with 50,000 readers down 3.8 per cent.


Top 5 Regional Newspapers – Ranked by Print Readership (Monday – Friday)*

Publication

Dec 2016

Dec 2017

% Change

‘000s

‘000s

%

Newcastle Herald

79

85

7.6%

Gold Coast Bulletin

61

54

-11.5%

Canberra Times

52

50

-3.8%

The Hobart Mercury

53

48

-9.4%

Cairns Post

51

47

-7.8%

*Print readership is average issue readership.

Full Newspaper Readership Results available to view here.

The total cross-platform audiences of the Canberra Times has declined by 9.3 per cent over the past year to 476,000 but this is still clearly Australia’s most widely read regional title ahead of the Newcastle Herald with a cross-platform readership virtually unchanged from a year ago on 292,000, up 0.7 per cent.


Total Cross-Platform Readership for available titles

Publication

Print

Digital
(web or app)

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

Dec
2016

Dec
2017

Dec
2016

Dec
2017

Dec
2016

Dec
2017

% Change

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

%

Canberra Times

105

106

449

398

525

476

-9.3%

Newcastle Herald

153

176

155

156

290

292

0.7%

The Hobart Mercury

116

106

140

126

229

212

-7.4%

*Total cross-platform audience comprises print which is net readership in an average 7 days and digital which is net website visitation and app usage in an average 7 days.

Michele Levine, CEO Roy Morgan, says:

“A record high 15.9 million Australians 14+ access newspapers in an average 7 day period either in print, or online via website or app – ‘cross-platform’ – a huge, diverse and financially rewarding market for advertisers to target.

“The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) is again Australia’s leading masthead with a cross-platform audience of over 4.2 million readers via print and digital and for the first time all four leading mastheads have cross-platform audiences of over 3 million Australians.

“As well as strong performances from state-wide publications, national broadsheet The Australian has continued its growth in the year to December 2017 and now has a cross-platform audience of 2.550 million Australians, topping the 2.5 million mark for the first time.

“Strong performances from leading mastheads over the past year have been matched by several newspaper inserted magazines. The growth in readership for the magazines demonstrates that there is a certain appeal to reading a hardcopy print version for many Australians.

“Australia’s leading newspaper mastheads have successfully built large digital audiences of millions of Australians in recent years on the back of long-developed reputations for trust.”

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