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It’s official: Most Australians now visit news or newspaper websites

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source: April 2017 – March 2018, n = 50,014 Australians aged 14+.
SMH is top for men and news.com.au for women. Daily Mail & Buzzfeed top news websites for Gen Z.

Nearly 15.7 million Australians aged 14+ now access news or newspaper websites in an average four weeks according to the latest Roy Morgan research – that’s almost 78%.

News is an essential part of the vast majority of Australians’ media menu. When used in conjunction with Roy Morgan’s Single Source wide and deep selection of consumption, behavioural and attitudinal information, the news websites visitation data can be applied to inform both broad and niche communication strategies.

Australia’s most popular news website is news.com.au which is visited by nearly 5.9 million Australians in an average four week period, ahead of the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) on 5.3 million visitors and ABC News website on just over 5 million visitors.

Analysing these results on a gender basis shows marginally more women visit news websites in an average four weeks (7.9 million) than men (7.8 million). And the top two news websites are reversed in order with the top news website for women being news.com.au and top for men is SMH.


Australia’s Top 20 News websites – visitation in an average four weeks over 12 months to March 2018

Top 20 News Websites - March 2018

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source: April 2017 – March 2018, n = 50,014 Australians aged 14+.

Of Australia’s twenty leading news websites nearly half of them (nine), are direct extensions of leading Australian newspaper mastheads led by the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH), The Daily Telegraph on 3.4 million visitors, The Age on 3.4 million and the Herald Sun on nearly 2.9 million.

A further seven of the leading websites are primarily Internet channels led by news.com.au which is followed by Daily Mail with over 3.9 million visitors. It should be noted that although Daily Mail is Internet-only in Australia the website is produced by a leading UK newspaper masthead. Other prominent primarily Internet driven news websites are msn with over 3.1 million visitors and another UK based newspaper masthead The Guardian with over 3 million.

The remaining four leading news websites are closely related to long-running existing TV channels and radio stations led by ABC News in third overall and the UK-based BBC with 2.9 million visitors.


Generation Z stands out with preference for Daily Mail and Buzzfeed

Analysing the news website preferences of different generations shows significant variations. Only two of the top five news websites for Pre-Boomers born before 1946 also show up in the top five news websites for Generation Z born between 1991-2005.

Leading news website news.com.au is the top online source for news for Pre-Boomers (20.9% of whom visit news.com.au in an average four weeks), Generation X (34.2%) and Generation Y (35.9%).

The SMH is the leading news website for Baby Boomers (27.3%) just ahead of the 27% who visit news.com.au. The SMH is the only news website to appear in the top three news websites for every generation.

Generation Z has different tastes in news with the Daily Mail visited by 24.6% of the youngest generation taking out top spot ahead of BuzzFeed which is visited by 23.3%. BuzzFeed only just makes the top ten news websites for Generation Y with 14.8% visiting and doesn’t feature as a leading website for any of the older generations.

9News.com.au is a favourite for older generations coming in as the number five most visited news website for Pre-Boomers on 13.3% and ninth for Baby Boomers on 15.8%.


Australia’s Top News websites by Generation – 12 months to March 2018

Top 10 News Websites by Generation - March 2018

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source: April 2017 – March 2018, n = 50,014 Australians aged 14+.


Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan, says the Internet has changed the nature of news and content delivery and Australians are turning to a wide variety of local and international online news sources to stay abreast of what’s happening:

“Nearly 15.7 million Australians now access news or newspaper websites in an average four weeks – nearly as many as read traditional newspapers either in print or online in an average seven days and more than read traditional print newspapers in an average week.

“The four most popular news websites each have unique characteristics led by news.com.au which has nearly 5.9 million visitors in an average four weeks and is part of Australia’s largest media company News Corp Australia.

“Australia’s most read newspaper masthead the Sydney Morning Herald is the next most visited news website with 5.3 million visitors ahead of the government owned ABC News website with just over 5 million visitors. The Daily Mail, a UK based website with unique Australian content and dominated by celebrity gossip, is Australia’s fourth most visited news website with over 3.9 million visitors.

“There are six News Corp owned websites in the top twenty most visited news websites and overall more than 11.1 million Australians visit a News Corp news website compared to the nearly 9 million that visit a Fairfax owned news website. Both traditional media outlets are turned to for news far more often than Google News which ranks just outside the top 20 news websites with 983,000 visitors.

“Analysis of the news website habits of different generations shows that some news websites have broad appeal across generations whilst some news websites are definitely more popular amongst those of a certain age.

“The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) is in the top three news websites for all five generations and news.com.au is in the top four news websites across each generation.

“In contrast 9News.com.au and msn feature amongst the top news websites only for older generations whilst BuzzFeed is more skewed towards younger generations. BuzzFeed is the second most popular news website for Generation Z and tenth most popular for Generation Y.”

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