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Four out of five Australians continue to read newspapers

These are the latest findings from the Roy Morgan Single Source survey of 50,035 Australians aged 14+ in the 12 months to June 2018.

Roy Morgan today releases the latest readership results for Australian newspapers for the 12 months to June 2018 - before the announcement of the proposed merger between the Nine Entertainment Company and Fairfax Media in late July.

Over 16 million, or 79.3%, of Australians aged 14+ now read or access newspapers in an average 7 day period via print or online (website or app) platforms, an increase of 3.3 per cent from a year ago.

Four of Australia’s top five leading mastheads have grown their cross-platform audiences, with Melbourne’s  The Age experiencing the strongest growth of nearly 10 per cent during the past year.

These are the latest findings from the Roy Morgan Single Source survey of 50,035 Australians aged 14+ in the 12 months to June 2018.

For full details of all mastheads surveyed click here.

Australia’s most widely read masthead continues to be the Sydney Morning Herald – with a cross-platform audience of 4,279,000, up 1 per cent from a year ago. This increases its lead over Sydney rival the Daily Telegraph which has a cross-platform audience of 3,245,000, down 5.1 per cent in a year.

Nothing separates the total cross-platform audiences of Melbourne dailies The Age and Herald Sun although The Age has demonstrated stronger  growth over the last year. The Age’s  year–on-year growth of 10 per cent  has given it a cross-platform audience of 3,085,000 equal to that of its long-time competitor the Herald Sun (up 1 per cent) .

Australia’s leading national masthead The Australian grew its cross-platform audience by 6.3 per cent to 2,564,000 while the business-focused Australian Financial Review’s cross-platform audience is unchanged on a year ago at 1,370,000.


Top State-wide & National Mastheads by Total 7 Day Cross-Platform Audience (Print & Online)

Publication

Print

Digital
(web or app)

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

June
2017

June
2018

June
2017

June
2018

June
2017

June
2018

% Change

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

%

Sydney Morning Herald (SMH)

1,094

1,036

3,691

3,787

4,235

4,279

1.0%

Daily Telegraph

1,395

1,306

2,394

2,330

3,418

3,245

-5.1%

The Age

950

881

2,395

2,634

2,805

3,085

10.0%

Herald Sun

1,569

1,465

1,960

2,082

3,055

3,085

1.0%

The Australian

922

831

1,709

1,965

2,412

2,564

6.3%

Courier-Mail

1,032

911

1,295

1,267

2,049

1,961

-4.3%

Australian Financial Review (AFR)

405

374

1,076

1,083

1,370

1,370

0.0%

*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 7.2 million Australians read the listed print newspapers, including 5.1 million who read weekday issues, more than 4.3 million who read Saturday editions and nearly 3.9 million who read Sunday titles. Although print readership has declined year-on-year, the latest figures show more than 1 in 3  Australians (35.6 per cent) are reading print newspapers. In today’s digitally-focused world  they continue to be an important advertising medium  to reach both mass and niche audiences.


Weekend Newspaper Readership down, but Saturday Daily Telegraph is up

Australia’s best read weekend newspaper is again Sydney’s Sunday Telegraph with an average issue print readership of 864,000 – down 4 per cent over the past year – ahead of southern stablemate Melbourne’s Sunday Herald Sun which has a print readership of 814,000 (down 6.8 per cent).

Other major titles that declined include the Saturday Herald Sun down 11 per cent to a readership of 734,000, the Saturday Sydney Morning Herald down 1.7 per cent to 633,000 readers, the Sunday Mail in Queensland down 9.8 per cent to a readership of 618,000 and the Saturday Age which was down 11.5 per cent to 576,000 readers.

The Saturday Daily Telegraph managed to defy the overall trend by increasing its readership by 2.2 per cent to 550,000 and was Australia’s eighth most widely read weekend newspaper.

Readership of  national broadsheet The Weekend Australian was down 9.9 per cent to 576,000 while Schwarz Media’s The Saturday Paper’s readership was virtually unchanged at 111,000.


Top Weekend Newspapers – Ranked by Print Readership*

Publication

June 2017

June 2018

% Change

‘000s

‘000s

%

Sunday Telegraph

900

864

-4.0%

Sunday Herald Sun

873

814

-6.8%

Saturday Herald Sun

825

734

-11.0%

Saturday SMH

644

633

-1.7%

The Sunday Mail (Qld)

685

618

-9.8%

The Weekend Australian

639

576

-9.9%

Saturday Age

651

576

-11.5%

Saturday Daily Telegraph

538

550

2.2%

*Print readership is average issue readership.

Full Newspaper Readership Results available to view here.


Newspaper Inserted Magazines: Stellar, Fin Review Magazine & Boss all up

Stellar increased its print readership by an impressive 7.6 per cent to 1,045,000 in the year to June 2018, continuing its solid growth since it launched. However, although down 10.3 per cent, Good Weekend remains Australia's most widely read newspaper inserted magazine with print readership of 1,139,000.

Also performing strongly over the past year were the Financial Review Magazine which increased its readership 9.4 per cent to 406,000, stablemate Boss magazine now with a readership of 153,000 and the Sunday Times TV Guide which was up 0.4 per cent to 240,000.

Other leading newspaper inserted magazines did not match these performances with Sunday Life on 701,000 readers (down 8.4 per cent) and the Weekend Australian Magazine on 622,000 (down 13.9 per cent).


Top Newspaper Inserted Magazines – Ranked by Print Readership*

Publication

June 2017

June 2018

% Change

‘000s

‘000s

%

Good Weekend

1,270

1,139

-10.3%

Stellar

971

1,045

7.6%

Sunday Life

765

701

-8.4%

Weekend Australian Magazine

722

622

-13.9%

Sunday Telegraph TV Guide

606

554

-8.6%

Sunday Herald Sun TV Guide

503

478

-5.0%

Financial Review Magazine

371

406

9.4%

*Print readership is average issue readership.

Full Newspaper Inserted Magazine Readership Results available to view here.


Regional newspapers lose readership over the year

A number of Australia’s leading regional weekday mastheads lost readership in the year to June 2018. Despite a decline the Newcastle Herald remains Australia's leading regional weekday masthead down 15.8 per cent to 64,000 ahead of the Gold Coast Bulletin down 16.4 per cent to 51,000 over the past year. Bucking the trend of its peers was the Illawarra Mercury which grew its readership 11.8 per cent to 38,000.


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

Publication

June 2017

June 2018

% Change

‘000s

‘000s

%

Newcastle Herald

76

64

-15.8%

Gold Coast Bulletin

61

51

-16.4%

Cairns Post

50

48

-4.0%

Canberra Times

48

47

-2.1%

The Hobart Mercury

52

47

-9.6%

Geelong Advertiser

55

40

-27.3%

*Print readership is average issue readership.

Full Newspaper Readership Results available to view here.

Total cross-platform readership of Australia’s leading regional titles has declined over the last year. Despite a decline in its digital audience the Canberra Times remains Australia’s most widely read regional masthead with a total cross-platform audience o 468,000.  Although dropping in print readership The Newcastle Herald retained its digital audience resulting in a total cross-platform audience of 245,000.


Total Cross-Platform Audience for available regional titles

Publication

Print

Digital
(web or app)

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

June
2017

June
2018

June
2017

June
2018

June
2017

June
2018

% Change

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

%

Canberra Times

101

99

470

401

544

468

-14.0%

Newcastle Herald

160

135

133

136

268

245

-8.6%

The Hobart Mercury

109

105

131

116

220

203

-7.7%

*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:

“Over 16 million Australians 14+ access newspapers in an average 7 day period either in print, or online via website or app. This represents an extra 500,000 Australians now consuming newspaper content via one format or another compared to a year ago, an increase of 3.3% in total cross-platform audience size.

“It’s easy to see why Nine Entertainment Company regarded Fairfax Media as a valuable merger partner when one considers the eyeballs Fairfax Media’s leading mastheads already attract.

“The Sydney Morning Herald is Australia’s leading masthead with a total audience of over 4.2 million and southern stablemate The Age attracts an audience of over 3 million. The Australian Financial Review (AFR) is Australia’s top business-focused publication and attracts a highly valuable audience of over 1.3 million.

“Combining the leading Fairfax mastheads with the Nine Network’s broadcasting channels including Nine, Gem and Go! will give the new merged entity a significant reach around Australia to challenge both Australia’s largest media company News Corp Australia and an influx of digital competitors represented by the likes of Netflix, Facebook and Amazon.

“The proposed merger will also bring the Stan Streaming Video On Demand (SVOD) service under the control of the new company. Roy Morgan’s recent research into the growth of SVOD in Australia showed Stan growing viewership at nearly 40% over the past year, a faster rate than even the market leader Netflix.

“There was also good news for rival News Corp Australia over the past year with national masthead The Australian growing it’s total cross-platform audience by 6.3 per cent to over 2.5 million and the Saturday Daily Telegraph increasing its print readership by 2.2 per cent to 550,000.

“The take out from today’s readership figures is that the edge of trust and reliability carried by Australia’s leading newspaper mastheads represents valuable marketing territory in a world of diverse and sometimes questionable content.

“By building on their existing reputations for trustworthiness there is definitely room to grow audiences for Australian media companies despite the challenges posed by cashed-up international competitors.”

For comments or more information please contact:
Roy Morgan - Enquiries
Office: (+61) (03) 9224 5309
askroymorgan@roymorgan.com