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Over 2 million Australians are now reading puzzle magazines – up an exceptional 492,000 (+30.8%) from a year ago

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2019–March 2020, n= 48,935, April 2020–March 2021, n=66,050. Base: Australians 14+.
New research from Roy Morgan shows puzzle magazines are now read by over 2 million Australians aged 14+ in an average month, a significant increase of 492,000 (+30.8%) from a year ago and the growth is driven by Millennials and Generation Z.

Leading puzzle magazines are often closely associated with a higher circulation magazine such as Take 5, Australian Women’s Weekly, Woman’s Day, Better Homes and Gardens, That’s Life and New Idea and help to raise the profile, and readership, of the primary magazine.

Leading puzzle magazines measured include Take 5 Mega Puzzler, Take 5 Pocket Puzzler, Australian Women’s Weekly Puzzle Book, Woman’s Day Superpuzzler, Better Homes and Gardens Puzzle Book, That’s Life Bumper Puzzle, That’s Life Puzzler on the Go, New Idea Jumbo Puzzler, New Idea Mr. Wisdom’s Whopper and Lovatts Puzzle Magazines.

Women are the biggest readers of puzzle magazines, but men are up most from a year ago

Women are the most avid readers of puzzle magazines – now read by 1,268,000 women, up 173,000 (+15.8%) from a year ago. However, readership of puzzle magazines by men has increased far faster and is up by 320,000 (+63.5%) to 824,000.

Roy Morgan’s readership figures are based on in-depth personal interviews with over 60,000 Australians over the last 12 months including around 5,000 interviews each month. The full Roy Morgan March 2021 magazine readership figures are available to view here.

Readership of puzzle magazines by Gender & Generations: March 2020 vs. March 2021

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2019–March 2020, n= 48,935, April 2020–March 2021, n=66,050. Base: Australians 14+.

Millennials and Generation Z drive growth in puzzle magazine readership during pandemic

The strong growth in readership of puzzle magazines has been driven by the two youngest generations. In fact, readership of puzzle magazines has more than doubled over the past year for both Millennials and Generation Z – roughly those aged under 45 years of age.

There are now 575,000 Millennials reading puzzle magazines, up 291,000 (+102.2%) from a year ago, and 553,000 Gen Z reading puzzle magazines, up 285,000 (+106.0%) on a year ago.

The nation-wide lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic during 2020 has provided a definite boost to readership of puzzle magazines among younger Australians although this surge in readership for those aged under 45 has not been replicated for older generations.

There has also been growth among Gen X with 349,000 now reading Puzzle Magazines, up 53,000 (+17.8%) from a year ago, but older generations have not seen growth over the last year.

A year ago, Baby Boomers were the biggest readers of Puzzle Magazines, but this has fallen slightly from a year ago to 437,000, down 48,000 (-10.0%). There has been an even bigger decline amongst the older Pre-Boomers down 87,000 (-32.9%) to a readership of 178,000 in this generation.

Take 5 Mega Puzzler and Australian Women’s Weekly Puzzle Book are the top puzzle magazines

A look at the leading puzzle magazine titles shows that Take 5 Mega Puzzler is the leader with a readership of 430,000, an increase of 63,000 (+17.2%) on a year ago. In a clear second place is Australian Women’s Weekly Puzzle Book with a readership of 375,000 and with the biggest increase of 166,000 (+79.6%) on a year ago.

Two further widely read puzzle magazines are Woman’s Day Superpuzzler with a readership of 309,000, an increase of 104,000 (+50.6%) on a year ago and Take 5 Pocket Puzzler just behind on a readership of 302,000, up 30,000 (+11.0%).

Readership of leading puzzle magazines: March 2021 vs. March 2020

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2019–March 2020, n= 48,935, April 2020–March 2021, n=66,050. Base: Australians 14+.

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan, says the COVID-19 pandemic and the requirement to stay at home for extended periods due to lockdowns, as well as in the interests of personal safety, has seen readership of puzzle magazines soar – particularly among younger Australians:

“New Roy Morgan research shows puzzle magazines have been one of the big winners out of the COVID-19 pandemic with readership up nearly half-a-million (+30.8%) from a year ago to over 2 million in the year to March 2021.

“The big driver of the increase has been soaring readership of puzzle magazines amongst younger Australians with readership amongst Millennials and Generation Z both more than doubling from a year ago. Now 575,000 Millennials (aged 30-45) and 553,000 Generation Z (under 30) read print magazines in an average month.

“Younger demographics now comprise over 50% of the readership of puzzle magazines – up from around a third a year ago before the COVID-19 pandemic began. As the vaccinations continue to roll out around Australia over the next few months and life returns to a ‘COVID-normal’ the publishers of puzzle magazines will need to work extra hard to retain their new-found audience.

“Take 5 Mega Puzzler has been Australia’s most widely read puzzle magazine for some time now and has an impressive readership of 430,000 – up 63,000 (+17.2%) on a year ago. The biggest increases over the last year have been for Australian Women’s Weekly Puzzle Book, up 166,000 (+79.6%) to 375,000 and for Better Homes & Gardens Puzzle Book, up 125,000 (+88.4%) to 267,000.

“As well as these top-line readership figures Roy Morgan collects in-depth data on Australia’s puzzle magazine readers that provides publishers and advertisers with the ability to precisely target existing and potential customers.”

For comments or more information please contact:
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About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate

40%-60%

25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%

1,000

±3.0

±2.7

±1.9

±1.3

5,000

±1.4

±1.2

±0.8

±0.6

7,500

±1.1

±1.0

±0.7

±0.5

10,000

±1.0

±0.9

±0.6

±0.4

20,000

±0.7

±0.6

±0.4

±0.3

50,000

±0.4

±0.4

±0.3

±0.2