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Australians re-discover ‘love’ of magazines during 2021 with Food & Entertainment, Home & Garden, General Interest and Mass Women readership up year on year

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 available for each magazine visit the Roy Morgan website.

15.2 million Australians read magazines in print and online

Over 11.2 million Australians aged 14+ (53%) now read print magazines, an increase of 2.2% from a year ago, according to the results released today from the Roy Morgan Australian Readership report for the 12 months to September 2021.

This market broadens to 15.2 million Australians aged 14+ (71.8%) read magazines in print or online either via the web or an app, down 3.3 per cent from a year ago. These are the latest findings from the Roy Morgan Single Source survey of 64,972 Australians aged 14+ in the 12 months to September 2021.

Print readership increased in top four magazine categories: Food and Entertainment, General Interest, Home & Garden and Mass Women’s Magazines

The overall magazine industry readership figures are up compared to a year ago with the rebound out of the 2020 lockdowns earlier last year providing a boost to key magazine categories. Of the 15 categories measured over the last two years two-thirds (10 magazine categories) are up and only 5 are down.

The print readership of all four of the most widely read magazine categories increased significantly from a year ago. Readership of the Food & Entertainment category increased 12.7 per cent to over 7.2 million, General Interest was up 9.1 per cent to over 4.1 million, Home & Garden increased substantially by 12.2 per cent to almost 3.8 million and Mass Women’s was up 4.1 per cent to around 3 million.

There were also impressive increases in readership for the magazine categories covering Motoring, TV, Sports, Music & Movies, Fishing and Motorcyles.

The top 25 magazines increased their print readership over the past year with Better Homes & Gardens and Women’s Weekly again the most widely read paid magazines

All 25 of Australia’s most widely read magazines experienced a growth in their print readership over the past year as Australians emerged from the nationwide lockdown in early 2020, and millions of Victorians emerged from a much longer second lockdown running through the winter months of 2020.

Better Homes & Gardens is Australia’s most widely read paid magazine with print readership up 8.2 per cent to 1,661,000 ahead of the Australian Women’s Weekly with a print readership of 1,393,000, an increase of 11.1 per cent on a year ago.

In addition, National Geographic has retained an impressive print readership of 965,000, up 8.9 per cent on a year ago to be Australia’s third most widely read paid magazine ahead of Woman’s Day with a readership of 771,000, an increase of 6.6 per cent.

Coles Magazine & Fresh most widely read while Bunnings Magazine read by over 1.5m

Australia's two most widely read free magazines are Coles Magazine with a readership of 5,132,000, an increase of 13.8 per cent from a year ago and Fresh Ideas with a readership of 4,661,000, up 16.3 per cent.

Bunnings Magazine is the third most widely read free magazine and its increase in readership over the last year has been closely tied to the boom in home improvement and renovations due to the COVID-19 pandemic with readership increasing by a massive 10.4 per cent to 1,501,000.

There were six magazines in the top 15 to have increases in readership of over 20 per cent compared to a year ago led by two motoring magazines. The NRMA’s magazine Open Road (NSW) increased its readership by 24.9 per cent to well over 1 million while the RACQ’s Road Ahead (Qld) was up 30.5 per cent to 650,000.

However, the largest increase was for House & Garden which grew its readership by a massive 50.1 per cent to 644,000 to be the sixth most widely read paid magazine.

Other leading magazines to perform strongly include Taste.com.au Magazine (+22.5 per cent to 708,000), Take 5 Bumper Monthly (+23.9 per cent to 601,000) and That’s Life Mega Monthly (+31.8 per cent to 559,000).

Top 15 Magazines by print readership – September 2021

Publication

September 2020

September 2021

% Change

‘000s

‘000s

%

Coles Magazine

4,508

5,132

13.8%

Fresh Ideas

4,008

4,661

16.3%

Better Homes & Gardens

1,535

1,661

8.2%

Bunnings Magazine

1,359

1,501

10.4%

Australian Women’s Weekly

1,254

1,393

11.1%

Open Road (NSW)

873

1,090

24.9%

National Geographic

886

965

8.9%

Woman’s Day

723

771

6.6%

Taste.com.au Magazine

578

708

22.5%

Road Ahead (Qld)

498

650

30.5%

House & Garden

429

644

50.1%

New Idea

625

627

0.3%

Take 5 Bumper Monthly

485

601

23.9%

That’s Life Mega Monthly

424

559

31.8%

That’s Life!

442

509

15.2%

Full Magazine Readership Results available to view here.

The five most read categories of magazines
  • Food & Entertainment (7,201,000 Australians, 34.1% of the population);
  • General Interest (4,115,000 Australians, 19.5% of the population);
  • Home & Garden (3,777,000 Australians, 17.9% of the population);
  • Mass Women’s (2,991,000 Australians, 14.2% of the population);
  • Business, Financial & Airline (991,000 Australians, 4.7% of the population).
Food & Entertainment magazines number one with total readership of over 7.2 million

Food & Entertainment is again Australia's best performing magazine category and is now read by 7,201,000 Australians, or 34.1% of the population, an increase of 812,000 (up 12.7 per cent) on a year ago and more than 3 million ahead of any other category.

The free supermarket titles remain the clear leaders in the category led by Coles Magazine with a readership of 5,132,000, an increase of 624,000 (up 13.8 per cent) on a year ago ahead of the second-placed Woolworth’s Fresh Ideas now read by 4,661,000 Australians, up 653,000 (up 16.3 per cent).

Three widely read magazines grew their readership impressively over the past year led by Taste.com.au Magazine, up by 22.5 per cent to a readership of 708,000, Delicious, up 28.7 per cent to a readership of 341,000 and Australian Gourmet Traveller up by 8.9 per cent to a readership of 207,000.

Other titles to increase their readership include Family Circle up 14.1 per cent to a readership of 105,000, Gourmet Traveller Wine up 40.4 per cent to a readership of 80,000 and Halliday was up 28 per cent to a readership of 32,000.

General Interest magazines increase readership by over 340,000 to over 4.1 million

4,115,000 Australians, or 19.5% of the population, read at least one of the general interest magazine titles. All 12 of thee general interest magazines increased their readership from a year ago and there were two new titles in the category Vacations & Travel and Australian Country.

National Geographic was easily the most widely read paid magazine in the category with a readership of 965,000, up 8.9 per cent on a year ago ahead of the second-placed Australian Geographic with a readership of 504,000 following an increase of 5.4 per cent.

Several magazines recorded large increases in readership in the category led by one of the most widely read in the category, Reader’s Digest Australia, up 14.9 per cent to a readership of 446,000. Other magazines to increase their readership include Australian Traveller, up 65.4% to 129,000, RM Williams Outback which increased by 69.8 per cent to 275,000 and Cosmos up a stunning 109.1 per cent to 92,000.

There were also strong performances by several motoring magazines: Open Road (NSW) read by 1,090,000 (up 24.9 per cent), Road Ahead (Qld) now read by 650,000 (up 30.5 per cent), Horizons (WA) read by 275,000 (up 10.4 per cent) and SA Motor (SA) read by 211,000 (up 1.9 per cent).

For the new magazine in the category the readership number is impressive with Vacations & Travel achieving a readership of 103,000.

Home & Garden magazines are in a clear third place read by almost 3.8 million Australians

Home & Garden magazines have significantly grown their audience over the past year up by 12.2 per cent to 3,777,000 Australians. Of the eleven continuing magazines in the category a large majority of nine increased their readership compared to a year ago including the six most widely read magazines.

Australia’s most widely read paid magazine is again Better Homes & Gardens (BH&G) with a readership of 1,661,000, up 8.2 per cent on a year ago.

The second most widely read is Bunnings Magazine which is now read by over 1.5 million, following an increase of 10.4 per cent on a year ago, and is the only other magazine in the category with a readership of over 1 million.

There were several other widely read magazines to grow their readership strongly including House & Garden, up by 50.1 per cent to 644,000, Gardening Australia up 21.2 per cent to 503,000, Home Beautiful up 15.8 per cent to 323,000 and Vogue Living up a 45.6 per cent to 246,000.

Also growing their readership over the last year were Belle, up 2.6 per cent to 118,000, Home Design, up 31.7 per cent to 108,000 and Inside Out, up 10.6 per cent to 104,000.

There were five new magazines in the category led by Organic Gardener with an impressive readership of 161,000, Grand Designs Australia with a readership of 154,000, Kitchens & Bathrooms scoring a readership of 84,000, Australian Country read by 73,000 and Backyard & Outdoor Living with a readership of 69,000.

Mass Women’s magazines growth driven by Women’s Weekly, That’s Life & Take 5 magazines

Mass Women’s magazines are now read by 2,991,000 Australians equal to 14.2 per cent of the population, an increase of 117,000 (up 4.1 per cent) on a year ago.

Easily the most widely read magazine in the category is Australian Women’s Weekly with a readership of 1,393,000, a stunning increase of 139,000 (up 11.1 per cent) on a year ago. Other widely read magazines in the category include Woman’s Day with a readership of 771,000 (up 6.6 per cent) and New Idea with a readership of 627,000 (up 0.3 per cent).

Also growing strongly in the category were That’s Life Mega Monthly which grew its readership by 31.8 per cent to 559,000 and That’s Life, up 15.2 per cent to 509,000.

The Take 5 magazines also grew their readership over the last year led by Take 5 Bumper Monthly, up by 23.9 per cent to 601,000 and Take 5 (Weekly) up by 11.5 per cent to 503,000.

There was also a new magazine in the category, New Idea Retro, which has a readership of 118,000.

Money Magazine is the top performer in the Business magazine category

Overall the Business, Financial and Airline magazines readership experienced a decrease of 8.7 per cent over the last year to 991,000 (4.7% of the population).

Despite the overall decline, four magazines in the category did increase their readership over the last year led by Money Magazine which increased readership by an impressive 65.4 per cent to 225,000 as Australians increased their rate of saving to its highest levels since the early 1970s during the pandemic.

Also increasing was Qantas Magazine which remains the most widely read magazine in the category with 323,000 readers, an increase of 21.4 per cent on a year ago, The Monthly with a readership of 132,000, up 7.3 per cent and Time magazine with a readership of 183,000, an increase of 1.7 per cent.

Motoring, TV and Sports magazine categories increase readership

There was growth in several smaller magazine categories with the Motoring, TV, Sports, Fishing and Motorcycle magazine categories all increasing their readership in the 12 months to September 2021.

Motoring magazines are the seventh most widely read magazine category and experienced growth of 21.6 per cent over the past year for an overall readership of 832,000, or 3.9% of the population with all six magazines in the category increasing their readership over the past year.

The magazines to increase their readership included 4x4 Australia, up 36.2 per cent to 256,000, Street Machine, up 40.8 per cent to 245,000, Wheels magazine, up 28.2 per cent to 218,000, Just Cars, up 49.6 per cent to 211,000, Unique Cars, up 47.1 per cent to 175,000 and Motor, up 35.4 per cent to 130,000.

Sports magazines also had a good year and more than doubled category readership, up by 142.1 per cent on a year ago to 460,000 on the back of strong performances from two golfing magazines. Readership of both golf magazines more than doubled with readership of Golf Australia up 149.2 per cent to 157,000 and Australian Golf Digest up 137.1 per cent to a readership of 147,000.

Notably, and despite a heavily disrupted season, the AFL Record is still the most widely read magazine in the category with a readership of 187,000.

TV magazines have also experienced a large increase in readership with an increase of 23.9 per cent to 711,000. Readership of the TV Week magazine increased by 42.7 per cent to 371,000 and readership was up 86.5 per cent to 332,000 for the Foxtel Magazine.

Other magazines to perform strongly included Fishing World, up 8.5 per cent to 166,000, Australian Motorcycle News, up 26.6 per cent to 100,000, Vogue Australia, up 1.5 per cent to 345,000, Women’s Health, up 25.1 per cent to 239,000, Men’s Health up 33.7 per cent to 242,000, Play Australia Magazine up 123.3 per cent to 192,000, Diabetic Living, up 14.5 per cent to 166,000 and PC PowerPlay up 52.7 per cent to 84,000.

Are Media’s ‘Now to Love’ digital platform is read by 1.7 million Australians

The results for the 12 months to September 2021 for Magazine Publishers are impressive with the 4 week digital platform audience data showing Are Media’s ‘Now to Love’ website attracting an audience of 1.7 million Australians in an average 4 week period. Are Media’s ‘Now to Love’ platform allows advertisers to reach their audience in new ways with innovative online offerings.

Many of Are Media’s magazine brands (including Australian Women’s Weekly, Woman’s Day, Take 5 and TV Week) have consolidated their online presence on the ‘Now to Love’ platform which is adding incremental reach to already strong print based publications, including Woman’s Day and Australian Women’s Weekly which both reach cross-platform audiences over around 3 million readers in an average 4 week period. 

There are several other magazines with large cross-platform audiences including News Corp’s Taste.com.au Magazine with a total audience of over 3.4 million, Are Media’s New Idea and Take 5 (weekly) both with over 2.4 million and TV Week and Better Home & Gardens both with well over 2.2 million readers in an average 4 weeks in the 12 months to September 2021.

Top 15 Magazines – Total Cross-Platform Audience

Print (4 weeks)

Digital
(4 weeks)
(incl. Apple News)

Total CPA
(4 weeks)
(incl. Apple News)

Publication

12m to Sep 2021 (000's)

12m to Sep 2021
(000's)

12m to Sep 2021
(000's)

Taste.com.au Magazine

708

2,860

3,433

Woman's Day

1,563

1,747

3,058

Australian Women's Weekly

1,393

1,765

2,935

New Idea

1,276

1,281

2,431

Take 5 (weekly)

852

1,698

2,416

TV Week

766

1,698

2,366

Better Homes & Gardens

1,661

686

2,262

Take 5 Bumper Monthly

601

1,698

2,198

National Geographic

965

638

1,563

Open Road

1,090

101

1,170

House & Garden

644

486

1,110

Who

323

707

1,008

Delicious

341

603

925

4X4 Australia

256

676

904

That's Life

864

40

900


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 available for each magazine visit the Roy Morgan website.

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan, says readership of print magazines is up on a year ago with increases across a range of categories including Food & Entertainment, Home & Garden, General Interest, Mass Women, Motoring, TV, Sports and Motorcycles:

“The latest Roy Morgan readership survey shows 15.2 million Australians now read magazines whether in print or online. There has been extra good news for print magazines which have increased their readership by 2.2 per cent to over 11.2 million compared to a year ago.

“The strong performance for print magazines came following the nation-wide lockdown early in 2020 and shows that once freed from stay-at-home restrictions Australians were keen to return to the magazines they know and love. In addition, subsequent lockdowns have had a diminishing impact on the readership of print magazines.

“Four-out-of-five of the leading categories increased their readership over the last year including Food & Entertainment, up 12.7 per cent to 7,201,000, General Interest, up 9.1 per cent to 4,115,000, Home & Garden, up 12.2 per cent to 3,777,000 and Mass Women’s, up 4.1 per cent to 2,991,000.

“In addition to the leading categories there were also increases in readership in several other categories including TV, Sports, Motoring, Motorcycles, Fishing and Music & Movies magazines.

“The increase in print magazine readership was widespread – all of the top 25 most widely read magazines (with a readership of at least 300,000) increased their print readership over the last year. 

“Australia’s four most widely read paid magazines all increased their readership led by Better Homes & Gardens up 8.2 per cent to 1,661,000, Australian Women’s Weekly, up 11.1 per cent to 1,393,000, National Geographic, up 8.9 per cent to 965,000 and Woman’s Day, up 6.6 per cent to 771,000.

“The most impressive performances among the top 25 print magazines were by Foxtel Magazine, up 86.5 per cent to a readership of 332,000, House & Garden, up 50.1 per cent to 644,000, TV Week up 42.7 per cent to 371,000, That’s Life Mega Monhtly, up 31.8 per cent to 559,000, Delicious, up 28.7 per cent to 341,000 and Take 5 Bumper Monthly, up 23.9 per cent to 601,000.

“These readership figures are for the 12 months to September 2021 during which around half of the Australian population was in lockdown doing the last few months of this interviewing period. After the lockdowns of 2020 ended Australians emerged with cash to spend and part of that boost in spending went to print magazines which is reflected in these figures released today.

“There is the chance for the same boost to spending on print magazines to happen now and during 2022 as ‘cashed-up’ Australians freed from lockdowns look for compelling and engaging content.

“Although travel restricions have eased, there are still internal border restrictions set to continue into early 2022 and international travel presents its own concerns with some countries such as China and New Zealand still instituting a hard border for international arrivals.

“Given the restraints on spending that are still around magazines stand to continue their revival in the months ahead. Today’s results show that when magazine publishers offer compelling content there is a large market of 15 million consumers who are there to ready to engage and respond. Magazines have the ability to communicate complex messaging and with the massive reach of many magazines they can deliver large audiences for advertisers.”


Print
(4 weeks)

Digital
(4 weeks)
(incl. Apple News)

Total CPA
(4 weeks)
(incl. Apple News)

Publication

12m to Mar 2021
(000's)

12m to Mar 2021
(000's)

12m to Mar 2021
(000's)

Adelaide Advertiser

894

1,160

1,725

Canberra Times

205

735

908

Courier-Mail

1,564

1,768

2,913

Daily Telegraph

2,485

3,027

4,879

Financial Review

1,212

2,298

3,295

Herald Sun

2,571

2,838

4,562

Mercury

158

299

430

Newcastle Herald

235

320

542

Sydney Morning Herald

2,012

7,683

8,519

The Age

1,585

5,186

5,990

The Australian

3,047

2,632

5,092

The Saturday Paper

511

359

846

West Australian

1,203

Print
(4 weeks)

Digital
(4 weeks)
(incl. Apple News)

Total CPA
(4 weeks)
(incl. Apple News)

Publication

12m to Mar 2021
(000's)

12m to Mar 2021
(000's)

12m to Mar 2021
(000's)

Adelaide Advertiser

894

1,160

1,725

Canberra Times

205

735

908

Courier-Mail

1,564

1,768

2,913

Daily Telegraph

2,485

3,027

4,879

Financial Review

1,212

2,298

3,295

Herald Sun

2,571

2,838

4,562

Mercury

158

299

430

Newcastle Herald

235

320

542

Sydney Morning Herald

2,012

7,683

8,519

The Age

1,585

5,186

5,990

The Australian

3,047

2,632

5,092

The Saturday Paper

511

359

846

West Australian

1,203

Print
(4 weeks)

Digital
(4 weeks)
(incl. Apple News)

Total CPA
(4 weeks)
(incl. Apple News)

Publication

12m to Mar 2021
(000's)

12m to Mar 2021
(000's)

12m to Mar 2021
(000's)

Adelaide Advertiser

894

1,160

1,725

Canberra Times

205

735

908

Courier-Mail

1,564

1,768

2,913

Daily Telegraph

2,485

3,027

4,879

Financial Review

1,212

2,298

3,295

Herald Sun

2,571

2,838

4,562

Mercury

158

299

430

Newcastle Herald

235

320

542

Sydney Morning Herald

2,012

7,683

8,519

The Age

1,585

5,186

5,990

The Australian

3,047

2,632

5,092

The Saturday Paper

511

359

846

West Australian

1,203

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