Australian Newspaper Readership, 12 months to December 2020

The readership estimates below are ‘average issue readership’ (AIR) over a 12 month period, and represent the number, or %, of Australians who read or look into an average issue of the particular publication.

This provides an estimate of the ‘reach’ an advertiser can expect to achieve with advertising placed in the publication.

These print readership estimates do not include the additional Australians who read the publications in their digital form online, via web, mobile or app.

The total reach – ‘cross-platform’ reach is greater than the ‘average issue reach’ of a publication as it includes additional readers and cover a 4 week period, rather than an average issue.


  M-F M-F Sat Sat Sun Sun

Dec 2019 Dec 2020 Dec 2019 Dec 2020 Dec 2019 Dec 2020
  Newspapers R'ship ('000s) R'ship ('000s) R'ship ('000s) R'ship ('000s) R'ship ('000s) R'ship ('000s)
  National            
  The Australian 297 400 539 646 - -
  Aust. Financial Review 190 159 110 150 - -
  The Saturday Paper - - 117 205 - -
  NSW            
  Daily Telegraph 421 403 377 414 - -
  Sydney Morning Herald 351 355 448 479 - -
  Sunday Telegraph - - - - 618 689
  The Sun-Herald - - - - 366 435
  Newcastle Herald 43 52 53 61 - -
  Illawarra Mercury 26 25 27 22 - -
  Canberra Times 38 44 45 44 28 30
  VIC            
  Herald Sun 582 564 552 618 - -
  The Age 378 312 440 433 - -
  Sunday Herald Sun - - - - 568 690
  The Sunday Age - - - - 377 394
  Geelong Advertiser 29 37 34 38 - -
  QLD            
  Courier-Mail 261 260 344 355 - -
  The Sunday Mail - - - - 503 533
  Cairns Post 29 28 34 40 - -
  Gold Coast Bulletin 47 34 48 34 - -
  Townsville Bulletin 36 48 33 36 - -
  SA            
  Adelaide Advertiser  224 220 283 291 - -
  Sunday Mail - - - - 323 331
  WA            
  West Australian 311 328 - - - -
  Weekend West - - 397 390 - -
  Sunday Times - - - - 295 371
  Tasmania          
  The Mercury 47 44 52 57 - -
  The Examiner 34 35 31 33 - -
  The Advocate 17 20 16 23 - -
  Sunday Tasmanian - - - - 48 42
  Sunday Examiner - - - - 23 29
  Northern Territory            
  Northern Territory News 18 18 22 26 - -
  Sunday Territorian  - - - - 16 17


Print Newspaper Summary - December 2020

Weekend Newspaper Readership increases from a year ago during the year of the COVID-19 lockdowns as Australians seek out trusted sources

Australia’s best read weekend newspaper is the Sunday Herald Sun with an average issue print readership of 690,000, up an impressive 21.5 per cent on a year ago as Melburnians endured two extended lockdowns for a total period of over six months.

In second place by a hair's breadth is northern stablemate Sydney’s Sunday Telegraph with an average issue print readership of 689,000 , an increase of 11.5 per cent on a year ago. In fact, of the top ten weekend newspapers all but one increased their print readership over the last year as Australians sought out trusted news sources.

In third place is another News Corp stablemate the national broadsheet The Weekend Australian read by 646,000, up 19.9 per cent on a year ago ahead of the Saturday Herald Sun read by 618,000, up 12 per cent. Queensland's most widely read weekend newspaper is next in fifth position with The Sunday Mail read by 533,000, up 6 per cent on a year ago.

Other widely read major titles to increase their print readership over the last year include the Saturday SMH with a readership of 479,000, up 6.9 per cent on a year ago, the Sun-Herald with a readership of 435,000, up an impressive 18.9 per cent on a year ago, rival the Saturday Telegraph with a readership of 414,000, up 9.8 per cent on 2019 and Melbourne's Sunday Age with a readership of 394,000, up 4.5 per cent on a year ago.


Top Weekend Newspapers – Ranked by Print Readership*

  Publication

Dec 2019

Dec 2020

% Change

‘000s

‘000s

%

  Sunday Herald Sun

568

690

21.5%

  Sunday Telegraph

618

689

11.5%

  The Weekend Australian

539

646

19.9%

  Saturday Herald Sun

552

618

12.0%

  The Sunday Mail

503

533

6.0%

  Saturday SMH

448

479

6.9%

  The Sun-Herald

366

435

18.9%

  Saturday Age

440 433 -1.6%

  Saturday Telegraph

377 414 9.8%

  The Sunday Age

377 394 4.5%

*Print readership is average issue readership.


The Newcastle Herald, Townsville Bulletin, Canberra Times, Geelong Advertiser and The (Launceston) Examiner increased their print readership during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020

Clearly the best performing regional newspaper over the past year has been the Newcastle Herald which increased its weekday print readership by 20.9 per cent to 52,000 during the COVID-19 pandemic and is clearly Australia's most widely read regional newspaper.

The Newcastle Herald was one of five of Australia's seven leading regional newspapers to increase their weekday print readership over the last year as Australians were locked down and stuck at home for weeks on end.

Also performing well was the Townsville Bulletin which increased its readership by a third to 48,000 and the Canberra Times which was up 15.8 per cent to a readership of 44,000 equal to The Mercury in Hobart also with a readership of 44,000, but down 6.4 per cent on a year ago.

Also increasing their readership from a year ago were the Geelong Advertiser, up by over a quarter, 27.6 per cent, to a readership of 37,000 and The Examiner in Launceston which increased readership by 2.9 per cent to 35,000.

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

  Publication

Dec 2019

Dec 2020

% Change

‘000s

‘000s

%

  Newcastle Herald

43

52

20.9%

  Townsville Bulletin

36

48

33.3%

  Canberra Times

38

44

15.8%

  The Mercury

47

44

-6.4%

  Geelong Advertiser

29

37

27.6%

  The (Launceston) Examiner

34

35

2.9%

  Gold Coast Bulletin

47

34

27.7%

*Print readership is average issue readership.