October 31, 2019

15.4 million Australians read newspapers in print or online

Topic: Press Release, Readership Surveys
Finding No: 8189
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Roy Morgan today releases the latest readership results for Australian newspapers for the 12 months to September 2019. Now 15.4 million, or 74%, of Australians aged 14+ read or access newspapers in an average 7 day period via print or online (website or app) platforms, a fall of 3.7 per cent from a year ago.

The standout performer over the past year is again the Australian Financial Review (AFR) which increased its total cross-platform readership by a significant 17.1 per cent to 1,599,000 driven by a substantial increase in the AFR’s digital audience – up by 24.6 per cent to 1,359,000.

WA’s only daily metropolitan newspaper the West Australian grew its digital readership and increased its cross-platform audience by 2.9 per cent to 1,066,000 and The Saturday Paper had even stronger growth and grew its total cross-platform audience by 8.2 per cent to 250,000.

These are the latest findings from the Roy Morgan Single Source survey of 49,462 Australians aged 14+ in the 12 months to September 2019.

Australia’s most widely read masthead is the Nine Entertainment owned Sydney Morning Herald – with a cross-platform audience of 4,209,000, virtually unchanged on a year ago. Melbourne stablemate The Age is the second most widely read with a cross-platform audience of 2,852,000.

The News Corp daily the Herald Sun is in third with a cross-platform audience of 2,801,000 in front of its Sydney counterpart the Daily Telegraph which now has a cross-platform audience of 2,524,000 – although both have declined over the last year

National broadsheet The Australian with a cross-platform audience of 2,394,000 fills out the top five.

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

*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.

Print Newspapers now read by around three-in-ten Australians (6.2 million)

Nearly 6.2 million Australians read the listed print newspapers, including over 4.3 million who read weekday issues, almost 3.6 million who read Saturday editions and more than 3.1 million who read Sunday titles. Although print readership has declined year-on-year, these figures show around 30% per cent of Australians read print newspapers. In today’s digitally-focused world print newspapers continue to be an important advertising medium to reach both mass and niche audiences.

Weekend Newspaper Readership down from a year ago

Australia’s best read weekend newspaper is again Sydney’s Sunday Telegraph with an average issue print readership of 656,000 – down 21.6 per cent over the past year – ahead of southern stablemate Melbourne’s Sunday Herald Sun which has a print readership of 586,000 (down 23.3 per cent).

Other major titles to decline included the Saturday Herald Sun down 20.9 per cent to a readership of 560,000, The Weekend Australian down 6.5 per cent to 547,000, The Sunday Mail in Queensland down 11.8 per cent to 532,000, the Saturday Sydney Morning Herald down 25.9 per cent to 449,000 and Melbourne’s Saturday Age down 19.9 per cent to 443,000 readers.

Top Weekend Newspapers – Ranked by Print Readership*

PublicationSep 2018Sep 2019% Change
‘000s‘000s%
Sunday Telegraph837656-21.6%
Sunday Herald Sun764586-23.3%
Saturday Herald Sun708560-20.9%
The Weekend Australian585547-6.5%
The Sunday Mail (Qld)603532-11.8%
Saturday SMH606449-25.9%
Saturday Age553443-19.9%

*Print readership is average issue readership.

Newspaper Inserted Magazines: Readership of The Deal, Boss & SA Weekend increases

Three newspaper inserted magazines have managed to increase their readership over the last year despite broader industry trends led by the AFR’s Boss Magazine which increased its readership by 16.7 per cent to 175,000.

Also increasing their readership was The Deal magazine for which readership increased 13.6 per cent to 75,000 and SA Weekend now with 238,000 readers, up 3.9 per cent.

However, although down 25.2 per cent, Good Weekend clearly remains Australia's most widely read newspaper inserted magazine with print readership of 825,000. Real estate focused magazine Domain is the second most widely read with a readership of 687,000, down 13.3 per cent.

The Weekend Australian magazine is now the third most widely read newspaper inserted magazine with a readership of 544,000, down 10.5 per cent on a year ago, ahead of Stellar magazine read by 510,000, down a significant 31.2 per cent on a year ago. Sunday Life is the fifth most widely read newspaper inserted magazine with a readership of 475,000, down 30 per cent.

Top Newspaper Inserted Magazines – Ranked by Print Readership*

PublicationSep 2018Sep 2019% Change
‘000s‘000s%
Good Weekend (NSW/Vic)1,103825-25.2%
Domain (NSW/Vic)792687-13.3%
Weekend Australian Magazine608544-10.5%
Stellar (NSW/Vic)741510-31.2%
Sunday Life (NSW/Vic)679475-30.0%
Sunday Telegraph TV Guide (NSW)535413-22.8%
Financial Review Magazine405370-8.6%

*Print readership is average issue readership.

Townsville Bulletin and The (Launceston) Examiner increase print readership

North Queensland’s Monday-Friday Townsville Bulletin had the most impressive readership growth over the past year of all regional titles with an increase in readership of 14.3 per cent to 40,000.

Another bright spot for regional titles was The Examiner of the Tasmanian city of Launceston which increased its weekday readership by 6.7 per cent to 32,000 in the year to September 2019.

Despite a decline in readership over the past year the Newcastle Herald remains Australia’s most widely read weekday regional title with a print readership of 51,000 (down 17.7 per cent).

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

PublicationSep 2018Sep 2019% Change
‘000s‘000s%
Newcastle Herald6251-17.7%
The Hobart Mercury5249-5.8%
Gold Coast Bulletin5549-10.9%
Townsville Bulletin354014.3%
Canberra Times4935-28.6%
The Examiner30326.7%

*Print readership is average issue readership.

The total cross-platform audiences of Australia’s leading regional titles has again declined over the last year. Despite this decline in its digital audience the Canberra Times remains Australia’s most widely read regional masthead with a total cross-platform audience of 361,000 ahead of the Newcastle Herald with an audience of 217,000 and The Hobart Mercury with an audience of 190,000.

Total Cross-Platform Audience for available regional titles

PublicationPrintDigital
(web or app)
Total Cross-Platform Audience
(print, web or app)
Sep
2018
Sep
2019
Sep
2018
Sep
2019
Sep
2018
Sep
2019
% Change
‘000s‘000s‘000s‘000s‘000s‘000s%
Canberra Times9971382320449361-19.6%
Newcastle Herald128109116122222217-2.3%
The Hobart Mercury106100118113202190-5.9%

*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, Chief Executive Officer, Roy Morgan, says:

Block Quote
“Roy Morgan’s latest readership results show 15.4 million Australians 14+ now access newspapers either in print, or online via website or app in an average 7 day period. Although this represents a decline of 3.7 per cent from a year ago this nonetheless represents a large market of around three-quarters of Australians.
 
“Australia’s leading masthead is the Nine Entertainment Company’s Sydney Morning Herald read by over 4.2 million Australians, virtually unchanged on a year ago. The SMH’s lead over its rivals has actually increased from a year ago as it has held its ground while others have fallen back.
 
“Other widely read mastheads include SMH southern stablemate The Age with an audience of over 2.8 million and a trio of News Corp titles led by the Herald Sun (2.8 million), Daily Telegraph (over 2.5 million) and The Australian (2.4 million).
 
“The big winner over the last year has been the business focused national daily the Australian Financial Review which grew its total audience by over 17 per cent to 1.6 million. The AFR is one of the few titles to increase both its traditional print audience as well as its much larger digital audience. The AFR’s digital audience grew by nearly 25 per cent to over 1.35 million.

“Two of the better performing newspapers are found outside the big two publishing empires. Schwartz Media’s The Saturday Paper increased its total audience by 8.2 per cent to 250,000 and The West Australian’s audience grew by 2.9 per cent to over 1.05 million.”

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

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

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