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Roy Morgan Newspaper Readership and Cross-Platform Audience Results for 2014

Print is average issue readership; digital is website visitation and app usage in an average 7 days.

Roy Morgan Research today releases the latest Print Readership and seven-day Cross-Platform Audience results for Australian Newspapers for the survey period 12 months to December 2014.

Not all doom and gloom for print

Average issue Print Readership of The Age in Victoria grew to 566,000 for its Mon-Fri edition (a very healthy increase of 8.0%) and 580,000 for The Sunday Age (up 3.8%), The Saturday Age remained stable.

Both weekend editions of the Canberra Times did well, with Saturday’s readership holding steady at 103,000 and Sunday’s rising to 76,000 readers (an increase of 15.2%). The Illawarra Mercury saw a modest increase in readership for its weekday editions (+6.7%) and a solid performance from the Saturday paper (+2.0%). This was matched by the Northern Territory News (Monday-Friday +5.4%; Saturday +4.0%).

One of the biggest print newspaper success stories in these challenging times was the impressive growth of Victorian edition of mX (+15.0%).

However, with the exception of the above, the overall decline in print readership of Australia’s major daily newspapers continues, with figures for 2014 down on 2013. In an average week last year, print newspapers reached 9,251,000 Australians overall, down 6.5% on 2013, when they were read by 9,892,000 people.

As they were last survey period, weekend newspapers were impacted worse than the weekday papers. Readership for Saturday papers was down 9.5% (or 559,000 people), while Sunday papers lost 477,000 readers (an 8.8% decrease). Monday-Friday papers were down 482,000 readers (a drop of 6.6%).

The changing face of Saturdays

All Saturday editions experienced declining reader numbers, with the exception of those mentioned above. The one new entrant to the market, The Saturday Paper, launched in March is reaching an average of 99,000 hard-copy readers per issue. In NSW and Victoria, it is reaching 49,000 people who are not reading the Saturday editions of the state-wide major daily newspapers. 

Australian Newspaper Readership, 12 months to December 2014

(average issue readership)

  M-F M-F Sat Sat Sun Sun
  December 2013 December 2014 December 2013 December 2014 December 2013 December 2014
Newspapers R'ship ('000s) R'ship ('000s) R'ship ('000s) R'ship ('000s) R'ship ('000s) R'ship ('000s)
National            
The Australian 354 340 741 663 - -
Aust. Financial Review 234 197 158 127 - -
NSW            
Daily Telegraph 752 638 667 596 - -
Sydney Morning Herald 529 518 772 737 - -
Sunday Telegraph - - - - 1,175 1,036
The Sun-Herald - - - - 752 682
MX 162 119 - - - -
Newcastle Herald 104 94 158 121 - -
Illawarra Mercury 45 48 49 50 - -
Canberra Times 79 70 102 103 66 76
The Saturday Paper (NSW) (from Jul14) - - - 55 - -
VIC            
Herald Sun 1,040 892 1,028 857 - -
The Age 524 566 698 695 - -
Sunday Herald Sun - - - - 1,033 903
The Sunday Age - - - - 559 580
MX 127 146 - - - -
Geelong Advertiser 60 55 85 76 - -
The Saturday Paper (VIC) (from Jul14) - - - 44 - -
QLD            
Courier-Mail 486 468 611 555 - -
The Sunday Mail - - - - 896 835
MX 61 43 - - - -
Cairns Post 57 55 83 81 - -
Gold Coast Bulletin 88 75 110 80 - -
Townsville Bulletin 47 54 78 66 - -
SA            
Adelaide Advertiser  389 351 500 411 - -
Sunday Mail - - - - 532 467
WA            
West Australian 508 431 - - - -
Weekend West - - 664 593 - -
Sunday Times - - - - 547 478
Tasmania            
The Mercury 87 79 112 103 - -
The Examiner 58 56 76 68 - -
The Advocate 37 37 45 42 - -
Sunday Tasmanian (Tas) - - - - 95 90
Sunday Examiner - - - - 68 66
Northern Territory            
Northern Territory News 37 39 50 52 - -
Sunday Territorian  - - - - 35 30
Newspaper
Insert Magazines
Readership Readership
% of Population 14+ ('000s)
Dec 2013 Dec 2014 Gain/Loss Dec 2013 Dec 2014 % Change
Wish 0.4 0.4 0.0 78 76 -2.6
Weekend Australian Magazine 3.9 3.6 -0.3 747 693 -7.2
Financial Review Magazine 2.0 2.3 0.3 385 446 15.8
Boss 0.6 0.5 -0.1 109 105 -3.7
Good Weekend (NSW & Vic) 7.5 6.9 -0.6 1,430 1,341 -6.2
Sunday Style (NSW & Vic) 6.1 5.1 -1.0 1,174 977 -16.8
Sunday Life (NSW & Vic) 5.0 4.7 -0.3 958 906 -5.4
Sunday Telegraph TV Guide (NSW) 4.0 3.3 -0.7 765 640 -16.3
Sunday Herald Sun TV Guide (Vic) 3.4 2.7 -0.7 644 517 -19.7
Qweekend (Qld) 2.3 2.0 -0.3 449 383 -14.7
Sunday Mail TV Guide (Qld) 3.0 2.6 -0.4 573 506 -11.7
Gold Coast Eye (Qld) 0.3 0.2 -0.1 53 45 -15.1
Sunday Mail TV Guide (SA) 2.0 1.7 -0.3 386 332 -14.0
SA Weekend 1.8 1.6 -0.2 346 310 -10.4
Sunday Times TV Guide (WA) 1.9 1.6 -0.3 365 304 -16.7
STM - Sunday Times Magazine (WA) 1.9 1.5 -0.4 358 300 -16.2
Seven Days (WA) 2.2 1.8 -0.4 428 347 -18.9
West Weekend (WA) 2.2 1.9 -0.3 420 374 -11.0

Cross-Platform Audiences

Cross Platform Audience is the number of Australians who have read or accessed individual newspaper content via print, web, or app in a 7 day period.

While the net 7 day print readership has declined for all major daily newspapers except The Age (+5.0%) and Canberra Times (+0.6%), as shown in the table below, most have seen improvements in their digital audiences.

The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age both showed gains in Total Cross Platform Audience. The Sydney Morning Herald increased by 6.7% to 3,494,000, The Age increased by 2.8% to 2,528,000, the Courier Mail increased by 5.4% to 1, 949,000,  Canberra Times increased 3.6% to 492,000 and the Adelaide Advertiser was up 107% to 1,069,000.

There were widespread increases in digital audience as a percentage of total audience, with digital readers currently comprising around 50% of the total audience for the majority of major dailies.  This proportion is considerably higher for the Canberra Times (79%), SMH (79%) and The Age (75%).

Cross Platform Audiences for Newspapers – average 7 days

Publication Print Digital
(web or app)
Total Cross-Platform Audience
(print, web or app)
Dec 2013
('000s)
Dec 2014
('000s)
Dec 2013
('000s)
Dec 2014
('000s)
Dec 2013
('000s)
Dec 2014
('000s)
% change in
Total Cross- Platform Audience
Adelaide Advertiser 785 713 412 498 1051 1069 1.7%
Canberra Times 158 159 354 387 475 492 3.6%
Courier-Mail 1317 1264 783 928 1849 1949 5.4%
Daily Telegraph 1791 1563 1046 1125 2594 2456 -5.3%
Financial Review 460 416 335 335 730 700 -4.1%
Herald Sun 1826 1615 1341 1303 2810 2611 -7.1%
Mercury 155 147 112 87 247 208 -15.8%
Newcastle Herald 224 183 91 120 298 290 -2.7%
Sunday Times 547 478 475 433 928 832 -10.3%
Sydney Morning Herald 1365 1277 2394 2753 3274 3494 6.7%
The Age 1035 1087 1828 1889 2460 2528 2.8%
The Australian 1044 989 1003 956 1857 1760 -5.2%
West Australian 952 882 548 505 1333 1236 -7.3%

Print is net 7 day readership; digital is website visitation and app usage in an average 7 days. Cross-Platform Audience is the number of Australians who have read or accessed individual newspaper content via print, web or app.

Click here to see the results for
for the 12 months to December 2014. 

Tim Martin, General Manager - Media, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“The trend continues towards digital readership of newspapers, with online audiences comprising more than three-quarters of some newspapers' total audience. However, our latest results show some print editions holding strong, and even growing their readership - a mighty achievement in this challenging climate.

“Roy Morgan’s ‘average issue’ print readership and ‘average 7 days’ cross-platform audience numbers are the industry standard for advertisers and media agencies looking to get a real and applicable understanding of how many Australians they can reach.

“Adding exponential depth to these readership results, Roy Morgan Research’s Single Source data is the preferred multimedia audience measurement currency used by the majority of Australian media strategy, planning and buying agencies as well as telecommunications, financial services and automotive brands.”

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


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