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Back to realty: News Corp rules property search in Melbourne—but will Sydney be Fairfax’s domain?

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, January 2013 – December 2014. Average annual samples: Melbourne = 8,018 and Sydney = 10,079 Australians 14+; Image: Flickr/Alex Proimos

In Melbourne, new combined website, app and hardcopy print audience figures show News Corp is clearly winning the listings war—but in the scorching Sydney property market, Fairfax’s Domain is now within striking distance, a new cross-platform audience measurement report from Roy Morgan Research shows. 

In an average week last year, 819,000 Melbourne property-hunters visited by website or app and/or read the Herald Sun’s weekday or weekend real estate section, up 7% from 763,000 in 2013. Domain’s total audience, again comprising both digital visitors and readers of the print sections in The Age, rose 4% to 486,000.

But in Sydney, Fairfax’s Domain has narrowed the gap from 68,000 to just 8,000. Domain’s total digital and Sydney Morning Herald print reach grew 10% year-on-year, while the number accessing and/or the Daily Telegraph real estate section was virtually unchanged.

Domain’s website, app and print now reaches a combined 675,000 Sydneysiders per average week, compared with 683,000 who visit by web or app and/or read the Daily Telegraph’s property section. 

Total audience of News Corp and Fairfax property content per average week

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, January 2013 – December 2014. Average annual samples: Melbourne = 8,018 and Sydney = 10,079 Australians 14+

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

“Property ownership and investment is a hot topic, particularly in Melbourne and Sydney, so we decided to take a look at how the biggest players in real estate classifieds media are faring in their bids to be number one in these battlegrounds for the digital ‘rivers of gold’.

“By further examining the combined audiences of digital and print for News Ltd’s and Fairfax Media’s listings brands, we can clearly see that although dominates nationally, including in Melbourne, Domain has made solid gains in Sydney and the two are now neck-and-neck.

“Domain has recently launched a new outdoor marketing campaign to attract visitors. Throughout 2015, we’ll be monitoring the effectiveness of this advertising on boosting audience numbers across web, app and print.

“Our continuous survey uses a methodology that combines data collected from face-to-face interviews, self-completion questionnaires, and an online panel—not a phone survey, as Fairfax has publicly claimed—in order to find out cross-platform audience sizes. 

 “Our media research gives publishers and advertisers a true, usable measure of the actual number of people visiting websites, using apps, or reading sections of newspapers. Our population-based measures quantify and profile audiences. As such, we don’t focus on the sort of headline-grabbing website traffic figures in the tens of millions of visits, which is what you get when you put figures from Nielsen and Google Analytics side by side.

“That’s why Roy Morgan’s media consumption data across print, TV, radio, out-of-home, cinema, catalogue, mobile, web and app is the preferred planning currency of Australian media agencies.”

To learn more about Roy Morgan’s cross-platform audience measurement, contact:

Vaishali Nagaratnam
Telephone: +61 (3) 9224 5309

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


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%