Roy Morgan Research
August 21, 2023

Total News readership: 96 per cent of Australians remain engaged with news.

Topic: Readership Surveys
Finding No: 9308
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Fresh readership figures reveal Total News has a heavily engaged and economically resilient audience, reading multi-category content across the news media channel.

Produced by Roy Morgan, the latest Total News readership figures refer to the 12 months to June 2023 and represent news readership across print and digital formats.

The latest figures show Total News continuing to retain its broad reach across the country, with 96% of Australians aged 14+ years consuming news in any given month. Importantly, the figures also illustrate ongoing affinity and trust in Total News as readers across all demographics actively lean into the channel in the face of economic uncertainly. Total News reach has remained steady over the years despite consumer confidence plummeting over 20 basis points since April 2020 according to the ANZ Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Index.

An enviably sticky, affluent audience.

Figures show Australian news readers are highly engaged, with 50% of consumers considered heavy users of the channel. These audiences exhibit strong multichannel consumption not only of general news articles, but also content across the array of categories delivered by Total News media.

Most news audiences are diverse readers, with 70% reading 3 or more categories in addition to general, breaking news content. The most popular categories after general news (95%) are property (68%), sport (61%), lifestyle & health (58%), entertainment & culture (52%), and business & finance (48%).

Special interest news appeals to early adopters, who are at least 20% more likely than the general population to buy new model cars and be aware of the latest financial products.

Vanessa Lyons, Executive General Manager of Think News Brands adds, “Aussies eagerly embrace news content in all forms, spanning diverse topics and moments throughout the day. These latest audience figures reaffirm that Total News is a consistently dependable media component for advertisers”.

As Michele Levine, Chief Executive Officer of Roy Morgan reflects, “Total news continues to prove itself a premium and resilient media channel, with audiences demonstrating a commitment to high-quality news content as a key source of information. Readers are engaged and consume across a wide variety of categories, as the way they consume news evolves alongside the medium itself.”

More broadly, Total News readers are proving economically resilient in today’s uncertain economic climate. Developed by Dr Ross Honeywill and measured by Roy Morgan, news media over indexes with ‘super NEOs’; a lucrative consumer cohort for marketers to engage with. These consumers are 2.4x more likely than the average Australian to earn over $250,000 per year, and three times more likely to invest and spend their money compared to other demographics. Such consumers are 30% more likely than the general population to read Total News over mainstream media. This news media preference is even more pronounced when it comes to their consumption of special internet news, such as technology and travel.

Notably, business & finance, travel, and automotive news consumers are more affluent and significantly more likely than the total population to have $1 million or more in savings and investments. Overall, Total News reaches over 97% of households in the greater than $150,000 income bracket.

What’s more, six in 10 readers are paying to access written news content, recognition of the value readers see in this channel. Paying news readers are 20% more likely than the general population to be homeowners and big spenders. 70% of these readers intend to travel in the next 12 months.

Michele Levine shares how Total News maintains strength in the current economic climate; “The reliability and strength of the Total News audience speaks to how news is part of our everyday lives, even in tough times. The ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Index is at a historic low; this is recessionary risk territory as Australian consumers are very worried and this is affecting their spending patterns in turn. Despite this, perhaps even because of this, news readership and engagement remain strong as Australians turn to the news to keep them apprised and ready for what may come next.”

Total News serves as a daily companion, with people consuming news anywhere, in any way.

Total News readers are overwhelmingly multi-channel audiences. While there is heavy digital consumption (19.7 million Australians consume news digitally), more than 1 in 2 (57%) engage with both printed and digital news in any given month.

When it comes to the time-of-day consumers that read their news, opportunities abound for advertisers. More than half engage with news before midday, with a steady stream of news consumption continuing throughout the day. It is clear Aussies enjoy accessing and connecting to news in a multitude of ways; led by reading (56%), followed by watching and listening.

Total News readership

Overall, Total News continues to demonstrate strong scale and reach, with 20.7 million Australians, or 96% of those aged 14+ years, reading news every month. The solid reach result is despite post-Covid demographic shifts and a recalibration to normal behaviours and lifestyle patterns. Furthermore, 16.6 million, or 77% of Aussies, read the Total News each week; that’s more than common everyday behaviours such as drinking milk, eating vegetables and enjoying a coffee.

Demographically, Total News retains eyeballs consistently across age groups from 14-24 through to 65+, reaching 96% and 97% of the highly desirable 25-34 and 35-49-year-old demographics respectively.

Readership by demographic and region

Vanessa Lyons emphasises the continued resilience and relevance of Total News in an ever-changing landscape “Marketers and brands are increasingly looking for ways to both engage and drive action with audiences. The latest Total News figures should instil confidence in Australian advertisers that Total News is a lucrative, commercially effective channel for brands to do just that. While the current Australian economic climate is an uncertain one, these figures show that Total News remains a critical element for success in the advertising toolkit.” 

Source: Roy Morgan, All People 14+. All audience data is based on the last 4 weeks averaged over the 12 months to June 2023. Total News is defined as Australians aged 14+ reading news in print and/or news in digital. Digital news includes Australian publishers’ news websites/apps, Apple News, and non-Australian-owned news. It also includes ABC News and Google News. All figures based on Total News definition except category reach which includes Total News Publishing. Total News audience measurement is independently audited by media research specialist auditor Dr Rob Hall from Environmetrics.

About ThinkNewsBrands

Founded by Australian media owners who collectively have more than 100 years of experience producing news, ThinkNewsBrands shines a light on how and why professionally produced premium news content is the best partner for advertisers looking to grow their brands and businesses.

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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