February 28, 2022

Magazine categories enjoy strong growth in 2021 led by Food & Entertainment, Home & Garden, General Interest and Health & Family – all with readership up year on year

Topic: Press Release, Readership Surveys
Finding No: 8897
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15 million Australians read magazines in print and online

Over 11 million Australians aged 14+ (52.4%) now read print magazines, an increase of 1.4% from a year ago, according to the results released today from the Roy Morgan Australian Readership report for the 12 months to December 2021.This market broadens to 15 million Australians aged 14+ (70.8%) who read magazines in print or online either via the web or an app, a small drop of 3.9 per cent from a year ago. These are the latest findings from the Roy Morgan Single Source survey of 65,093 Australians aged 14+ in the 12 months to December 2021.

Print readership increased in the top three magazine categories: Food and Entertainment, General Interest and Home & Garden Magazines

The overall magazine industry readership figures are up compared to a year ago and of the 17 categories measured over the last two years almost two-thirds (11 magazine categories) are up and only 6 are down.

The print readership of the three most widely read magazine categories increased significantly from a year ago. Readership of Food & Entertainment increased 7.2 per cent to over 7.1 million, General Interest was up 6.8 per cent to over 4 million and Home & Garden increased by 7.9 per cent to over 3.7 million.

There were also impressive increases in readership for the magazine categories covering Health & Family, Motoring, TV, Sports, Music & Movies, Fishing, Motorcyles and Crafts.

Over 80% of the top 25 magazines increased their print readership over the past year with Better Homes & Gardens and Australian Women’s Weekly again the most widely read paid magazines

A large majority of over 80% of Australia’s top 25 most widely read magazines (21 out of 25) experienced a growth in their print readership during 2021 compared to a year earlier.

Better Homes & Gardens is Australia’s most widely read paid magazine with print readership up 2.7 per cent to 1,6211,000 ahead of the Australian Women’s Weekly with a print readership of 1,291,000, an increase of 0.2 per cent on a year ago.

In addition, National Geographic has retained an impressive print readership of 920,000, up 6.6 per cent on a year ago to be Australia’s third most widely read paid magazine ahead of Taste.com.au Magazine up 48.4 per cent to 794,000 and Woman’s Day with a readership of 733,000, an increase of 1.5 per cent.

Coles magazine & Fresh Ideas most widely read while Bunnings magazine read by 1.5m

Australia's two most widely read free magazines are Coles magazine with a readership of 4,997,000, an increase of 6.6 per cent from a year ago and Fresh Ideas with a readership of 4,643,000, up 10.7 per cent.

Bunnings magazine is the third most widely read free magazine and its increase in readership has been associated with the boom in home improvement and renovations due to the COVID-19 pandemic curtailing other spending, such as travel spending, with readership increasing by 5.4 per cent to 1,499,000.

Of the top 25 magazines (those with a readership of at least 285,000) there were ten to have increases in readership of over 10 per cent compared to a year ago led by Taste.com.au Magazine and House & Garden – which grew its readership by an impressive 29.8 per cent to 632,000 to be the sixth most widely read paid magazine.

Two motoring magazines increased their readership significantly during 2021 led by the RACQ’s Road Ahead (Qld), up 29 per cent to 668,000, the NRMA’s magazine Open Road (NSW) which increased its readership by 28.6 per cent to 1,169,000 and RAC’s Horizons (WA).up 18.4 per cent to 289,000.

Other leading magazines to perform strongly include Take 5 Bumper Monthly (+14.2 per cent to 562,000), Home Beautiful (+30.2 per cent to 349,000), TV Week (+10.1 per cent to 348,000) and Foxtel Magazine (+50 per cent to 318,000).

Top 25 Magazines by print readership – December 2021'

Publication December 2020 December 2021 % Change
  ‘000s ‘000s %
Coles magazine 4,688 4,997 6.6%
Fresh Ideas 4,193 4,643 10.7%
Better Homes & Gardens 1,578 1,621 2.7%
Bunnings magazine 1,422 1,499 5.4%
Australian Women’s Weekly 1,289 1,291 0.2%
Open Road (NSW) 909 1,169 28.6%
National Geographic 863 920 6.6%
Taste.com.au Magazine 535 794 48.4%
Woman’s Day 722 733 1.5%
Road Ahead (Qld) 518 668 29.0%
House & Garden 487 632 29.8%
New Idea 630 580 -7.9%
Take 5 Bumper Monthly 492 562 14.2%
That’s Life! Mega Monthly 496 543 9.5%
Australian Geographic 473 486 2.7%
That’s Life 479 479
Take 5 (Weekly) 483 471 -2.5%
Gardening Australia 454 468 3.1%
Reader’s Digest Australia 417 416 -0.2%
Home Beautiful 268 349 30.2%
TV Week 316 348 10.1%
Vogue Australia 331 337 1.8%
Foxtel Magazine 212 318 50.0%
Qantas Magazine 291 292 0.3%
Horizons (WA) 244 289 18.4%

Full Magazine Readership Results available to view here.

The five most read categories of magazines

● Food & Entertainment (7,120,000 Australians, 33.7% of the population);
● General Interest (4,082,000 Australians, 19.3% of the population);
● Home & Garden (3,745,000 Australians, 17.7% of the population);
● Mass Women’s (2,991,000 Australians, 14.2% of the population);
● Health & Family (1,051,000 Australians, 5.0% of the population).

Food & Entertainment magazines number one with total readership of over 7.1 million

Food & Entertainment is again Australia's best performing magazine category and is now read by 7,120,000 Australians, or 33.7% of the population, an increase of 476,000 (up 7.2 per cent) on a year ago and more than 3 million ahead of any other category.

The free supermarket titles remain the clear leaders in the category led by Coles magazine with a readership of 4,997,000, an increase of 309,000 (up 6.6 per cent) on a year ago ahead of the second-placed Woolworth’s Fresh Ideas now read by 4,643,000 Australians, up 450,000 (up 10.7 per cent).

Taste.com.au magazine significantly increased its readership from a year ago, up by 48.4 per cent to a readership of 794,000 while Eat Well more than quintupled its initial readership result and was, up 483.3 per cent to 140,000.

Other titles to increase their readership include Gourmet Traveller Wine up 15.9 per cent to a readership of 80,000 and Halliday was up 28 per cent to a readership of 37,000.

General Interest magazines increase readership by over 130,000 to over 4 million

4,082,000 Australians, or 19.3% of the population, read at least one of the general interest magazines. Of the 15 magazines in the category, 12 increased their readership from a year ago while only one decreased and there were two new titles: Escape Magazine and T Australia: The New York Times Style Magazine.

National Geographic was easily the most widely read paid magazine in the category with a readership of 920,000, up 6.6 per cent on a year ago ahead of the second-placed Australian Geographic with a readership of 486,000 following an increase of 2.7 per cent.

Several magazines recorded large increases in readership in the category led by Cosmos, up 124 per cent to 112,000, Vacations & Travel, up 63.3 per cent to 129,000, Australian Traveller which increased 42.4 per cent to 141,000 and RM Williams Outback which increased by 41.1 per cent to 271,000.

There were also strong performances by several motoring magazines: Open Road (NSW) read by 1,169,000 (up 28.6 per cent), Road Ahead (Qld) now read by 668,000 (up 29 per cent), Horizons (WA) read by 289,000 (up 18.4 per cent) and SA Motor (SA) read by 208,000 (up 3.5 per cent).
For the new magazines in the category the readership numbers were impressive with Escape Magazine achieving a readership of 214,000 and T Australia: The New York Times Style Magazine read by 112,000.

Home & Garden magazines are in a clear third place read by over 3.7 million Australians

Home & Garden magazines have significantly grown their audience over the past year up by 7.9 per cent to 3,745,000 Australians. Of the 16 magazines in the category over two-thirds (11/16) increased their readership compared to a year ago including the six most widely read magazines.

Australia’s most widely read paid magazine is again Better Homes & Gardens (BH&G) with a readership of 1,621,000, up 2.7 per cent on a year ago.
The second most widely read is Bunnings magazine which is now read by 1,499,000 following an increase of 5.4 per cent on a year ago, and is the only other magazine in the category with a readership of over 1 million.

There were several other widely read magazines to grow their readership strongly including House & Garden, up by 29.8 per cent to 632,000, Gardening Australia up 3.1 per cent to 468,000, Home Beautiful up 30.2 per cent to 349,000 and Vogue Living up a 7.7 per cent to 224,000.

Also growing their readership over the last year were Grand Designs Australia, up 12.3 per cent to 146,000, Belle, up 6.6 per cent to 130,000, Inside Out, up 24.4 per cent to 112,000, Home Design, up 15.2 per cent to 106,000 and Kitchens & Bathrooms up 5 per cent to 84,000.

Mass Women’s magazines sees growth for Australian Women’s Weekly and Woman’s Day

Mass Women’s magazines are now read by 2,779,000 Australians equal to 13.1 per cent of the population and include five magazines read by more than 500,000 people – more than any other category.

Easily the most widely read magazine in the category is Australian Women’s Weekly with a readership of 1,291,000, an increase of 2,000 (up 0.2 per cent) on a year ago. There was also an increase in readership for the second most widely read Woman’s Day, up 1.5 per cent to 733,000.

The two magazines to grow their readership at the fastest rate were Take 5 Bumper Monthly which grew its readership by 14.2 per cent to 562,000 and That’s Life! Mega Monthly, up 9.5 per cent to 543,000.

Other widely read magazines in the category include New Idea with a readership of 580,000, That’s Life! with a readership of 479,000 and Take 5 (Weekly) with a readership of 471,000.

Women’s Health is the top performer in the Health & Family magazine category

Overall the Health & Family magazines readership increased by a substantial 17 per cent to 1,051,000 (5.0% of the population).

All five of the continuing magazines in the category experienced an increase in readership over the last year led by Women’s Health, up 16.8 per cent to a category leading readership of 230,000.

There were other large increases in readership for Healthy Food Guide, up 13.3 per cent to 205,000, Diabetic Living, up 23.1 per cent to 176,000 and Wellbeing up 11.4 per cent to 127,000. Readership of Prevention increased 6.1 per cent to 70,000.

There was one new magazine in the category, Wellbeing Wild, that achieved a readership of 53,000.

Motoring, TV and Sports magazine categories increase readership

There was growth in several smaller magazine categories with the Motoring, TV, Sports, Fishing and Motorcycle magazine categories all increasing their readership in the 12 months to December 2021.

Motoring magazines are the seventh most widely read magazine category and experienced growth of 22.2 per cent over the past year for an overall readership of 871,000, or 4.1% of the population with all six magazines in the category increasing their readership over the past year.

The magazines to increase their readership included Street Machine, up 44.3 per cent to 280,000, 4x4 Australia, up 36.9 per cent to 278,000, Just Cars, up 45 per cent to 219,000, Wheels magazine, up 8.8 per cent to 210,000, Unique Cars, up 37.5 per cent to 187,000 and Motor, up 31.7 per cent to 137,000.

TV magazines have also experienced an increase in readership with an increase of 1.4 per cent to 646,000. Readership of the TV Week magazine increased by 10.1 per cent to 348,000 and readership was up 50 per cent to 318,000 for the Foxtel Magazine.

Sports magazines also had a good year and almost doubled category readership, up by 88.2 per cent on a year ago to 493,000 on the back of strong performances from two golfing magazines. Readership of both golf magazines more than doubled with readership of Golf Australia up 128 per cent to 171,000 and Australian Golf Digest up 119 per cent to a readership of 173,000.

Notably, and despite a heavily disrupted season during 2021, the AFL Record is still the most widely read magazine in the category with a readership of 187,000.

Other magazines to perform strongly included Fishing World, up 14.5 per cent to 166,000, Fresh Water Fishing Australia, up 6 per cent to 88,000, Rolling Stone up 44.7 per cent to 191,000, Australian Motorcycle News, up 20 per cent to 102,000, Vogue Australia, up 1.8 per cent to 337,000, Men’s Health up 61.3 per cent to 258,000, Play Australia Magazine up 67.3 per cent to 164,000 and PC PowerPlay up 28.6 per cent to 81,000.

Are Media’s ‘Now to Love’ digital platform is read by almost 1.7 million Australians

The results for the 12 months to December 2021 for Magazine Publishers are impressive with the 4 week digital platform audience data showing Are Media’s ‘Now to Love’ website attracting an audience of almost 1.7 million Australians in an average 4 week period. Are Media’s ‘Now to Love’ platform allows advertisers to reach their audience in new ways with innovative online offerings.

Many of Are Media’s magazine brands (including Australian Women’s Weekly, Woman’s Day, Take 5 and TV Week) have consolidated their online presence on the ‘Now to Love’ platform which adds incremental reach to already strong print based publications, including Woman’s Day and Australian Women’s Weekly which both reach cross-platform audiences of almost 3 million readers in an average 4 week period.

There are several other magazines with large cross-platform audiences including News Corp’s Taste.com.au Magazine with a total audience of over 3.4 million, Are Media’s TV Week, New Idea and Take 5 (weekly) with around 2.3 million and Better Home & Gardens with 2.2 million readers in an average 4 weeks in the 12 months to December 2021.

Top 15 Magazines – Total Cross-Platform Audience

Print                   (4 weeks) Digital
(4 weeks)
(incl. Apple News)
Total CPA
(4 weeks)
(incl. Apple News)
Publication 12m to Dec 2021 (000’s) 12m to Dec 2021
12m to Dec 2021
Taste.com.au Magazine 794 2,798 3,439
Woman’s Day 1,485 1,719 2,977
Australian Women’s Weekly 1,291 1,737 2,829
Take 5 (weekly) 795 1,675 2,346
TV Week 720 1,675 2,305
New Idea 1,178 1,218 2,283
Better Homes & Gardens 1,621 660 2,196
Take 5 Bumper Monthly 562 1,675 2,145
National Geographic 920 613 1,491
Open Road 1,169 127 1,265
House & Garden 632 496 1,107
Who 289 684 951
Street Machine 280 695 946
4X4 Australia 278 700 944
Wheels 210 689 881

Total cross-platform audience includes print – average issue readership and digital – website visitation and app usage in an average 4 weeks, except for weekly titles which are in an average 7 days (denoted by *). #For additional detail on the platforms available for each magazine visit the Roy Morgan website.

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan, says readership of print magazines was up on a year ago with increases across a range of categories including Food & Entertainment, General Interest, Home & Garden, Health & Family, Motoring, TV, Sports, Fishing & Crafts:

Block Quote

“The latest Roy Morgan readership survey shows 15 million Australians now read magazines whether in print or online. There has been extra good news for print magazines which increased their readership in 2021 by 1.4 per cent to over 11 million compared to a year earlier.

“The strong performance of print magazines was highlighted by the increased readership for 11 out of the 17 categories measured, including four out of the top five leading categories. These included Food & Entertainment, up 7.2 per cent to 7,120,000, General Interest, up 6.8 per cent to 4,082,000, Home & Garden, up 7.9 per cent to 3,745,000 and Health & Family, up 17 per cent to 1,051,000.

“In addition to the leading categories there were also increases in several other categories including TV, Sports, Motoring, Motorcycles, Fishing, Crafts and Music & Movies magazines.

“The increase in print magazine readership was widespread with over 80% of the top 25 most widely read magazines (with a readership of at least 285,000) increasing their readership in 2021.

“Australia’s six most widely read paid magazines all increased their readership led by Better Homes & Gardens up 2.7 per cent to 1,621,000, Australian Women’s Weekly, up 0.2 per cent to 1,291,000, National Geographic, up 6.6 per cent to 920,000, Taste.com.au magazine, up 48.4 per cent to 794,000, Woman’s Day, up 1.5 per cent to 733,000 and House & Garden, up 29.8 per cent to 632,000.

“There were other impressive performances among the top 25 print magazines including by Foxtel Magazine, up 50 per cent to 318,000, Home Beautiful, up 30.2 per cent to 349,000, Take 5 Bumper Monthly, up 14.2 per cent to 562,000, Fresh Ideas, up 10.7 per cent to 4,643,000, TV Week, up 10.1 per cent to 348,000 and motoring club magazines Road Ahead (Qld), up 29 per cent to 668,000, Open Road (NSW), up 28.6 per cent to 1,169,000, Horizons (WA), up 18.4 per cent to 289,000.

“The increase in readership across such a broad range of categories and magazines during 2021 compared to 2020 is an impressive result when one considers both years were similarly impacted with several lockdowns – including a longer, and larger, lockdown of over half of Australia’s population in NSW, Victoria and the ACT from June – October 2021.

“Now that lockdowns appear to be behind us 2022 brings new opportunities for magazines to build on the improved performance of last year by offering compelling and engaging content to consumers.

“Although Australia’s international borders have re-opened, there are continuing travel restrictions around much of the world which is set to put many Australians off international travel this year – as well as the continuing threat of COVID-19 in different parts of the world.

“Although the challenge of gaining the eye of consumers will intensify this year in a so-called ‘COVID-normal’ world, today’s results show that magazines retain a unique ability to cut through and communicate complex and nuanced messaging to consumers. The massive reach many magazines have can deliver large and valuable audiences for advertisers.”

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

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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