Roy Morgan Research
October 31, 2019

Magazine readership increases to over 15.2 million

Topic: Press Release, Readership Surveys
Finding No: 8188
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A total of 15,205,000 Australians aged 14+ (73.3%) read magazines in print or online either via the web or an app. That is up 0.6 per cent, or 88,000, from a year ago according to the results released today from the Roy Morgan Australian Readership report for the 12 months to September 2019.

Readership of print magazines was almost 13.3 million Australians aged 14+ (64.0 per cent), down 2.5% from a year ago. 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.

Better Homes & Gardens and Women’s Weekly are again most widely read paid magazines

Five of Australia’s Top 10 magazines grew their print readership in the year to September 2019. Better Homes & Gardens is Australia’s most widely read paid magazine with print readership up 3.1 per cent to 1,673,000 ahead of the Women’s Weekly with a readership of 1,434,000.

In addition, National Geographic marginally grew its print readership by 0.9 per cent to 1,286,000 while Australian Geographic was up an impressive 17.2 per cent to 675,000.

Super Food Ideas had the largest readership increase of the top magazines, up 39.5 per cent to 590,000.

Coles Magazine & Fresh most widely read while Bunnings Magazine read by almost 1.1 million

Australia's two most widely read free magazines are continuing to perform well. Coles Magazine readership was up 3.1 per cent to 4,762,000 and Fresh readership increased by 1.7 per cent to 4,194,000.

Bunnings Magazine is the third most widely read free magazine and now read by 1,096,000 making the hardware retailer’s magazine one of only six read by more than 1 million Australians.

Other leading magazines to perform strongly just outside the Top 15 include Reader’s Digest (+3.6 per cent to 428,000) and Vogue Australia (+13.5 per cent to 420,000). New titles such as That’s Life Mega Monthly read by 403,000 and Women’s Weekly Food read by 340,000 have also had a strong start.

PublicationSep 2018Sep 2019% Change
Coles Magazine4,6184,7623.1%
Better Homes & Gardens1,6231,6733.1%
Women’s Weekly1,5391,434-6.8%
National Geographic1,2751,2860.9%
Bunning’s Magazine-1,096-
Open Road (NSW)1,030944-8.3%
Woman’s Day1,246921-26.1%
New Idea1,038815-21.5%
Australian Geographic57667517.2%
Royal Auto (Vic)709638-10.0%
Take 5 Bumper Monthly736604-17.9%
Royal Ahead (Qld)658596-9.4%
Super Food Ideas42359039.5% Magazine667572-14.2%

The five most read categories of magazines

  • Food & Entertainment (6,792,000 Australians, 32.7% of the population);
  • General Interest (4,615,000 Australians, 22.2% of the population);
  • Mass Women’s (3,181,000 Australians, 15.3% of the population);
  • Home & Garden (3,129,000 Australians, 15.1% of the population);
  • Business, Financial & Airline (1,508,000 Australians, 7.3% of the population).

Food & Entertainment magazines growth boosted by new Women’s Weekly Food

Food & Entertainment is again Australia's best-performing magazine category and is now read by 6,792,000 Australians, or 32.7% of the population - up 2.2 per cent in the year to September 2019.

The new Women’s Weekly Food has had an impressive start with a readership of 340,000 providing a significant boost to the category. Over the last year, seven of the other nine magazines in the category increased their readership.

The free supermarket titles both of saw year-on-year growth - Coles Magazine with a readership of 4,762,000 (up 3.1 per cent) and Woolworth’s Fresh now read by 4,194,000 Australians (up 1.7 per cent).

Other titles driving the overall growth in the category included Super Food Ideas which increased 39.5 per cent to 590,000, Delicious up 4.2 per cent to 319,000, Australian Gourmet Traveller up 35.6 per cent to 236,000, Gourmet Traveller Wine up 4.5 per cent to 70,000 and Halliday up 28 per cent to 32,000.

Majority of General Interest magazines increase readership from a year ago

4,615,000 Australians, or 22.2% of the population, read at least one of the general interest magazine titles. Seven of the 13 general interest magazines increased their readership over the last year led by Australian Geographic which increased its readership by an impressive 17.2 per cent to 675,000.

The category-leading National Geographic also managed an increase, up by 0.9 per cent to 1,286,000. There were also strong performances by two motoring magazines: Horizons (WA) read by 285,000 (up 14.5 per cent) and SA Motor read by 226,000 (up 13 per cent). Also increasing were Reader’s Digest Australia up by 3.6 per cent to 428,000 and the Big Issue up by 8.2 per cent to 291,000.

Mass Women’s magazines set to be dominated by merged Bauer & Pacific Magazines

Mass Women’s magazines are now read by 3,181,000 Australians equal to 15.3 per cent of the population. Bauer’s recent purchase of Pacific Magazines brings together Bauer’s leading titles including Women’s Weekly, Woman’s Day and Take 5 with Pacific titles New Idea and That’s Life.

Women’s Weekly leads the category with a readership 1,434,000, although down 6.8 per cent from the Royal Wedding boosted high of a year ago ahead of Woman’s Day with 921,000 readers.

Pacific’s leading title New Idea has an impressive readership of 815,000 while the two Take 5 titles are also widely read. Take 5 Bumper Monthly is now read by 604,000 and Take 5 (Weekly) is read by 494,000.

Other titles widely read are That’s Life with a readership of 506,000 and its new stablemate That’s Life Mega Monthly with 403,000 readers.

Home & Garden magazines boosted by 1.1 million Bunnings Magazine readers

Home & Garden magazines are reaching a growing audience of 3,129,000 Australians, up 8.6 per cent on a year ago. The growth in the category has been powered by the new Bunnings Magazine, read by 1.1 million, as well as readership growth for five of the other ten magazines in the category.

Leading the growth in the category is Australia’s most widely read paid magazine Better Homes and Gardens (BH&G), with a readership of 1,673,000 (up 3.1 per cent). BH&G is the most widely read Pacific magazine brand and its purchase by Bauer means the combined company now has seven magazines in this category read by at least 100,000.

Also growing their readership over the last year were Bauer magazines Real Living, up 20.6 per cent to 117,000, and Belle, up 11.8 per cent to 114,000. Other Home & Garden titles which grew their readership include Vogue Living which was up 20.2 per cent to 125,000 and Home Design up 2.6 per cent to 120,000.

The Monthly, Virgin Australia and Jetstar Magazines show growth within the Business magazine category

Overall the Business, Financial and Airline magazines readership experienced a decrease of 5.9 per cent over the last year to 1,508,000 (7.3% of the population).

Despite the overall decline, three magazines in the category did increase their readership over the last year led by two of the airline magazines and the politically focused The Monthly which increased readership by 6.4 per cent to 150,000.

Readership of Jetstar increased by 9.9 per cent to 267,000 while Virgin Australia Magazine increased readership by 1.8 per cent to 230,000. However, Qantas Magazine remains the most widely read magazine in the category with 393,000 readers.

Women’s Fashion and Fishing magazine categories increase readership

There was growth in smaller magazine categories as well with both Women’s Fashion and Fishing magazines increasing their readership in the 12 months to September 2019.

Women’s Fashion magazines are the seventh most widely read magazine category and experienced growth of 3.2 per cent over the past year for an overall readership of 1,194,000, or 5.8% of the population. Only one of the six magazines in this category had a decrease in readership over the past year.

The standout in the category is Vogue Australia which increased readership by 13.5 per cent over the last year to 420,000 and is one of Australia’s Top 25 most widely read magazines.

Other Women’s Fashion titles to perform well over the past year included Marie Claire which grew its readership by 17.2 per cent to 313,000, Elle with a readership of 192,000 (up 47.7 per cent) and Harper’s Bazaar which increased readership by 3.3 per cent to 157,000.

Fishing magazines also had a good year increasing category readership by 9.7 per cent to 316,000 powered by strong performances from leading title Fishing World, up by 36.6 per cent to 235,000 and Fresh Water Fishing Australia increased readership by 54.4 per cent to 105,000.

Other magazines to perform strongly included Women’s Health up 8.7 per cent to a readership of 325,000, Healthy Food Guide up 19.6 per cent to 268,000, Good Health up by 8.6 per cent to 278,000, Men’s Fitness up 39.3 per cent to 156,000, Australian Motorcycle News up 3.9 per cent to 107,000 and APC (including PC & Tech Authority) up 9.1 per cent to 72,000.

Magazine Cross-Platform Audiences up for Women’s Weekly, Good Health and BH&G

A majority of four of Australia’s top six magazines ranked by cross-platform audience increased their audience in the year to September 2019 led by Women’s Weekly, Better Homes & Gardens, Good Health and National Geographic.

The Women’s Weekly increased total cross-platform audience by 2.4 per cent to 2,509,000 although remains the best read title across print and digital formats with a total cross-platform audience of almost 3.2 million (down by 1.2 per cent).

The largest increase in the cross-platform audience amongst the top 10 leading magazines was Bauer Media title Good Health which uses the Now to Love online hub and increased its cross-platform audience by 215,000 to 1,475,000 (up 17.1 per cent).

Also having a good year was Better Homes & Gardens up by 5.6 per cent to an audience of 1,970,000 and the National Geographic which increased by 5.1 per cent to 1,620,000.

A majority of Australia’s leading magazines (six out of the top ten magazines ranked by cross-platform audiences) have a larger readership via their print editions than their digital platforms. The exceptions are, Take 5 Bumper Monthly, TV Week Close Up and Good Health via the Now to Love online hub.

Bauer Media’s Now to Love online hub allows magazine publishers to reach their audience in new ways with innovative online offerings. Many of Bauer Media’s magazine brands (including Women’s Weekly, Woman’s Day, Good Health, TV Week and Take 5 consolidated their online presence in the Now to Love hub which reaches well over 1.2 million people.

Top 10 Magazines – Total Cross-Platform Audience

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 magazines is growing and over 15.2 million Australians now read magazines in print or online, up 0.6 per cent (+88,000) on a year ago:

Block Quote

“The latest results from the Roy Morgan readership survey shows Australians are still in love with their magazines with over 15.2 million Australians now reading magazines, whether in print or online, up by 88,000 on a year ago and equivalent to nearly three-quarters of the population.

“Print magazines remain the favoured channel for Australians to indulge their favoured magazine content with nearly 13.3 million Australians now reading print magazines and remain far more widely read than their digital alternatives.

“The best-performing magazine categories over the last year were Food & Entertainment (up 2.2 per cent), Home & Garden Magazines (up 8.6 per cent), Women’s Fashion (up 3.2 per cent) and Fishing Magazines (up 9.7 per cent).

“Leading titles to increase their print readership over the last year include Super Food Ideas (+39.5 per cent), Australian Geographic (+17.2 per cent), Vogue Australia (+13.5 per cent), Reader’s Digest Australia (+3.6 per cent) and Better Homes & Gardens (+3.1 per cent).

“Pacific Magazines’ Better Homes & Gardens is now Australia’s most widely read paid magazine with a print readership of 1.67 million ahead of Women’s Weekly now read by 1.43 million. However, when the Women’s Weekly cross-platform audience is considered the reach extends to over 2.5 million and is up 2.4 per cent on a year ago.

“Bauer’s recent decision to purchase rival Pacific Magazines for $40 million from Seven West Media consolidates Bauer’s leadership in several key categories including Mass Women’s Magazines, Home & Garden Magazines, Health & Family Magazines, TV Magazines and Women’s Lifestyle Magazines in which either Bauer or Pacific are the leading publishers.

“The enlarged Bauer Media has some tough decisions to make about whether to continue publishing several popular existing titles or whether to consolidate further in the period ahead. Key to understanding which magazines have a future is to analyse in detail the audiences of similar magazines to determine whether they’re read by the same people or diverse audiences.

“An impressive new magazine to be launched in the last year is the Bunnings Magazine for the popular garden and hardware retailer. The Bunnings Magazine has already attracted an audience of 1.1 million Australians making it one of only six magazines in Australia with a seven-figure readership.”

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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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