Roy Morgan Research
February 06, 2020

Over 15.6 million Australians read magazines in print or online

Topic: Press Release, Readership Surveys
Finding No: 8278

A total of 15,644,000 Australians aged 14+ (75.1%) read magazines in print or online either via the web or an app. That is down 0.6 per cent, or 92,000, from a year ago according to the results released today from the Roy Morgan Australian Readership report for the 12 months to December 2019.

Readership of print magazines was almost 13.1 million Australians aged 14+ (62.8 per cent), down 3.8% from a year ago. These are the latest findings from the Roy Morgan Single Source survey of 50,422 Australians aged 14+ in the 12 months to December 2019.

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

Better Homes & Gardens is Australia’s most widely read paid magazine with print readership up 8.4 per cent to 1,698,000 ahead of the Women’s Weekly with a print readership of 1,398,000.

In addition National Geographic has retained an impressive print readership of 1,250,000 while Australian Geographic was up 3.9 per cent to 644,000. The newly launched New Idea Royals has debuted as Australia’s seventh most widely read paid magazine with a sizeable print readership of 603,000.

Super Food Ideas had the largest readership increase of the top magazines, up 34.8 per cent to 589,000.

Coles Magazine & Fresh most widely read while Bunnings Magazine read by almost 1.2m

Australia's two most widely read free magazines are again Coles Magazine with a readership of 4,573,000 and Fresh with a readership of 4,086,000.

Bunnings Magazine is the third most widely read free magazine and now read by 1,186,000 making the hardware retailer’s magazine, launched in 2019, 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 (+0.7 per cent to 418,000), Vogue Australia (+2.3 per cent to 406,000) and Frankie (+9.1 per cent to 337,000). New titles That’s Life Mega Monthly read by 406,000 and Women’s Weekly Food read by 301,000 have also had strong starts.

PublicationDec 2018Dec 2019% Change
Coles Magazine4,8064,573-4.8%
Better Homes & Gardens1,5661,6988.4%
Women’s Weekly1,5701,398-11.0%
National Geographic1,2791,250-2.3%
Bunning’s Magazine-1,186-
Open Road (NSW)1,012921-9.0%
Woman’s Day1,169860-26.4%
New Idea992785-20.9%
Australian Geographic6206443.9%
New Idea Royals-603-
Take 5 Bumper Monthly692590-14.7%
Super Food Ideas43758934.8% Magazine649589-9.2%
Royal Auto (Vic)733583-20.5%

The five most read categories of magazines

●        Food & Entertainment (6,606,000 Australians, 31.7% of the population);

●        General Interest (4,440,000 Australians, 21.3% of the population);

●        Home & Garden (3,294,000 Australians, 15.8% of the population);

●        Mass Women’s (3,184,000 Australians, 15.3% of the population);

●        Business, Financial & Airline (1,439,000 Australians, 6.9% of the population).

Food & Entertainment magazines number one and boosted by several magazines

Food & Entertainment is again Australia's best performing magazine category and is now read by 6,606,000 Australians, or 31.7% of the population – more than 2 million ahead of any other category.

The new Women’s Weekly Food has had an impressive start with a readership of 301,000 providing a significant boost to the category.

The free supermarket titles remain the clear leaders in the category despite not building on the growth of previous years. Coles Magazine with a readership of 4,573,000 is Australia’s most widely read magazine ahead of second-placed Woolworth’s Fresh now read by 4,086,000 Australians.

Two widely read magazines grew their readership impressively over the past year led by Super Food Ideas up 34.8 per cent to a readership of 589,000 and Australian Gourmet Traveller up a significant 46.5 per cent to a 249,000. Other titles to increase their readership include Selector up 2.8 per cent to 74,000 and Halliday up 3.4 per cent to 30,000.

Australian Geographic and Big Issue lead gains for General Interest magazines

4,440,000 Australians, or 21.3% of the population, read at least one of the general interest magazine titles. Five of the 13 general interest magazines increased their readership over the last year led by Australian Geographic, up 3.9 per cent to 644,000 and the Big Issue up 8.7 per cent to 288,000.

National Geographic is clearly the most widely read magazine in the category and is now read by 1.25 million Australians – the only General Interest magazine with a readership of more than 1 million.

There were also strong performances by two motoring magazines: Horizons (WA) read by 279,000 (up 7.3 per cent) and SA Motor now read by 234,000 (up 14.1 per cent). Also increasing was the Reader’s Digest Australia up by 0.7 per cent to 418,000.

Home & Garden magazines are the stand out category with a big jump in readership

Home & Garden magazines have significantly grown their audience over the past year up by 16.2 per cent to 3,294,000 Australians – easily the largest jump of any magazine category.

The new Bunnings Magazine has powered growth in the category and is now read by almost 1.2 million. In addition, there has been readership growth for five of the other ten magazines in the category.

The leading magazine in the category is Australia’s most widely read paid magazine Better Homes and Gardens (BH&G), with a readership of 1,698,000 (up 8.4 per cent).

Also growing their readership over the last year were Bauer magazines Belle, up 12.7 per cent to 115,000, and Real Living, up 8 per cent to 108,000. Other Home & Garden titles which grew their readership include Vogue Living which was up 41.5 per cent to 133,000 and Home Design up 8.2 per cent to 119,000.

Mass Women’s magazines invigorated by New Idea Royals and That’s Life Mega Monthly

Mass Women’s magazines are now read by 3,184,000 Australians equal to 15.3 per cent of the population with readership in the category boosted by the launch of several new magazines over the last year including New Idea Royals, That’s Life Mega Monthly and It’s Your Day.

The New Idea Royals has already attracted an audience of 603,000 to make the new title one of the top ten most widely read paid magazines. That’s Life Mega Monthly has a readership of 406,000 and It’s Your Day is now read by 239,000.

Women’s Weekly leads the category with a readership 1,398,000, although down 11 per cent from the Royal Wedding boosted high in 2018, ahead of Woman’s Day with 860,000 readers.

Pacific’s leading title New Idea has an impressive readership of 785,000 while the two Take 5 titles are also widely read. Take 5 Bumper Monthly is now read by 590,000 and Take 5 (Weekly) is read by 495,000.

The Monthly and Virgin Australia are the top performers within the Business magazine category

Overall the Business, Financial and Airline magazines readership experienced a decrease of 9.5 per cent over the last year to 1,439,000 (6.9% of the population).

Despite the overall decline, two magazines in the category did increase their readership over the last year led by the politically focused The Monthly which increased readership by 17.4 per cent to 162,000.

Readership of Virgin Australia Magazine increased readership by 4.1 per cent to 227,000. However Qantas Magazine remains the most widely read magazine in the category with 366,000 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 December 2019.

Women’s Fashion magazines are the seventh most widely read magazine category and experienced growth of 4.6 per cent over the past year for an overall readership of 1,199,000, or 5.8% of the population. Five of the six magazines in this category increased their readership over the past year.

The standout in the category is Elle which increased readership by a massive 57.5 per cent over the last year to 200,000. Also performing exceptionally well was Marie Claire which was up 23.5 per cent 331,000.

Other Women’s Fashion titles to perform well over the past year included Harper’s Bazaar which grew its readership by 19.9 per cent to 175,000, Frankie with a readership of 337,000 (up 9.1 per cent) and Vogue Australia which increased readership by 2.3 per cent to 406,000.

Fishing magazines also had a good year increasing category readership by 5.5 per cent to 308,000 powered by strong performances from leading title Fishing World, up by 39.7 per cent to 243,000 and Fresh Water Fishing Australia increased readership by 68.7 per cent to 113,000.

Other magazines to perform strongly included Healthy Food Guide up 15 per cent to 283,000, Fitness First up by 17.4 per cent to 101,000, Wellbeing up 9.6 per cent to 148,000, Motor up 3.3 per cent to 126,000, APC up 12.5 per cent to 72,000 and TechLife up 13 per cent to 52,000.

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

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

The Women’s Weekly increased total cross-platform audience by 2.9 per cent to 2,569,000 although remains the best read title across print and digital formats with a total cross-platform audience of over 3.1 million (down by 2.6 per cent).

The largest increase in 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 237,000 to 1,550,000 (up 18.1 per cent).

Also having a good year was Better Homes & Gardens up by 12.3 per cent to an audience of 2,023,000 and the National Geographic which increased by 1.3 per cent to 1,580,000.

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, Empire and Take 5 consolidated their online presence in the Now to Love hub which reaches well over 1.3 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 holding strong at over three-quarters of the population (15.6 million) as magazines increase their online offerings:

Block Quote

“The latest results from the Roy Morgan readership survey shows 15.6 million Australians now read magazines whether in print or online with print magazines the favoured channel and now read by almost 13.1 million (62.8% of population).

“Several new magazines launched over the past year have attracted large audiences already including Bunnings Magazine (launched in March 2019) with a readership of almost 1.2 million and New Idea Royals (launched in July 2019) and already read by over 600,000.

“The best performing magazine categories over the last year were Home & Garden Magazines (up 16.2 per cent), Women’s Fashion (up 4.6 per cent) and Fishing Magazines (up 5.5 per cent).

“The improvement for Home & Garden Magazines was widespread throughout the category with Australia’s most widely read paid magazine Better Homes & Gardens up 8.4 per cent to a print readership of 1.7 million joined by increases for Vogue Living (+41.5 per cent), Belle (+12.7 per cent), Home Design (+8.2 per cent) and Real Living (+8 per cent).

“Women’s Fashion Magazines have also had a good year with five out of the six titles in the category increasing their print readership during 2019 led by Elle magazine increasing readership 57.5 per cent to 200,000 and dispelling rumours late in year that the title may close. Other improvers in the category include Marie Claire (+23.5 per cent), Harper’s Bazaar (+19.9 per cent), Frankie (+9.1 per cent) and the most widely read title Vogue Australia (+2.3 per cent).

“Improved cross-platform audiences were reported for Women’s Weekly on almost 2.6 million (+2.9 per cent), Better Homes & Gardens (+12.3 per cent), Good Health (+18.1 per cent) and National Geographic (+1.3 per cent).”

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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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