September 29, 2020

Over 3 million New Zealanders read newspapers and more than 1.9 million read magazines in 2020

Topic: Readership Surveys
Finding No: 8516
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Roy Morgan readership results for New Zealand’s print newspapers and magazines for the 12 months to June 2020.

Roy Morgan readership results for New Zealand’s print newspapers and magazines for the 12 months to June 2020.

Over 3 million, or 75.6%, of New Zealanders aged 14+ now read or access newspapers in an average 7-day period via print or online (website or app) platforms. In addition, more than 1.9 million New Zealanders aged 14+ (48.5%) read magazines whether in print or online either via the web or an app.

These are the latest findings from the Roy Morgan New Zealand Single Source survey of 6,393 New Zealanders aged 14+ over the 12 months to June 2020.

Cross-platform audiences up for Otago Daily Times, Hawke’s Bay Today and Northern Advocate

New Zealand’s most widely read publication is again the New Zealand Herald, with a total cross-platform audience of 1,844,000 in the 12 months to June 2020 – read by more than four times as many New Zealanders as any other publication, although this is down 41,000 on a year ago.

There was growth over the past year for several publications despite the COVID-19 pandemic which caused a nation-wide lockdown of New Zealand during the first half of 2020. The newspapers to increase their cross-platform audience included the Otago Daily Times (+6.3% to 253,000), Hawke’s Bay Today (+21.2% to 177,000), the Northern Advocate (+9.3% to 129,000) and the Taranaki Daily News (+3.5% to 118,000).

Wellington's Dominion Post is in a clear second place with a readership of 432,000, followed by The Press in third place with 314,000 readers and Sunday Star Times in fourth place with 273,000 readers. Impressively both The Press and Sunday Star Times have managed to increase both their digital audience as well as their average 7-day print readership in the June quarter 2020 compared to the earlier March quarter as New Zealanders sought the latest news on the pandemic.

Stuff is the clear leader for news in the digital realm

The clear leader for digital audiences in New Zealand is Stuff through its website stuff.co.nz which brings together leading newspapers the Dominion Post, The Press and Sunday Star Times, and magazines such as the TV Guide and NZ Gardener. The total digital audience for Stuff in an average 7 days is over 1.8 million New Zealanders well ahead of main rival NZHerald.co.nz on 1.55 million.

Top 10 Newspapers – Total 7 Day Cross-Platform Audience (Print & Online)

Publication Print Digital
(web or app)
Total 7 Day Cross-Platform Audience* (print, web or app)
Jun
2019
Jun
2020
Jun
2019
Jun
2020
Jun
2019
Jun
2020
% Change
‘000s ‘000s ‘000s ‘000s ‘000s ‘000s %
New Zealand Herald 782 674 1,545 1,537 1,885 1,844 -2.2%
Dominion Post 297 245 309 282 485 432 -10.9%
The Press 227 185 189 195 344 314 -8.7%
Sunday Star Times 265 217 63 69 309 273 -11.7%
Otago Daily Times 138 111 153 194 238 253 6.3%
Waikato Times 145 104 140 138 250 214 -14.4%
Hawke’s Bay Today 88 92 85 115 146 177 21.2%
Bay of Plenty Times 83 73 120 112 172 155 -9.9%
Northern Advocate 63 71 77 70 118 129 9.3%
Taranaki Daily News 54 52 80 91 114 118 3.5%

*Cross-Platform Audience is the number of New Zealanders who have read or accessed individual newspaper content via print or online. Print is net readership in an average 7 days. Online is net readership online in an average 7 days.

NZ Woman’s Weekly, Habitat and cooking magazines Cuisine & Food increase their readership

New Zealand’s most widely read magazine is easily the driving magazine AA Directions which has an average issue readership of 416,000 over the past year and is almost double the second placed NZWoman’s Day on a readership of 212,000.

NZ Woman’s Day is one of the Bauer magazines that were temporarily suspended in the June quarter 2020 due to the New Zealand lockdown. The figures for these magazines do not show readership for the latest quarter but rather average readership is allocated instead.

Magazines to increase their readership over the last year included those focusing on home improvement and interior decorating as well as cooking and recipe focused magazines – just the type of magazines locked down New Zealanders would turn to when spending all day at home.

Within these categories is the home improvement magazine Habitat which increased its readership by 36,000 to 92,000 and the cooking and recipe focused Cuisine, up 23,000 to a readership of 126,000 and Food, up 35,000 to a readership of 94,000.

Readership for other titles such as the TV GuideNZ House & Garden and New Zealand Gardener have also held up during the pandemic, recording minimal year on year decreases of less than one percent.

New Zealand’s Top 15 Magazines by Average Issue Print Readership

Publication Jun 2019 Jun 2020 % Reach Change
‘000s ‘000s %
AA Directions* 485 416 -1.8%
**NZ Woman’s Day* 274 212 -1.6%
**New Zealand Listener* 231 200 -0.8%
TV Guide* 205 182 -0.7%
**Australian Women’s Weekly
(NZ Edition)*
200 181 -0.5%
**NZ Woman’s Weekly* 140 158 0.4%
Cuisine 103 126 0.6%
SkyWatch* 146 125 -0.6%
NZ House & Garden* 128 114 -0.4%
**Kia Ora (Air NZ) 112 111 0.0%
Mindfood* 109 108 0.0%
New Zealand Gardener* 111 108 -0.1%
**North & South* 102 98 -0.2%
Food 59 94 0.8%
Habitat* 56 92 0.9%

*Roy Morgan has measured additional readership for this magazine via Cross-Platform Audiences – see next section.

**Note: Bauer magazines were temporarily suspended during the June 2020 quarter. Results for some of these magazines have been suppressed for the latest quarter, average issue readership is allocated instead.

NZ Woman’s Weekly leads cross-platform* audience growth – up 13.9% on a year ago

Of the leading magazines it was NZ Woman’s Weekly which increased its total cross-platform audience by 29,000, or 13.9%, to 237,000 in the 12 months to June 2020 that had the most impressive performance. Also increasing its cross-platform audience over the last year was Mindfood which grew its cross-platform audience by 2,000 (+1.2%) to 166,000.

However, it is motoring magazine AA Directions which is easily New Zealand’s most widely read magazine with a market-leading total cross-platform audience of 481,000 ahead of NZ Woman’s Day on 283,000.

Other leading magazines with strong cross-platform audiences include New Zealand Listener on 227,000, TV Guide Magazine and Australian Women’s Weekly (NZ Edition) both on 219,000, SkyWatch on 163,000, NZ House & Garden on 154,000 and NZ Gardener with a steady audience of 150,000.

Top 10 Magazines – Total Cross-Platform Audience (Print & Online)

Publication Print Digital
(web or app)
Total Cross-Platform Audience*
(print, web or app)
Jun
2019
Jun
2020
Jun
2019
Jun
2020
Jun
2019
Jun
2020
% Change
‘000s ‘000s ‘000s ‘000s ‘000s ‘000s %
AA Directions 485 416 140 152 542 481 -11.3%
**NZ Woman’s Day/
Now to Love
274 212 84 103 324 283 -12.7%
**NZ Woman’s Weekly/ Now to Love 140 158 84 103 208 237 13.9%
**New Zealand Listener 231 200 53 59 257 227 -11.7%
TV Guide Magazine 205 182 58 63 231 219 -5.2%
**Australian Women’s Weekly NZ Edition 200 181 49 52 232 219 -5.6%
Mindfood 109 108 73 79 164 166 1.2%
SkyWatch 146 125 66 69 193 163 -15.5%
NZ House & Garden 128 114 58 55 171 154 -9.9%
NZ Gardener 111 108 52 60 150 150 0.0%

*Cross-platform audience is the number of New Zealanders who have read or accessed individual magazine content via print or online. Print is average issue readership. Digital is average website visitation and app usage (if available) in last 7 days for weekly titles (National Business Review, New Idea, NZ Listener, NZ Woman's Day, NZ Woman's Weekly, Property Press, That's Life, Time, TV Guide Magazine) and last 4 weeks for all other non-weekly titles.

**Note: Bauer magazines were temporarily suspended during the June 2020 quarter. Results for some of these magazines have been suppressed for the latest quarter, average issue readership is allocated instead.

Canvas and Sunday Magazine are the most widely read newspaper inserted magazines

The Weekend New Zealand Herald newspaper inserted magazine Canvas (North Island) with an average issue readership of 249,000 again leads the field as the most widely read ahead of the Sunday Magazine now read by 195,000.

Behind the two market leaders are Weekend (North Island) on 180,000, Bite (North Island) on 171,000, Your Weekend on 151,000 and Viva (North Island) on 146,000.

New Zealand’s Leading Newspaper Inserted Magazines by Print Readership

Publication

Jun 2019

Jun 2020

% Reach Change

‘000s

‘000s

%

Canvas (North Island)

298

249

-1.3%

Sunday Magazine

227

195

-0.8%

Weekend (North Island)

241

180

-1.6%

Bite (North Island)

193

171

-0.6%

Your Weekend

195

151

-1.1%

Viva (North Island)

195

146

-1.2%

Michele Levine, Chief Executive Officer, Roy Morgan, says:

Block Quote

“The latest Roy Morgan readership figures for New Zealand covering the year to June 2020 includes the nearly three-month long lockdown period the country experienced starting in mid-March which ended on Monday June 8.

“During this period New Zealanders were largely confined to their homes with one of the world’s strictest lockdowns closing most retail stores except for those selling food and other essentials.

“Nevertheless, over 3 million New Zealanders (75.6% of the population aged 14+) now read or access newspapers in an average 7-day period via print or online (website or app) and nine out of the top 20 newspapers grew their cross-platform audience compared to a year ago.

“The leading newspaper is again the New Zealand Herald with a cross-platform audience of over1.84 million ahead of the Dominion Post read by 432,000. Leading newspapers to increase their cross-platform audiences include Hawke’s Bay Today (+21.2%), the Northern Advocate (+9.3%), the Otago Daily Times (+6.3%), and the Taranaki Daily News (+3.5%).

“The 12-month figures for newspapers don’t tell the full story of the trends in the June quarter though. Leading titles The Press, Sunday Star Times and Taranaki Daily News all increased their print readership in the June quarter and overall the digital and cross-platform audiences for the Stuff group of newspapers also increased as locked down New Zealanders sought out the latest news on the progress of the pandemic.

“New Zealand’s magazines obviously faced the similar headwinds to newspapers during the June quarter with regular retail sales channels of print versions heavily restricted. Several magazines even suspended their publishing during this period.

“The closure of print channels notwithstanding, over 1.9 million New Zealanders (48.5% of the population aged 14+) read magazines whether in print or online either via the web or an app. In addition, nine of the top ten magazines in New Zealand by cross-platform audience did grow their digital audiences compared to a year ago.

“Leading magazines to grow their digital audiences included AA Directions, NZ Woman’s Day, NZ Woman’s Weekly, New Zealand Listener, TV Guide Magazine, Australian Women’s Weekly NZ Edition, Mindfood, SkyWatch and NZ Gardener.”

Download our latest profiles of New Zealanders who read different Newspapers or Magazines.

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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