Print magazine readership stays steady

Around 12.6 million or 62.3 per cent of Australians aged 14 and over read print magazines, virtually unchanged from one year ago, according to new data from Roy Morgan.

The survey which had 50,014 participants in the twelve months up to March 2018, found that more than 15 million Australians read magazines across print and online.

Coles Magazine and Woolworths Fresh continued their top ranking as Australia's two most widely read magazines, with their print readership growing strongly over the past year with Coles readership up 15.4 per cent to 4.36 million from 3.78 million and Fresh increasing by 19.2 per cent to 4.05 million from 3.4 million. The two supermarket rags are free.

Better Homes & Gardens, Women’s Weekly and Woman’s Day remain the top three most widely read paid magazines, but all saw drops in their readerships. Better Homes & Gardens fell the most at 5 per cent, to 1.7 million from 1.79 million and Women’s Weekly followed, going down 4.8 per cent to 1.48 million form 1.55 million.

[Related: Newspaper ad spending down]

Roy Morgan has noted that of Australia’s leading 10 magazines ranked by cross-platform audience seven retain a significantly larger readership via their print editions than their digital platforms. However the top ten magazines across platforms all saw a drop in readership, with New Idea seeing the largest slip at 10.4 per cent to 1.18 million readers from 1.32 million across platforms over the past year. The magazine also saw a drop in its print readers, to 1.05 million from 1.14 million. The most read magazine across platforms,, also saw a slip of 9 per cent in its total cross platform audience, but its print readers increased to 655,000 from 597,000.

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan says, “Whether in print or online format magazines remain an incredibly popular source of entertainment, information, news and advice for Australians. Now over 15 million Australians aged 14+ read magazines virtually unchanged from a year ago.

“There is no better example than the Food & Entertainment category whose increasing popularity hasn’t been confined to just the two free supermarket monthlies. Other magazines in the category to grow over the last year include Selector (up 27.9 per cent), and Super Food Ideas (up 1.5 per cent). Today’s readership figures for this category confirm Australia’s reputation as a nation of foodies.

“Whether it be Women’s Fashion titles with overall readership up 2.6 per cent, the Men’s Lifestyle category which increased readership 0.6 per cent, or General Interest magazines which increased 0.9 per cent from a year ago the breadth of magazines in the Australian market offer advertisers a myriad of options to reach mass and niche audiences.”

[Related: Print magazines holding steady]

Other paid titles managing to increase their print readership, including National Geographic (+1.3 per cent), Royal Auto (+9 per cent),  Road Ahead (+5.8 per cent) and just outside the Top 15 both Gardening Australia (+13.6 per cent) and Super Food Ideas (+1.5 per cent).

Food & Entertainment is now Australia’s best performing magazine category, being read by 6.5 million Australians or 32.2 per cent of the population, up 11.3 per cent from a year before. Roy Morgan says the category is dominated by Coles Magazine and Woolworth’s Fresh. Other titles to perform well over the past year include Selector which increased 27.9 per cent to 87,000 readers and Super Food Ideas up 1.5 per cent to 467,000 readers.


The five most read categories of magazines were Food & Entertainment, General Interest (4.5 million Australians, 22.3 per cent of the population), Mass Women’s (3.293 million, 16.3 per cent), Home & Garden (2.934 million, 14.5 per cent) and Business, Financial & Airline (1.64 million or 8.2 per cent).

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