Print magazines holding steady

Around 62.5 per cent or 12.5m Australians aged 14 and over read print magazines, down 0.7 per cent or 93,000 from a year ago, according to the Roy Morgan Australian Magazine Readership report for last year.

Australia’s most widely read magazines Coles Magazine printed by IVE, and Woolworths’ Fresh printed by PMP, each increased their readership by 11.3 per cent and 13.1 per cent respectively. Coles Magazine remained the most read title. Coles Magazine now has a readership of 4.15m and Fresh is read by 3.87m.

Food and entertainment was the most popular category and also one of the fastest growing, up 6.7 per cent and now read by 6.27m Australians, or 31.2 per cent of the population. Women’s fashion magazines are also performing strongly.

According to the data, of Australia’s leading 10 magazines ranked by cross-platform audience seven of the ten retain a significantly larger readership via their print editions than their digital offerings, a clear contrast to print newspapers. The audience reach of magazines is extended to 15 million Australians when digital readership is included, either via the web or an app.

Michele Levine, CEO of Roy Morgan says, “15 million Australians aged 14 plus read magazines whether in print or online in the year to December 2017 – virtually unchanged from a year ago.

“Analysing the latest Roy Morgan readership results shows Australia’s most widely read magazines are again Coles Magazine and Woolworth’s Fresh which both increased their average issue readership by over 10 per cent in the year to December 2017.

“In addition to the two market leaders there were several magazines to show strong year-over-year growth with the Women’s Fashion magazines category substantially outperforming the broader industry. Category leader Frankie grew its readership 19.7 per cent to 407,000 while rival Elle magazine was up 17.1 per cent to 171,000 and Vogue Australia increased 8.9 per cent to 355,000.

“The strong results for magazines catering to specific areas of interest show that magazines in print or online format can build loyal audicences who keep coming back to consume quality information underpinned by their level of in-built trust in the brand.”

[Related: 12.6m Aussies read print magazines]

Women’s fashion magazines was the fastest growing category with the largest year-on-year category growth, up 9.6 per cent to the seventh most read category overall at 1,267,000 or 6.3 per cent of the population. Category leader Frankie was the fastest growing Women's Fashion magazine increasing 19.7 per cent to a readership of 407,000 followed by Elle magazine, now read by 171,000 (up 17.1 per cent). Vogue Australia was also a strong performer increasing its readership to 355,000 (up 8.9 per cent).

However, readership for mass women’s magazines continued to slip last year, down 5.3 per cent. Around 3.35m Australians or 16.7 per cent of the population, continue to read these titles. Women’s Weekly remains the clear category leader with readership of 1.49m (down 7.7 per cent) ahead of Woman’s Day virtually unchanged from 12 months ago on 1.3m (down 0.8 per cent) and New Idea on 1.07m (down 5.8 percent). Both That’s Life on 657,000 (down 5.2 per cent) and Take 5 on 495,000 (down 6.3 per cent) maintain significant readerships.

Around 22.3 per cent or 4,484,000 Australians, of the population, read at least one general interest magazine (down 0.8 per cent) with the leading titles being National Geographic with readership of 1,061,000 (down 3.4 per cent). In addition, Road Ahead (QLD) has performed strongly with readership up 13.2 per cent to 628,000, although still behind leading motoring club titles Open Road (NSW) with readership of 1.05m (down 6.9 per cent) and Royal Auto (VIC) read by 638,000 (down 0.6 per cent).

The fourth most popular category of magazines remains Home & Garden publications, despite a drop of 4.4 per cent in the last 12 months. Almost three million (2.95m) Australians now read at least one magazine in this category, equating to 14.7 per cent of the population. Several magazines managed to perform strongly over the year led by Gardening Australia increasing 14.8 per cent to 449,000, Country Style up 14.0 per cent to 293,000, Vogue Living up 17.9 per cent to 132,000 and Home Design – up 11.5 per cent to 87,000. Better Homes and Gardens maintains the dominant position in the category with a readership of 1.7m (down 7.3 per cent) ahead of House and Garden on 527,000 (down 16.7 per cent).

In the Business, Financial & Airline category, Qantas Magazine remains the lead title in the category with readership of 384,000 (down 17.8 per cent) just ahead of New Scientist on 370,000 (down 9.1 per cent) and Time magazine on 344,000 (down 1.7 per cent). Readership in this category declined over the past year, down 7.7 per cent to 1.65m Australians.

Other magazine titles to perform strongly included health and family focused magazine Wellbeing up 25.3 per cent to a readership of 109,000 and automotive magazine Wheels up 18.3 per cent to a readership of 291,000.

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