Print news readership falls

Newspapers are seeing a decline in print readership while magazines continue to grow, according to the latest Enhanced Media Metrics Australia (Emma) data from last year.

For the 12 months leading up to October last year, the Herald Sun weekly was the top newspaper in print average issue readership (AIR) with around 1.18m, along with its Saturday paper having 969,000 readers. It decreased from 1.22m and 1.01m for the weekly and weekend paper respectively the year before. The Daily Telegraph weekly paper followed with an AIR of 955,000. Previously it had 990,000 the year before and the Sunday Telegraph followed suit, going from 1.07m to 952,000. The Sydney Morning Herald came in at third with 652,000 readers reaching for both its weekly and Saturday papers, down from 655,000 weekly readers and 706,000 reading its Saturday paper.

While print newspaper readership declined, print magazines crept up. Woolworth’s Fresh Magazine topped the print audiences for magazines during a year with an AIR of 4.41m for the 12 months leading up to October last year, up from 3.95m for the same period the year before. It was followed by Coles Magazine with an AIR of 3.875m readers, which grew from 3.55m.

Peter Miller, CEO of NewsMediaWorks says, “News media has shown remarkable resilience and stability in the year to October, demonstrating that audiences continue to seek and engage with trusted, quality journalism.

“Consumers rate news media as the most trusted channel for both content and ads, according to the recent Adtrust study by Galaxy Research. In a year that has been marred by fake news and dubious content, news media delivers advertisers large and engaged audiences in a premium, brand safe environment.”

[Related: 12.6m Aussies read print magazines]

The Daily Telegraph was the newspaper with the largest newspaper total monthly audience in print, with 2.67m readers in print, decreasing from 2.78m the year before. The Herald Sun followed with 2.55m in print, from 2.59m previously. Sydney Morning Herald went from 2.05m to 2.008m readers in print contrasting with its total audience of 4.31m online in the past year.

The major magazines in print had sizably smaller audiences online. New Idea had the largest total monthly audience for the year in print, with 2.72m readers, growing from 2.65m the year before. Better Homes and Gardens followed with 2.723m, increasing from 2.161m. That’s Life was the third largest in print with 1.28m, up from 1.2m.

The Weekend Australian Magazine was the most read newspaper inserted magazine with an average issue readership of 461,000 for the year. Good Weekend, the Sydney Morning Herald insert followed with 436,000 and Stella, the magazine with the Sunday Telegraph came in next at 383,000.

NewsMediaWorks says around 13 million people or 69 per cent of Australians read newspapers. News media in both print and digital devices was reported to have been read by nine in 10 or 16.9 million Australians and digital news content on smartphones, tablets and computers was read by 13.6 million. About 2.5 million people  or 13 per cent of the population read national news media and 10.7 million or 57 per cent of consumers read metro newspapers.

Emma, a cross platform audience insights metric, was developed for The Readership Works (TRW) by independent research company Ipsos Connect. It is the official measurement system in more than 40 countries including the UK, Italy and France. It also has an agreement with Nielsen’s Digital Ratings Monthly to fuse its data with Emma’s data, providing greater cross-platform accountability, accuracy, transparency and frequency of data. The Media Federation of Australia was involved in the development of Emma and sits on the Technical Committee. Emma is independently audited by Dr Rob Hall.

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