Weekend Australian best print results in years

The Weekend Australian achieved its best print circulation in recent times for the last quarter alongside an increase in online subscribers.

Roy Morgan Newspaper Print Readership research reports The Weekend Australian is up 5.4 per cent in readership for its print format for the September quarter, making it one of the best performing papers in the country.

The figures are a big win for the paper, according to The Australian chief executive Nicholas Grey, in an era where printed news is failing to keep up with digital content.

“The Weekend Australian’s latest circulation results saw the newspaper’s best result in years,” he says.

“The Weekend Australian continues to lead the way as Australia’s best read and most influential national newspaper across print and digital, and with the most valuable audience.”

The country’s biggest newspaper print circulations have struggled to turn profit in recent times, but other major mastheads have gained print readers, including a 3.5 per cent rise for The Financial Review and 1.9 per cent for The Sydney Morning Herald.

[Related: The trouble with print newspapers]

Other printed papers boasted skyrocketing traffic on digital platforms, The Newcastle Herald reported an extra 50,000 online readers.

Roy Morgan Research chief executive Michele Levine says the gradual switch from print to digital is not just black and white.

 “It’s unlikely that 50,000 people simply stopped reading print and started going to the website,” she says.

“Depending on your view, mastheads have either done well to keep two-thirds of their audience reading print, or been slow to grow the audience coming in through web visitation and app usage.”

Plunging print figures have forced many smaller publishers to look to digital for viable circulation, and efforts towards maintaining print readership has taken a back seat.

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