Newspaper readership varies by day of week for the major metro dailies with weekend newspapers attracting higher audience numbers than weekday newspapers.
Media services director William Burlace says Sundays are generally the biggest day of the week for readership, because of the extra leisure time encourages the indulgence of reading in bed, or over a coffee.
“Saturdays are also strong for similar reasons along with their classified real estate and employment offerings,” he says.
“In the weekday mix, Friday is generally strongest – as the majority of the working populace gets ready for weekend sporting and leisure opportunities – followed by Wednesday.”
The research reflects variations in these patterns between different mastheads. For example, readership of the ‘Sunday Telegraph’ (Sydney) is dramatically higher than ‘Daily Telegraph’ readership on other days of the week, whereas its sister publication in Melbourne, the ‘Herald Sun’ is fairly consistent across all days of the week. (Interestingly, the Herald Sun is stronger on Friday than Saturday or Sunday.)
The ‘Sydney Morning Herald’ has higher readership on both Saturday and Sunday (the ‘Sun-Herald’) while for the ‘Age’, Sunday is not as strong as Thursday, Friday or Saturday – perhaps due to the ‘Sunday Age’ being the only Sunday broadsheet.
An interesting aspect of the Sunday reading is that, while there are more men reading newspapers than women in absolute terms, this reverses on Sundays. The ‘Sunday Telegraph’, the ‘Sun-Herald’, the ‘Sunday Herald Sun’, the ‘Sunday Age’ and the ‘Sunday Mail’ (QLD) all have greater numbers of women readers than men. For the ‘Sunday Mail’ (SA) and the ‘Sunday Times’ (WA) the men/women split is virtually equal.
“Newspapers are a dynamic medium encouraging active participation different from the passive relationship we associate with, say, viewing television,” says Burlace.
“Audiences differ by day of week and by section of individual paper. When readers have more opportunity to indulge themselves – as on the weekend – newspaper audiences rise.”