There’s something for everyone in the emerging Roy Morgan readership figures.
Each publisher has a success story, and as ever, it’s the way they tell ’em.
Rupert Murdoch’s national daily The Australian quotes “new data from Roy Morgan” that its weekday print readership has increased by 42.6 per cent (on last year’s figures) although the weekend edition's readership is a more modest 5.9 per cent.
The Oz also quotes Morgan on cross-platform growth of seven per cent, this time against six months ago. Of 5.4 million readers across print and digital in September, more than 250,000 are paid digital subscriptions.
In Perth, the West Australian quotes Roy Morgan data that West Australian Newspapers is “the fastest-growing news brand in the country”, citing a 25.1 per cent increase in its cross-platform audience in the year to September, and 6.1 per cent in the last quarter. WAN’s newspapers and PerthNow website have increased readership by 882,000 over the 12-month period, so that 82.5 per cent of residents in the state now read one of its products.
Nationally however, Nine Entertainment’s Sydney Morning Herald says it has “maintained its top spot as Australia’s most read news brand”, quoting Roy Morgan Research data. The SMH’s audience of 8.7 million readers across print and digital was up from its 8.4 million in August. The publisher says its Melbourne stablemate The Age was the second-most popular, with six million readers, putting it ahead of News’ The Australian (5.4 million), the Daily Telegraph in Sydney (4.9 million) and Melbourne Herald Sun (4.7 million), “based on the last four weeks averaged over the last 12 months ending September”.
Recently, the Roy Morgan figures for newsmedia have been announced by publishers’ group ThinkNewsBrands, however Roy Morgan Research has just announced readership figures for Australian magazines. They show more than 11.2 million people aged 14+ (53 per cent) now read print magazines, up 2.2 per cent from a year ago, according to the report for the 12 months to September 2021. The 15.2 million who read magazines in print or online is a reduction of 3.3 per cent.
Overall magazine industry readership figures are up compared to a year ago with the rebound out of the 2020 lockdowns earlier last year providing a boost to key magazine categories. Of the 15 categories measured over the last two years two-thirds (ten magazine categories) are up and only five are down.
Figures continue to lump paid and free magazines together, so that the 5.132 million of supermarket giveaway Coles and 4.661 of Woolworths rival Fresh are compared with the 1.661 of paid-sale TV co-promotion Better Homes & Gardens 1.393 of (monthly) Australian Women’s Weekly.
Every one of the top 15 magazines scored an increase: