Melbourne readers boost audiences but Nine's two metro dailies lead

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New Roy Morgan cross-platform audience figures put Nine Entertainment's Sydney and Melbourne metro dailies out front, followed by News Corp's Daily Telegraph and its Melbourne stablemate.

The new four-week results for the nine months to September put the Sydney Morning Herald at more than 8.3 million, followed by The Age with more than 5.9 million Australians in an average four week period in the nine months to September.

News Corp's Daily Telegraph with 4.9 million is ahead of its Melbourne counterpart the Herald Sun and national broadsheet The Australian which both have cross-platform audiences of around 4.5 million.

Discrete quarterly figures show strong growth for both of the Melbourne dailies during the city's second lockdown, growing audiences by more than 400,000 during the quarter.

Other mastheads to experience consecutive quarters of growth during both the September quarter and earlier June quarter included the Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian and Perth-headquartered West Australian and Sunday Times.

The new 'digital first' enhanced cross-platform audience results are drawn from Roy Morgan Single Source comprising personal interviews with a representative sample of 44,653 Australians aged 14+ in their own homes and machine-based data collected in the nine months to September 2020.

Roy Morgan chief executive Michele Levine says the cross-platform data shows newspapers are reaching huge audiences: "Millions of Australians are accessing their trusted media brands through digital channels.

"An estimated 19.4 million Australians aged 14+ (92 per cent) read or accessed newspapers including metropolitan, regional and community titles in an average four weeks in the nine months to September 2020. This represents significant growth of four per cent from the six months to June when the total cross-platform audience for newspapers was 18.5 million (88 per cent).

"The metropolitan newspapers have a combined audience of 16.4 million (78 per cent)."

Four Week Newspaper Cross-Platform Audience (January-September 2020)

Print
(4 weeks)

Digital
(4 weeks)
(incl. Apple News)

Total Cross-Platform Audience
(4 weeks)
(incl. Apple News)

Publication

Jan-Sep 2020
('000s)

Jan-Sep 2020
('000s)

Jan-Sep 2020
('000s)

Adelaide Advertiser

842

1,189

1,721

Canberra Times

321

811

1,088

Courier-Mail

1,378

1,858

2,844

Daily Telegraph

2,195

3,346

4,888

Financial Review

1,170

2,185

3,147

Herald Sun

2,457

2,947

4,549

Mercury

174

322

452

Newcastle Herald

186

320

458

Sunday Times

537

1,671

2,050

Sydney Morning Herald

1,957

7,555

8,327

The Age

1,598

5,200

5,905

The Australian

2,614

2,388

4,547

The Saturday Paper

432

340

774

West Australian

1,129

731

1,564

Cross-Platform Audience is the number of Australians who have read or accessed individual newspaper content via print, web, app or Apple New (and includes Monday-Friday and the weekend editions on Saturday and Sunday).

In line with traditional digital measures all results are four week estimates rather than print currency 'average issue readership' (AIR). Print currency 'AIR' readership estimates are on the Roy Morgan website here.

Levine says unprecedented challenges during 2020 including COVID-19, and before that the devastating bushfires, have given Australia's leading news providers including News Corp and the ABC a huge boost in audiences:

"The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how important reliable sources of news are for consumers needing to keep up to date with the latest Government directives as Australia deals with the virus.

"Australians have turned to news providers in unprecedented numbers during the pandemic with News Corp a leading choice for millions of Australians. In the nine months to September 2020 News Corp has five mastheads with 4 week cross-platform audiences in an average four weeks of well over 1.5 million for each.

"The leading News Corp mastheads are the capital city based Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun, Courier-Mail and Adelaide Advertiser and the national broadsheet The Australian. which during the nine months to September 2020 was read by well over 4.5 million in an average four weeks.

"Digital news channels reach huge audiences of Australians led by News Corp's leading platform news.com.au which Roy Morgan estimates was visited by over 11 million Australians during the nine months to September 2020 just ahead of ABC News visited by over 10.2 million."

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