Nine gets the power to challenge News, says Levine

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Combining Fairfax's top mastheads with Nine's TV channels will give them the reach to challenge News Corp and also digital competitors, Roy Morgan chief executive Michele Levine says.

Announcing readership results which show Fairfax's Sydney Morning Herald as Australia's most widely read masthead, she said four of the country's top five had grown cross-platform audiences.

The results for the 12 months to June 2018 show more than 16 million, or 79.3 per cent, of Australians aged 14+ now read or access newspapers in an average week via print or online, ip 3.3 per cent from a year ago. Fairfax's The Age (Melbourne) grew nearly ten per cent in the past year, according to the Roy Morgan Single Source survey of 50,035 Australians.

News Corp Australia's national masthead The Australian grew its cross-platform audience by 6.3 per cent to 2,564,000 while the cross-platform audience of business-focused Australian Financial Review (Fairfax Media) is unchanged on a year ago at 1,370,000.

Top State-wide & Metropolitan Mastheads by 7 Day Total Cross-Platform Audience (Print & Online)

Print

Digital
(web or app)

Total Cross-Platform Audience
(print, web or app)

Publication

Jun 2017
('000s)

Jun 2018
('000s)

Jun 2017
('000s)

Jun 2018
('000s)

Jun 2017
('000s)

Jun 2018
('000s)

% change
Total
Cross-
Platform
Audience

Sydney Morning Herald

1,094

1,036

3,691

3,787

4,235

4,279

1.0%

Daily Telegraph

1,395

1,306

2,394

2,330

3,418

3,245

-5.1%

The Age

950

881

2,395

2,634

2,805

3,085

10.0%

Herald Sun

1,569

1,465

1,960

2,082

3,055

3,085

1.0%

The Australian

922

831

1,709

1,965

2,412

2,564

6.3%

Courier-Mail

1,032

911

1,295

1,267

2,049

1,961

-4.3%

Australian Financial
Review (AFR)

405

374

1,076

1,083

1,370

1,370

0.0%

*Total cross-platform audience comprises print which is net readership in an average 7 days and digital which is net website visitation and app usage in an average 7 days.


Print Readership

Overall 7.2 million Australians read the listed print newspapers, including 5.1 million who read weekday issues, more than 4.3 million who read Saturday editions and nearly 3.9 million who read Sunday titles. Although print readership has declined year-on-year, the latest figures show more than one in three Australians (35.6 per cent) are reading print newspapers. In today's digitally-focused world, they continue to be an important advertising medium to reach both mass and niche audiences.


Weekend Newspaper Readership down, but Saturday Daily Telegraph is up

Australia's best read weekend newspaper is again Sydney's Sunday Telegraph with an average issue print readership of 864,000 - down 4 per cent over the past year - ahead of southern stablemate Melbourne's Sunday Herald Sun which has a print readership of 814,000 (down 6.8 per cent). Both are News mashteads.

Other major titles that declined include the Saturday Herald Sun down 11 per cent to a readership of 734,000, the Saturday Sydney Morning Herald down 1.7 per cent to 633,000 readers, the Sunday Mail in Queensland down 9.8 per cent to a readership of 618,000 and the Saturday Age which was down 11.5 per cent to 576,000 readers.

The Saturday Daily Telegraph managed to defy the overall trend by increasing its readership by 2.2 per cent to 550,000 and was Australia's eighth most widely read weekend newspaper.

Readership of national broadsheet The Weekend Australian was down 9.9 per cent to 576,000 while Schwarz Media's The Saturday Paper's readership was virtually unchanged at 111,000.

• Full details are here.

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