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The golden Age and the setting Sun: Roy Morgan Newspaper Readership and Cross-Platform Audience Results for September 2014

Print is average issue readership; digital is website visitation and app usage in an average 7 days.

Roy Morgan Research today releases the latest Print Readership and Cross-Platform Audience results for Australian Newspapers for the year to September 2014.

Digital audiences continue to rise, however fewer Australians are reading major daily newspapers in print format, with weekend readership hardest hit. In an average week in the 12 months to September 2014, newspapers reached 9,419,000 Australians overall, down 6.0% in a year. Readership on Saturdays and Sundays each dropped by 467,000—equal to a 7.8% decline on Saturday and 8.4% on Sunday.  

Nationally, only The Age in Victoria managed the supreme feat of increasing (or at least maintaining) print readership across all three editions: average Monday to Friday readership rose 4.8% to 547,000; Saturday was steady at 700,000; and Sunday rose 6.7% to 591,000 readers.

Three other papers also made weekday gains: the Townville Bulletin (up 9.8%), Canberra Times (up 5.4%) and Newcastle Herald (up 3.0%). The Courier-Mail, also, can surely count its unchanged weekday figure (and only single-digit weekend declines) as a win.

Although its print readership fell, The Age’s Fairfax stable-mate the Sydney Morning Herald fared better than average overall, down 5.5% on weekdays and 4.3% on Saturday, although the Sun-Herald shed 10.0%.

The Financial Review dropped 14.2% Monday to Friday but only 2.7% for its weekend edition. Conversely, The Australian’s 8.0% weekday loss is a better than the 15.3% decline for the weekend edition.

But there was nothing inconsistent about the results for News Corp dailies the Herald Sun, Daily Telegraph and Adelaide Advertiser, which each suffered double-digit proportional losses across all their weekday, Saturday and Sunday editions.

Cross-Platform Audiences

But print, of course, is only part of the newspaper audience story. The number of people accessing each masthead by website or app not only grew or remained steady, and digital online readers comprise an increasing proportion of newspaper audiences.

Already the leader in total cross-platform audience, the Sydney Morning Herald extended its lead, with 444,000 more digital viewers dwarfing the print losses and giving the masthead a 9.7% increase overall.

The Adelaide Advertiser had the largest proportional surge in digital viewers, up 26.5% to 491,000—enough to increase the paper’s total audience increase by 3.7% despite the dramatic decline in print readership. The Courier-Mail also posted solid digital gains to finish 3.4% up overall. 

The Age’s print readership actually grew by more than its digital audience, resulting in a 2.7% cross-platform gain.

But increasing digital audience numbers for the Herald Sun, Daily Telegraph, Financial Review, Mercury, the West Australian and The Australian were offset by their respective declines in print.   

Cross-Platform Audiences for Newspapers

 

Print

Digital
(web or app)

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

Publication

Sept 2013
(000's)

Sept 2014
(000's)

Sept 2013
(000's)

Sept 2014
(000's)

Sept 2013
(000's)

Sept 2014
(000's)

% change in
Cross- Platform Audience

Adelaide Advertiser

816

735

388

491

1044

1083

3.7%

Canberra Times

155

159

--

403

--

503

--

Courier-Mail

1319

1291

777

879

1863

1926

3.4%

Daily Telegraph

1792

1611

953

1114

2515

2487

-1.1%

Financial Review

463

417

300

338

709

697

-1.7%

Herald Sun

1865

1657

1274

1331

2786

2675

-4.0%

Mercury

159

147

87

100

228

220

-3.5%

Newcastle Herald

227

202

--

105

--

292

--

Sunday Times

563

501

432

425

893

844

-5.5%

Sydney Morning Herald

1373

1302

2290

2734

3178

3487

9.7%

The Age

1030

1089

1776

1834

2420

2486

2.7%

The Australian

1076

971

963

968

1860

1754

-5.7%

West Australian

968

890

518

529

1322

1262

-4.5%

Print is average issue readership; digital is website visitation and app usage in an average 7 days.

Click here to see all the results for
Newspaper Print Readership or Total Newspaper Cross-Platform Audiences
for the 12 months to September 2014.

Tim Martin, General Manager - Media, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Audiences continue to migrate from the traditional print format to the myriad online platforms for consuming their major daily newspaper content. Between 42% and 80% of each major daily newspaper’s audience is now using a digital device.

“As more online news sources such as The Daily Mail and Buzzfeed tailor their content for local audiences Australians are faced with an ever-increasing smorgasbord of news consumption choices. This will inevitably lead to winners and losers in the highly competitive Australian market aiming to attract news seeking audiences.

 “Roy Morgan’s ‘average issue’ print readership and ‘average 7 days’ cross-platform audience numbers are the industry standard for advertisers and media agencies looking to get a real and applicable understanding of how many Australians they can reach.

“Adding exponential depth to these Readership results, Roy Morgan Research’s Single Source data is the preferred multi-media audience measurement currency used by the majority of Australian media strategy, planning and buying agencies and telecommunications, financial services and automotive brands.”

For comments or more information about Roy Morgan Research Readership, please contact:

Vaishali Nagaratnam
Office:   +61 (3) 9224 5309
Vaishali.Nagaratnam@roymorgan.com


About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate

40%-60%

25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%

1,000

±3.0

±2.7

±1.9

±1.3

5,000

±1.4

±1.2

±0.8

±0.6

7,500

±1.1

±1.0

±0.7

±0.5

10,000

±1.0

±0.9

±0.6

±0.4

20,000

±0.7

±0.6

±0.4

±0.3

50,000

±0.4

±0.4

±0.3

±0.2