Back To Listing

Eight magazine categories enjoy strong growth in 2021-22 led by General Interest, Health & Family, Motoring and Sports – all with readership up year on year

Eight magazine categories enjoy strong growth in 2021-22 led by General Interest, Health & Family, Motoring and Sports – all with readership up year on year
14.8 million Australians read magazines in print and online

Now 10.9 million Australians aged 14+ (51.5%) read print magazines, virtually unchanged on a year ago, according to the results released today from the Roy Morgan Australian Readership report for the 12 months to March 2022.

This market broadens to 14.8 million Australians aged 14+ (70%) who read magazines in print or online either via the web or an app, a small drop of 3.7 per cent from a year ago. These are the latest findings from the Roy Morgan Single Source survey of 65,365 Australians aged 14+ in the 12 months to March 2022.

Print readership increased for eight magazine categories compared to a year ago including for General Interest, Health & Family, Motoring and Sports

There were increases in readership for around half of the 17 magazine categories over the last year despite the easing of restrictions allowing Australians to spend their money more widely in the last few months.

There were increases in readership for General Interest magazines, the second most widely read magazine category, up 0.5 per cent to nearly 4 million, and also Health & Family magazines which increased by over 28 per cent to a readership of over 1.16 million.

The readership of Motoring magazines increased strongly, up over 20 per cent to 900,000, Sports magazines were up nearly 25 per cent to over 460,000 and there were also increases for Fishing, Music & Movies, Motorcyles and Crafts.

Around half the top 25 magazines increased their print readership over the past year with Better Homes & Gardens and Australian Women’s Weekly again the most widely read paid magazines

The last year was a good one for Australia’s top 25 most widely read magazines with around half (12 out of 25) increasing their print readership during 2021/22 compared to a year earlier.

Better Homes & Gardens is Australia’s most widely read paid magazine with print readership of 1,529,000 ahead of the Australian Women’s Weekly with a print readership of 1,203,000. Better Homes & Gardens and Australian Women’s Weekly are the only two paid magazines with a readership of over 1 million.

In addition, National Geographic has an impressive print readership of 820,000 to be Australia’s third most widely read paid magazine ahead of Taste.com.au Magazine up 27.3 per cent to 789,000 ahead of Woman’s Day with a readership of 713,000, an increase of 2.0 per cent.

Coles magazine & Fresh Ideas are most widely read while Bunnings magazine is read by 1.5m

Australia's two most widely read free magazines are Coles magazine with a readership of 4,738,000 just ahead of Fresh Ideas (from Woolworths) with a readership of 4,542,000, up 1.8 per cent.

Bunnings magazine is the third most widely read free magazine with a readership of 1,504,000 ahead of the NRMA’s magazine Open Road (NSW) which rounds out the top four free magazines with a readership of 1,240,000, up a large 27.3 per cent on a year ago – the equal largest increase for any of the top 20 magazines.

There were gains in readership for all four of the popular Women’s competition magazines including That’s Life Mega Monthly, up 7.8 per cent to 554,000, Take 5 Bumper Monthly, up 0.8 per cent to 526,000, Take 5 (Weekly), up 1 per cent to 490,000 and That’s Life, up 1.7 per cent to 485,000.

Other magazines to increase their readership over the past year included RACQ’s Road Ahead (Qld), up 16.8 per cent to 666,000, Home Beautiful, up 6 per cent to 334,000 and big gains for both Street Machine, up 57.7 per cent to 298,000 and Men’s Health, up 42.7 per cent to 274,000.

Top 25 Magazines by print readership – March 2022 

Publication

March 2021

March 2022

% Change

‘000s

‘000s

%

Coles magazine

4,959

4,738

-4.5%

Fresh Ideas

4,462

4,542

1.8%

Better Homes & Gardens

1,591

1,529

-3.9%

Bunnings magazine

1,550

1,504

-3.0%

Open Road (NSW)

974

1,240

27.3%

Australian Women’s Weekly

1,389

1,203

-13.4%

National Geographic

914

820

-10.3%

Taste.com.au Magazine

620

789

27.3%

Woman’s Day

699

713

2.0%

Road Ahead (Qld)

570

666

16.8%

New Idea

589

577

-2.0%

House & Garden

585

574

-1.9%

That’s Life! Mega Monthly

514

554

7.8%

Take 5 Bumper Monthly

522

526

0.8%

Take 5 (Weekly)

485

490

1.0%

That’s Life

477

485

1.7%

Australian Geographic

472

438

-7.2%

Gardening Australia

503

429

-14.7%

Reader’s Digest Australia

431

386

-10.4%

TV Week

351

337

-4.0%

Home Beautiful

315

334

6.0%

Vogue Australia

335

326

-2.7%

Street Machine

189

298

57.7%

Men’s Health

192

274

42.7%

Foxtel Magazine

280

271

-3.2%

Full Magazine Readership Results available to view here.

Detailed Magazine Readership Results are available to view here in the Supplementary Tables PDF.


The five most read categories of magazines

  • Food & Entertainment (6,944,000 Australians, 32.8% of the population);
  • General Interest (3,966,000 Australians, 18.7% of the population);
  • Home & Garden (3,635,000 Australians, 17.2% of the population);
  • Mass Women’s (2,663,000 Australians, 12.6% of the population);
  • Health & Family (1,161,000 Australians, 5.5% of the population).
Food & Entertainment magazines number one with total readership of almost 7 million

Food & Entertainment is again Australia's best performing magazine category and is now read by 6,944,000 Australians, or 32.8% of the population – almost 3 million ahead of any other category.

The free supermarket titles remain the clear leaders in the category led by Coles magazine with a readership of 4,738,000 just ahead of the second-placed Woolworth’s Fresh Ideas now read by 4,542,000 Australians, up 80,000 (up 1.8 per cent).

Taste.com.au magazine was one of the big winners over the last year and significantly increased its readership, up by 27.3 per cent to a readership of 789,000 while Eat Well more than doubled its early readership result and was, up 105.6 per cent to 148,000.

Other widely read titles include Delicious, with a readership of 271,000 and Australian Gourmet Traveller now read by 185,000 while another big improver was Halliday, up by 30.3 per cent to a readership of 43,000.

General Interest magazines increase readership by almost 20,000 to nearly 4 million

3,966,000 Australians, or 18.7% of the population, read at least one of the general interest magazines. Of the 15 magazines in the category, 10 increased their readership from a year ago while only three decreased and there were two new titles: Escape Magazine and T Australia: The New York Times Style Magazine.

National Geographic was easily the most widely read paid magazine in the category with a readership of 820,000, ahead of the second-placed Australian Geographic with a readership of 438,000 and Reader’s Digest Australia in third with a readership of 386,000.

Several magazines recorded large increases in readership in the category led by Cosmos, up 115.1 per cent to 114,000, Australian Traveller, up 57 per cent to 168,000, Vacations & Travel, up 15.1 per cent to 145,000, and RM Williams Outback which increased by 6.6 per cent to 243,000.

There were also strong performances by several motoring magazines: Open Road (NSW) read by 1,240,000 (up 27.3 per cent), Road Ahead (Qld) now read by 666,000 (up 16.8 per cent), Horizons (WA) read by 267,000 (up 15.1 per cent) and SA Motor (SA) read by 215,000 (up 13.2 per cent).

For the new magazines in the category the readership numbers were impressive with Escape Magazine achieving a readership of 257,000 and T Australia: The New York Times Style Magazine read by 116,000.

Home & Garden magazines are in a clear third place read by over 3.6 million Australians

Home & Garden magazines are now read by 3,635,000 Australians accounting for over one-in-six Australians. There were four magazines in the category to increase their readership on a year ago.

Australia’s most widely read paid magazine is again Better Homes & Gardens (BH&G) with a readership of 1,529,000 – over 300,000 more than any other paid magazine.

The second most widely read is the freely available Bunnings magazine which is now read by 1,504,000 and is the only other magazine in the category with a readership of over 1 million.

Other well-known and widely read magazines in the category include House & Garden with an impressive readership of 574,000 and and Gardening Australia with a readership of 429,000.

There were several magazines to grow their readership over the last year led by Home Beautiful, up 6 per cent to a readership of 334,000, Grand Designs Australia, up 7.5 per cent to 158,000, Belle, up 5.7 per cent to 129,000 and Inside Out, up 7.5 per cent to 115,000.

Mass Women’s magazines sees growth for Woman’s Day, That’s Life and Take 5

Mass Women’s magazines are now read by 2,663,000 Australians equal to 12.6 per cent of the population and include five magazines read by more than 500,000 people – more than any other category.

Easily the most widely read magazine in the category is Australian Women’s Weekly with a readership of 1,203,000. There was an increase in readership for the second most widely read magazine in the category, Woman’s Day, up 2 per cent to 713,000.

The popular ‘competition-focused’ magazines also saw increases in readership led by That’s Life Mega Monthly, up 7.8 per cent to 554,000, That’s Life, up 1.7 per cent to 485,000, Take 5 (Weekly), up 1 per cent to 490,000 and Take 5 Bumper Monthly, up 0.8 per cent to 526,000.

Other widely read magazines in the category include New Idea with a readership of 577,000 and New Idea Royals Monthly with a readership of 221,000.

Every magazine in the Health & Family magazine category increases its readership

Overall the Health & Family magazines readership increased by a substantial 28.4 per cent to 1,161,000 (5.5% of the population).

All five of the continuing magazines in the category experienced an increase in readership over the last year led by Healthy Food Guide, up 45.3 per cent to a category leading readership of 250,000.

There were other large increases in readership for Women’s Health, up 30.4 per cent to 236,000, Diabetic Living, up 11.7 per cent to 181,000 and Wellbeing up 37 per cent to 148,000. Readership of Prevention increased 4.5 per cent to 70,000.

There was one new magazine in the category, Wellbeing Wild, that achieved a readership of 48,000.

Motoring, Sports and Fishing magazine categories increase readership

There was growth in several smaller magazine categories with the Motoring, Sports, Fishing, Music & Movies and Motorcycle categories all increasing their readership in the 12 months to March 2022.

Motoring magazines are the seventh most widely read magazine category and experienced growth of 20.7 per cent over the past year for an overall readership of 899,000, or 4.2% of the population with all five of the six magazines in the category increasing their readership over the past year.

The magazines to increase their readership included Street Machine, up a large 57.7 per cent to 298,000, 4x4 Australia, up 14.2 per cent to 258,000, Just Cars, up 51.3 per cent to 236,000 and Unique Cars, up 49.6 per cent to 202,000. Another of the widely read magazines in the category is Wheels, read by 207,000.

Sports magazines also had a good year increasing readership by 24.8 per cent on a year ago to 463,000 on the back of strong performances from two golfing magazines. Readership of Australian Golf Digest was up 51.4 per cent to 168,000 and readership of Golf Australia increased 23 per cent to 150,000.

Notably, and despite a heavily disrupted season during 2021, the AFL Record is still the most widely read magazine in the category with a readership of 187,000.

Fishing magazines have had a good year with readership in the category increasing 18.1 per cent to 222,000. There were increases for Fishing World, up 22 per cent to 161,000 and Fresh Water Fishing Australia, up 11.8 per cent to 85,000.

Other magazines to perform strongly included Time, up 8.6 per cent to 189,000, New Scientist, up 4.5 per cent to 187,000, The Monthly, up 30.4 per cent to 150,000, Harper’s Bazaar, up 36.8 per cent to 145,000, Men’s Health, up 42.7 per cent to 274,000, Rolling Stone up 40.1 per cent to 213,000, Australian Motorcycle News, up 14.1 per cent to 105,000, Dirt Action, up 71 per cent to 53,000, Road Rider, up 7.3 per cent to 44,000, PC Power Play up 13.6 per cent to 92,000, Quilters Companion, up 3.2 per cent to 64,000 and Homespun, up 9.8 per cent to 56,000.

Are Media’s ‘Now to Love’ digital platform is read by almost 1.8 million Australians

The results for the 12 months to March 2022 for Magazine Publishers are impressive with the 4 week digital platform audience data showing Are Media’s ‘Now to Love’ website attracting an audience of almost 1.8 million Australians in an average 4 week period. Are Media’s ‘Now to Love’ platform allows advertisers to reach their audience in new ways with innovative online offerings.

Many of Are Media’s magazine brands (including Australian Women’s Weekly, Woman’s Day, Take 5 and TV Week) have consolidated their online presence on the ‘Now to Love’ platform which adds incremental reach to already strong print based publications, including Woman’s Day and Australian Women’s Weekly which both reach cross-platform audiences of around 3 million readers in an average 4 week period.

Other magazines with large cross-platform audiences include News Corp’s Taste.com.au Magazine with a total audience of over 3.3 million, Are Media’s Take 5 (weekly) with a total audience of almost 2.5 million, TV Week with a total audience of around 2.4 million, New Idea with almost 2.2 million and Better Home & Gardens with well over 2 million readers in an average 4 weeks in the 12 months to March 2022.

Top 15 Magazines – Total Cross-Platform Audience

 

Print                   (4 weeks)

Digital
(4 weeks)
(incl. Apple News)

Total CPA
(4 weeks)
(incl. Apple News)

Publication

12m to Mar 2022 (000's)

12m to Mar 2022
(000's)

12m to Mar 2022
(000's)

Taste.com.au Magazine

789

2,698

3,335

Woman's Day

1,439

1,810

3,023

Australian Women's Weekly

1,203

1,835

2,844

Take 5 (weekly)

804

1,794

2,467

TV Week

680

1,794

2,386

Take 5 Bumper Monthly

526

1,794

2,238

New Idea

1,153

1,103

2,159

Better Homes & Gardens

1,529

621

2,067

National Geographic

820

663

1,439

Open Road (NSW)

1,240

182

1,374

House & Garden

574

490

1,045

Who

288

726

996

Street Machine

298

665

933

4X4 Australia

258

670

899

Time

406

468

853

Full Magazine Total Cross-Platform Audience results available to view here.

Total cross-platform audience includes print – average issue readership and digital – website visitation and app usage in an average 4 weeks, except for weekly titles which are in an average 7 days (denoted by *). #For additional detail on the platforms available for each magazine visit the Roy Morgan website.

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan, says the mixed results for magazines in the year to March 2022 illustrate the challenges of navigating a pandemic with several different waves of COVID during the last two years making comparisons between time periods tricky to contextualise:

“The latest Roy Morgan readership survey shows 14.8 million Australians now read magazines whether in print or online while print readership itself was virtually unchanged on a year ago at 10.9 million.

“There were strong performances across many magazine categories with around half increasing their print readership compared to a year ago. Those to increase their print readership included General Interest magazines, up 0.5 per cent to 3,966,000, Health & Family magazines, up a stunning 28.4 per cent to 1,161,000 and Motoring magazines, up 20.7 per cent to 899,000. In addition to the leading categories there were also increases in several other categories including Sports, Fishing, Motorcycles and Crafts magazines.

“As we all know, the last two years have presented unprecedented challenges to the Australian economy. The various lockdowns we’ve all experienced have played a big part in dictating behaviour across many industries, including when it comes to the publishing industry and magazines.

“Although we now seem to be past lockdowns with a highly vaccinated population it is important to remember that much of the second half of 2021 was experienced with more than half of Australians locked down for extended periods – particularly in NSW and Victoria – the most important markets.

“Following the end of these lockdowns last October there was a brief respite before the emergence of the highly contagious ‘Omicron variant’ in December led to millions of cases of the virus in the March quarter 2022 – the time period we are analysing in this data.

“Although there was no formal lockdown, policies around isolation, and the behaviour of consumers as they adapted to the much higher chance of catching COVID-19, meant behaviour even in the early parts of this year was heavily impacted by the pandemic. It was only in mid-April 2022 that restrictions were further relaxed and mandatory isolation for close contacts was ended.

“The direct comparison for this data is to the 12 months to March 2021 – a period in which most of Australia (except Victoria) experienced only a short period of lockdown for a matter of a few weeks in the early stages of the pandemic in April 2020.

“The ups and downs of the pandemic are reflected in the latest magazine readership data with around half of magazine categories increasing their readership while the other half have had declines and in a similar vein around half of the ‘Top 25 magazines by readership’ have seen an increase in readership over the last year while the other half haven’t.

“It appears most Australians are keen to put the travails of the last two years behind them and get on with life in this new so-called ‘COVID-normal’ world. Today’s results show that magazines continue to reach the great majority of Australians – around 14.8 million – and have the ability to influence hard to find consumers with complex and nuanced messaging on an extensive range of topics. The massive reach many magazines have can deliver large and valuable audiences for advertisers.”

For comments or more information please contact:
Roy Morgan - Enquiries
Office: +61 (03) 9224 5309
askroymorgan@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