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Mag wheels: a taste for glossy pages and glossy cars

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January 2012 to December 2013: n = 48,835

3.7 million Australians 14+ (19%) are Heavy Magazine Readers, who have read, flipped through, dog-eared, perused or pored over the latest issues of at least four magazines, and another 4.8 million (25%) have read two or three of the latest magazines, readership figures to December 2013 from Roy Morgan Research show.

But those who intend to buy a new car in the next four years are even more inclined to read the latest magazines, with the majority reading at least two: 24% are Heavy Readers; a further 28% are Medium.

And the fancier (arguably) the car, the heavier the magazine readership habits: 26% of BMW Intenders and 28% of Audi Intenders are Heavy Magazine Readers, up to a massive 42% of those who intend to buy a new Mercedes-Benz.

Proportion of each Group who are Heavy (4+) or Medium (2-3) Magazine Readers

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January 2012 to December 2013: n = 48,835

Overall, fewer than 1% of Australians intend to buy a Mercedes, Audi or BMW in the next four years. However readers of some magazines are up to six times more likely to be planning a six-figure, four-wheeled purchase. 

TOP 10 Magazines by higher likelihood that readers intend to buy a Mercedes, Audi or BMW 

  1. Home Design 6 times more likely
  2. Qantas The Australian Way 5.1 times more likely
  3. Virgin Australia Voyeur 4.8 times more likely
  4. Golf Australia 4.4 times more likely
  5. Men's Style 4.3 times more likely
  6. Gourmet Traveller Wine 4.3 times more likely
  7. Australian Traveller 4 times more likely
  8. Hot 4s & Performance Cars 3.7 times more likely
  9. Real Living 3.6 times more likely
  10. Harper's Bazaar 3.6 times more likely

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

“The make of car someone intends to buy acts as a quick and easy identifier. Think of someone who plans to buy a brand new Mercedes, and chances are it will be an image of someone who has read a lot of magazines recently.   

“Clearly, the magazine form appeals strongly to affluent, sophisticated consumers and remains an integral component of any advertising mix with a high-end, aspirational message for a high-spending and engaged target audience.   

“Obviously, this is great news for publishers, too. Not only does almost 20% of the population qualify as heavy magazine readers, they are also very high-value consumers.

"However, more robust—yet still simple and usable—profiling uncovers that it’s not just luxury car-buyers who are heavy magazine readers, and in fact it’s a wider range of people that you might think. Our Helix Personas tool shows that Australians classified as Making Ends Meet—mostly larger and often single-income families—are actually as likely to read four or more new issues as the high-earning and socially conscious Successful Bureaucrats, closely followed by the confident, career- and family-focused suburbanites Looking Good.

“Each of these personas lies within a different community, with different lifestyle goals, behaviours and attitudes. But what they share is a love of magazines.”

For comments or more information please contact:

Tim Martin, General Manager – Media
Telephone: +61 (3) 9224 5116

Please click on this link to the Roy Morgan Online Store

Related Research

View our extensive range of Media Profiles, including Magazine profiles, website visitation, and Masthead Readership. These profiles provide a broad understanding of the target audience, in terms of demographics, attitudes, activities and media usage in Australia.  For more information on Newspaper Readership please visit here.

Click here to learn more about Helix Personas, Roy Morgan's new classification system for Australia's multi-dimensional communities.

About Roy Morgan Research

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

In Australia, Roy Morgan Research is considered to be the authoritative source of information on financial behaviour, readership, voting intentions and consumer confidence. Roy Morgan Research is a specialist in recontact customised surveys which provide invaluable and effective qualitative and quantitative information regarding customers and target markets.

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



25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%