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Roy Morgan Newspaper Print Readership and Cross-Platform Audience Results for September 2015

Roy Morgan Single Source Australia

Roy Morgan Research today releases the latest Print Readership and seven-day Cross-Platform Audience results for Australian Newspapers for the 12 months to September 2015.

Across print and digital formats, the country’s metro newspapers continued to reach 11.9 million Australians (14+) in an average week, unchanged from the year before. In NSW, both Fairfax’s Sydney Morning Herald and News Corp’s Daily Telegraph gained cross-platform audience—but their stablemates in Victoria declined.


Monday to Friday, Saturday and Sunday Newspapers

A number of major daily newspapers gained readers for their print formats: the Weekend Australian (+5.4%); the Mercury Monday to Friday (+5.1%) as well as the Mercury on Saturday (+2.9%); the Cairns Post M-F (+3.8%); the Financial Review Weekend edition (+3.5%) and the Saturday Illawarra Mercury (+2.3%). The Sydney Morning Herald also gained print readers (+1.9%).

View the full Newspaper Average Print Issue Readership

Newspaper Inserted Magazines

For Newspaper Inserted Magazines, it seems there’s a national interest in four-letter words, with year-on-year readership growth for the AFR’s Boss (+12.5%) and The Australian’s Wish (+9.5%). The Financial Review Magazine and West Weekend were stable.

Meanwhile Victorians and New South Welshmen continue to have divergent appetites for the weekend lift-out mags published in both states. Readership of Good Weekend grew 1.0% up north, but fell 19.4% down south; Sunday Style and Sunday Life were up 2.4% and 1.3% respectively in NSW, but down 18.7% and 26.2% in Victoria. 

Despite the decline in readership for each of the TV Guides included in News Corp’s Sunday papers around the country, the issues still reach almost 2.2 million Australians combined. 

View the full Newspaper Inserted Magazine Readership Results


The Financial Review scored the largest increase in cross-platform audience. Driven by a 20.7% increase in the average number of Australians who access the masthead by website or app, the  total net weekly audience grew 9.0% to 760,000.

Tasmania’s Mercury added to its print success with 15.0% increase in website readers, for an overall cross-platform gain of 8.2%. Other titles scoring an increase in reach across print and digital platforms include the Sunday Times (+4.0%), The Australian (+3.4%), the Daily Telegraph (+2.6%), and the Sydney Morning Herald (+2.0%).  

The Newcastle Herald presents the clearest case of an audience transitioning from print to digital: the masthead suffered the largest decline in 7-day net print readership (-24.3%), but the largest increase in digital audience (+43.8%). Taken together, its overall cross-platform reach is down just 1.7%--and almost the same number of people now read it via print (153,000) as on the website (151,000).

Only a few mastheads—including the West Australian, Adelaide Advertiser and Courier-Mail— reach less than half their total audience via web or app.

View the full Newspaper 7-day Cross Platform Audience Results

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“The Newcastle Herald provides one of the starkest examples we’ve seen of a publication’s progress from print to digital. Compared with a year ago, almost 50,000 more people now visit the paper’s website in an average week, while almost 50,000 fewer read print editions.

“Of course, it’s unlikely that 50,000 people simply stopped reading print and started going to the website. Only more in-depth analysis of the Newcastle Herald’s (and all other titles’) changing audience composition across platforms will reveal the real underlying trends in readership beyond these currency figures.   

“Depending on your view (and how you cut these latest cross-platform results), mastheads such as the West Australian, Adelaide Advertiser and Courier-Mail have either done well to keep two-thirds of their audience reading print, or been slow to grow the audience coming in through web visitation and app usage. 

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

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

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


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%