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2.9 million NZers read newspapers and 1.8 million read magazines in 2021

*Cross-Platform Audience is the number of New Zealanders who have read or accessed individual newspaper content via print or online. Print is net readership in an average 7 days. Online is net readership online in an average 7 days.
Roy Morgan readership results for New Zealand’s print newspapers and magazines for the 12 months to December 2021.

2.9 million, or 69.5%, of New Zealanders aged 14+ now read or access newspapers in an average 7-day period via print or online (website or app) platforms. In addition, almost 1.8 million New Zealanders aged 14+ (42.5%) read magazines whether in print or online either via the web or an app.

These are the latest findings from the Roy Morgan New Zealand Single Source survey of 6,514 New Zealanders aged 14+ over the 12 months to December 2021.

A majority of the top ten newspapers grew their total cross-platform audience in 2021

The leading performer during the pandemic has been New Zealand’s most widely read publication the New Zealand Herald with a total cross-platform audience of 1,844,000 in the 12 months to December 2021.

Stuff.co.nz retains the position as New Zealand’s leading news website for those on the lookout for the latest news bringing together leading newspapers the Dominion Post, The Press and Sunday Star-Times, and magazines such as the TV Guide and NZ Gardener. The total digital audience for Stuff in an average 7 days is over 1.75 million New Zealanders, up nearly 40,000 on a year ago and over 200,000 ahead of main rival NZHerald.co.nz on 1.55 million.

A majority of six of the top ten titles grew their total cross-platform audiences during 2021 led by the Otago Daily Times, which was up an impressive 50,000 (+20%) to an audience of 304,000, the Northern Advocate, up 35,000 (+33%) to an audience of 142,000 and the Taranaki Daily News, up 31,000 (+29.7%) to an audience of 137,000.

Other newspapers to increase their total cross-platform audiences during 2021 included Hawke’s Bay Today, up 19,000 (+12.4%) to 173,000, Bay of Plenty Times, up 4,000 (+3%) to 149,000, Waikato Times, up 2,000 (+0.9%) to 195,000.

Filling out the top ten are the Dominion Post in second place with an audience of 408,000 readers ahead of The Press in fourth place on 272,000 followed by the Sunday Star-Times on 216,000.

Despite the challenges of the last two years a majority of Stuff’s newspapers have grown their total cross-platform audiences during 2021 led by the Waikato Times, Taranaki Daily News, Southland Times, Nelson Mail, Sunday News and Timaru Herald.

Top 10 Newspapers – Total 7 Day Cross-Platform Audience (Print & Online)

Publication

Print

Digital
(web or app)

Total 7 Day Cross-Platform Audience* (print, web or app)

Dec
2020

Dec
2021

Dec
2020

Dec
2021

Dec
2020

Dec
2021

% Change

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

%

New Zealand Herald

595

559

1,637

1,585

1,883

1,844

-2.1%

Dominion Post

211

205

278

271

416

408

-1.9%

Otago Daily Times

98

107

200

238

254

304

20.0%

The Press

160

145

181

189

288

272

-5.3%

Sunday Star-Times

172

167

59

60

220

216

-2.0%

Waikato Times

82

86

128

134

193

195

0.9%

Hawke’s Bay Today

72

80

101

109

154

173

12.4%

Bay of Plenty Times

67

57

102

104

145

149

3.0%

Northern Advocate

52

72

62

95

107

142

33.0%

Taranaki Daily News

60

56

69

103

106

137

29.7%

Full Newspaper Readership Results available to view here.

*Cross-Platform Audience is the number of New Zealanders who have read or accessed individual newspaper content via print or online. Print is net readership in an average 7 days. Online is net readership online in an average 7 days.

New Zealand Listener and AA Directions increase their print readership during 2021

The weekly New Zealand Listener was temporarily suspended from publication during 2020 as the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic caused a sharp drop in advertising revenue early. Later in the year New Zealand Listener was relaunched and has experienced impressive growth in the year to December 2021, up by 36,000 to an average issue readership of 221,000.

However, despite the improvement for the second-placed New Zealand Listener, New Zealand’s most widely read magazine is easily the driving magazine AA Directions which had an average issue readership of 374,000 during the year to December 2021, up 9,000 on a year ago.

There were also strong results for NZ House & Garden which increased its readership by 18,000 to 110,000, Habitat which grew its readership by 10,000 to 100,000 and Dish, up 3,000 to 92,000.

Other widely read magazines included TV Guide with a readership of 157,000, NZ Woman’s Day on 146,000, Australian Women’s Weekly (NZ Edition) on 141,000, NZ Woman’s Weekly unchanged on 105,000 and NZ Gardener on 93,000.

Women’s Lifestyle and Fashion magazines were among the big improvers in 2021 with Mindfood, up 2,000 to 80,000, Simply You Living, up 26,000 to 50,000, NZ Fashion Quarterly, up 20,000 to 50,000 and Fashion, up 20,000 to 50,000.

Other magazines to grow their readership during 2021 included Heritage NZ, up 27,000 to 76,000, Home NZ, up 25,000 to 60,000, New Zealand’s Best Dining Guide, up 37,000 to 55,000, Your Home & Garden, up 3,000 to 54,000, Kiwi Gardener, up 21,000 to 51,000, Good, up 32,000 to 49,000, New Idea, up 1,000 to 47,000, Metro, up 18,000 to 43,000 and NZ Fishing News, up 17,000 to 40,000.

Several Are Media magazines including New Zealand Listener, Australian Women’s Weekly (NZ Edition), NZ Woman’s Day and NZ Woman’s Weekly were temporarily suspended from publication in the June and September 2020 quarters due to the New Zealand lockdown. The figures for these magazines show average readership for the available quarters. 

New Zealand’s Top 10 Magazines by Average Issue Print Readership

Publication

Dec 2020

Dec 2021

% Reach Change

‘000s

‘000s

%

AA Directions*

365

374

0.0%

**New Zealand Listener*

185

221

0.7%

TV Guide*

166

157

-0.3%

**NZ Woman’s Day*

152

146

-0.3%

**Australian Women’s Weekly
(NZ Edition)*

180

141

-1.0%

NZ House & Garden*

92

110

0.3%

**NZ Woman’s Weekly*

105

105

-0.1%

Habitat*

90

100

0.2%

NZ Gardener*

101

93

-0.3%

Dish

89

92

0.0%

Full Readership Results for over 60 New Zealand Magazines available to view here.

*Roy Morgan has measured additional readership for this magazine via Cross-Platform Audiences – see next section. **Note: Are Media magazines were temporarily suspended during the June and September 2020 quarters. Results for these magazines have been suppressed for the impacted quarters, average issue readership is allocated instead.

AA Directions and New Zealand Listener lead cross-platform* audience growth in 2021

Of the top ten magazines by cross-platform audience there were five which experienced growth during 2021 – led by the two most widely read AA Directions and New Zealand Listener.

AA Directions is still easily New Zealand’s most widely read magazine with a market-leading total cross-platform audience of 455,000 – nearly 200,000 ahead of any other magazine – and an increase of 14,000 (+3.3%) on a year ago.

The ‘re-booted’ New Zealand Listener had amongst the largest cross-platform audience growth during 2021, up by 48,000 (+22.8%) to 257,000 in the 12 months to December 2021.

There was also strong cross-platform audience growth for Dish, up 32,000 (+21.6%) to 177,000, NZ House & Garden, up 45,000 (+35.7%) to 174,000 and Mindfood, up 27,000 (+19.7%) to 165,000.

Other leading magazines with strong cross-platform audiences include NZ Woman’s Day on 204,000, Australian Women’s Weekly (NZ Edition) on 188,000, TV Guide on 184,000, NZ Woman’s Weekly on 172,000 and North & South on 145,000.

A majority of eight out of the top ten magazines grew their digital audience over the past year during the pandemic including AA Directions, up 23,000 to 171,000, Dish, up 37,000 to 116,000, Mindfood, up 33,000 to 109,000, NZ House & Garden, up 37,000 to 91,000, North & South, up 6,000 to 90,000, New Zealand Listener, up 18,000 to 74,000, Australian Women’s Weekly (NZ Edition), up 6,000 to 65,000 and TV Guide, up 8.000 to 58,000.

Top 10 Magazines – Total Cross-Platform Audience (Print & Online)

Publication

Print

Digital
(web or app)

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

Dec
2020

Dec
2021

Dec
2020

Dec
2021

Dec
2020

Dec
2021

% Change

‘000

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

‘000s

%

AA Directions

365

374

148

171

441

455

3.3%

**New Zealand Listener

185

221

56

74

209

257

22.8%

**NZ Woman’s Day/ Now to Love

152

146

88

86

207

204

-1.7%

**Australian Women’s Weekly (NZ Edition)

180

141

59

65

218

188

-13.7%

TV Guide

166

157

50

58

194

184

-5.0%

Dish

89

92

79

116

145

177

21.6%

NZ House & Garden

92

110

54

91

129

174

35.7%

**NZ Woman’s Weekly/ Now to Love

105

105

88

86

172

172

0.0%

Mindfood

78

80

76

109

138

165

19.7%

**North & South

100

72

84

90

165

145

-12.2%

Full Newspaper Readership Results available to view here.

*Cross-platform audience is the number of New Zealanders who have read or accessed individual magazine content via print or online. Print is average issue readership. Digital is average website visitation and app usage (if available) in last 7 days for weekly titles (National Business Review, New Idea, NZ Listener, NZ Woman's Day, NZ Woman's Weekly, Property Press, That's Life, Time, TV Guide) and last 4 weeks for all other non-weekly titles.

**Note: Are Media magazines were temporarily suspended during the June and September 2020 quarters. Results for some of these magazines have been suppressed for the latest quarter, average issue readership is allocated instead.

Five Newspaper Inserted Magazines grew their readership during 2021 – led by Canvas and Viva

The Weekend New Zealand Herald newspaper inserted magazine Canvas (North Island) is clearly the most widely read with an average issue readership of 272,000, up 41,000 on a year ago. There was also a strong increase in readership for the second most widely read Viva (North Island) with an increase of 29,000 on a year ago to a readership of 176,000.

Other newspaper inserted magazines to increase their readership during 2021 were the third most widely read Sunday Magazine, up 8,000 to an average issue readership of 172,000, Bite (North Island) with a readership of 158,000 (up 28,000) and Your Weekend with a readership of 136,000 (up 6,000).

Behind the four market leaders is Weekend (North Island) with an average issue readership of 153,000.

New Zealand’s Leading Newspaper Inserted Magazines by Print Readership

Publication

Dec 2020

Dec 2021

% Reach Change

‘000s

‘000s

%

Canvas (North Island)

231

272

0.8%

Viva (North Island)

147

176

0.6%

Sunday Magazine

164

172

0.1%

Bite (North Island)

130

158

0.6%

Weekend (North Island)

175

153

-0.6%

Your Weekend

130

136

0.1%

Full Readership Results for over 60 New Zealand Magazines available to view here.
 
Michele Levine, Chief Executive Officer, Roy Morgan, says:

“The latest Roy Morgan readership figures for New Zealand covering the year to December 2021 show 2.9 million New Zealanders (69.5% of the population aged 14+) now read or access newspapers in an average 7-day period via print or online (website or app). The leading newspaper is again the New Zealand Herald with a total cross-platform audience of over 1.84 million. The Herald is read by over four times as many people as any other newspaper.

“There was widespread growth in cross-platform audiences over the last year for the country’s leading newspapers with six out of the top ten growing their audiences in 2021. Leading newspapers to significantly grow their cross-platform audiences include the Otago Daily Times, up 20% to 304,000, Northern Advocate, up 33% to 142,000 and Taranaki Daily News, up 29.7% to 137,000.

“In the purely digital realm Stuff holds a clear advantage. Over 1.75 million New Zealanders access the Stuff platform in an average 7 days, an increase of nearly 40,000 on a year ago. The Stuff group of newspapers brings together ten of the country’s leading newspapers such as the Dominion Post, The Press, and the Sunday Star-Times through their news portal Stuff.co.nz.

“New Zealand’s magazines have faced a challenging period over the last two years with several magazines forced to suspend their publishing during the early stages of the pandemic, especially in the period from April 2020 to September 2020.

“Despite these challenges the audiences for New Zealand’s magazines are holding steady and in the year to December 2021 nearly 1.8 million New Zealanders (42.5% of the population aged 14+) read magazines whether in print or online either via the web or an app.

“There have been many magazines to grow both their print readership and their cross-platform audiences during 2021 led by some of the most widely read such as AA Directions, the relaunched New Zealand Listener, Dish and NZ House & Garden.

“Women’s Fashion and Lifestyle magazines were also big winners during 2021 with several growing their print readerships led by Mindfood, Simply You Living, NZ Fashion Quarterly, Fashion and the Mass Women’s magazine New Idea as they recovered strongly from the significant disruptions of the early stages of the pandemic.”

Download our latest profiles of New Zealanders who read different Newspapers or Magazines.

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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