Digital growth pushes sales: ABC

Digital subscriptions for newspapers are continuing to grow, according to the latest Audit Bureau of Circulations data, offsetting drops in print sales.

The Sydney Morning Herald’s digital subscription figures saw a 13 per cent year on year increase for 2014, and The Age recorded a 15.2 per cent jump year on year. Both mastheads had around 135,000 digital subscribers.

The Australian also saw strong digital growth, jumping 14.8 per cent year on year and 14.7 for the Weekend Australian, with both around 65,000 subscribers.

The Herald-Sun had a year on year increase of 25.5 per cent for 2014 to around 49,000, but for the first time subscribers fell by 1.85 per cent year on year in the last quarter.

Print circulations are down overall, but digital growth has been offsetting the decline, as shown by the latest emma (Enhanced Media Metrics Australia) data which reported total audience growth of newspaper media was up by 1.1 per cent year on year.

Total paid masthead sales as reported by the ABC dipped 0.4 per cent for The Australian, 0.7 per cent for The Sydney Morning Herald (M-F), 2.3 per cent for The Age (M-F) and 8 per cent for the Herald-Sun (M-F).

Regional newspapers have made big strides digitally. The Newcastle Herald has grown by 46.6 per cent Monday to Friday to 1678 subscribers, while the Examiner in Launceston established a base of 269 subscribers, a 236.3 per cent jump.

Community titles held strongly against print declines, led by The Gympie Times Monday to Friday print edition, which grew 0.4 per cent for the quarter year on year, contributing to a 0.8 per cent increase in the paper’s total audience. The Toowoomba Chronicle dipped by 3.8 per cent and the Warwick Daily News also dropping 4.7 per cent.

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