Digital heads strong growth for newspaper media

Digital is the driving force in an increase in newspaper media consumption, according to the latest data from emma (Enhanced Media Metrics Australia).

Total audience readership for major national, metropolitan and regional newspaper media has jumped 2.4 per cent in the eight months since emma began collecting data in June, 2013.

Digital audiences were up 13.5 per cent in the same period, helping to offset a print audience decline of 5.2 per cent.

Among the leaders in the digital push is the APN title Sunshine Coast Daily, which achieved the largest growth in total audience readership across print and digital, at 17 per cent. News Corp’s Courier-Mail followed close behind with a rise of 15 per cent.

When it comes to print alone, WA newspapers came in strongest with both The West Australian and The Sunday Times growing their audiences by 1.3 and 0.7 per cent respectively.

Digital platforms, meanwhile, have seen jumps in the double digits, according to a combination of Nielsen Online Ratings and emma data on mobile and tablet users.

News Corp metros the Courier Mail, The Advertiser and The Daily Telegraph leapt up by 51, 37 and 35 per cent in the eight months from June 2013, while the Sunshine Coast Daily again hit a high of 37 per cent.

The Sydney Morning Herald’s digital audience jumped 12 per cent, behind The Australian at 16 per cent.

Commercial Economic Advisory Service of Australia figures collected for the first time also show digital revenue earned by newspapers topped $672 million.

The emma data underlines research undertaken by The Newspaper Works’ in its new quarterly report, The Works, in regard to young readers. The Newspaper Works CEO Mark Hollands said that far from being anti-newspaper media, eight in 10 young people (aged 30 and under) engage with it every month.

“Income is a much bigger influence than age on print readership,” Mr Hollands said. “Under-30s with a high income are more likely to read newspapers than older Australians with lower incomes.”

Emma data shows print readership still captures 84 per cent of the population aged 14 and over, a total of 14.7 million people per month.

Total readership of newspaper media remains at 16.2 million people each month, or 84 per cent of the population above 14.

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