Digital newspaper audience jumps 15 pc year on year

Newspaper media audiences have been boosted by a 15 per cent rise in digital readership for metropolitan and national newspapers between October 2013 and October 2014, according to the latest data from emma (Enhanced Media Metrics Australia).

With printed newspapers taken into account, total readership increased by 1 per cent to 16.3 million.

The Sydney Morning Herald drew 5.6 million print and digital readers over a four-week period, followed by The Daily Telegraph, with 4.4 million. Also among the most-read titles were the Herald Sun (4.3 million), The Age (3.33 million) and the Courier-Mail (3.29 million).

As more readers migrate to web and mobile newspapers, growth in the digital sphere continues to offset declines in print readership. In the past six months alone, digital readership of metropolitan newspapers over a four-week period jumped from 7.8 million readers to 8 million, an increase of three per cent.

Total cross-platform (print and digital) newspaper readership is 16.3 million people, or 92 per cent of people aged 14 and over.

Hobart’s Mercury and Darwin’s NT News are the strongest relative performers when it comes to penetrating state and territory capital cities. They each reach 91 per cent of people aged 14 and over.

Also leading capital city penetration are Adelaide’s The Advertiser (85 per cent), The Courier-Mail (77 per cent), The West Australian (76 per cent), Herald Sun (74 per cent) and The Sydney Morning Herald (64 per cent) every four weeks.

Metro newspapers have the largest readership base (12.8 million), followed by local community newspapers (4.8 million), regional (2.9 million), national (2.5 million) and rural and agricultural (418,000).

“These figures underscore the influence of the industry and its transformation from print-only to the market-relevant balance of journalism in print and on various digital platforms,” The Newspaper Works CEO Mark Hollands said.

“It shows that attractive and engaged audiences also exist across the spectrum of print newspapers – including national/metro, regional and local community publications.

“The continuing audience growth on web, tablet and mobile platforms supports publishers’ innovation strategies to enhance the enjoyment of the reader and provide new and exciting solutions for commercial partners.”

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