Digital newspaper readership grows by 15 per cent: latest emma data

Growth of 15 per cent in digital readership for metropolitan and national newspapers has maintained newspaper media audiences. Overall, when taking into account printed newspapers, readership increased 1 per cent to 16.3 million people.

The Sydney Morning Herald is Australia’s most-read newspaper, with 5.6 million print and digital readers over a four-week period, according to the latest emma data*.

The second most-read newspaper is The Daily Telegraph, with 4.4 million print and digital readers over four weeks, followed by the Herald Sun (4.3 million), The Age (3.33 million) and the Courier-Mail (3.29 million).

Growth in digital readership continues to offset losses in print readership as more readers migrate to web and mobile newspapers. In the past six months alone, digital readership of the metropolitan newspapers over a four-week period increased from 7.8 million readers to 8 million, a 3 per cent increase.

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

In terms of penetration with the state and territory capital cities, Tasmania’s Mercury and the Northern Territory News are the strongest relative performers, reaching 91 per cent of people 14+ in Hobart and Darwin respectively. The third highest capital city penetration goes to the Adelaide Advertiser (85 per cent), Courier-Mail (77 per cent), West Australian (76 per cent), Herald Sun (74 per cent) and 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.”

* Source: emma, 12 months to October 2014; digital trend compared to 12 months to April 2014. Survey conducted by Ipsos MediaCT, people 14+, Nielsen Online Ratings, October 2014, people 14+ only.

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