Digital newspaper readership jumps 20 per cent

Newspapers have gained 1.3 million digital readers in the 12 months since the release of the first emma (Enhanced Media Metrics Australia) database in June last year.

The cumulated readership has increased 41 per cent to 2.4 million readers, with consumers now reading an average of 2.4 titles online compared to 2.1 last year.

NSW saw the largest jump in digital readership with The Sydney Morning Herald adding 1.3 million additional readers – a 42 per cent increase from 3 million to 4.3 million – while The Daily Telegraph grew by 588,000, up 46 per cent from 1.3 to 1.9 million.

The Herald Sun and The Age both average more than two million digital readers and The Advertiser has cracked the one million mark, while The Courier-Mail held the second largest total digital readership gain, boosted by 848,000 from 1 million to 1.9 million readers.

National titles also saw solid growth with The Australian Financial Review increasing its digital footprint by 52 per cent and The Australian by 42 per cent.

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The results reflect a growing hunger for news as digital readership has pushed net readership up by two per cent across the major national, metropolitan and regional newspapers since the release of the June 2013 emma database.

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“Right across Australia, newspaper readership is up. Publishers are delivering quality news and content to readers whether they want their news via the traditional print channels or digital news platforms and it’s attracting larger audiences,” The Newspaper Works chief executive Mark Hollands, said.

Print remains strong, Mr Hollands added. The major national, metropolitan and regional newspapers are read by more than 12.7 million, or 72 per cent, of people aged 14 and over in the past four weeks. The figure rises to 14.1 million, or 80 per cent of the population, when including all other titles.

“Demand for printed newspapers remains strong and is delivering big audience numbers for commercial partners,” Mr Hollands said.

“Combine this with the influence of newspapers and reader trust in them, and it is clear newspaper media remains a compelling sales and marketing proposition.

“That we’re now seeing a large increase in digital readership isn’t surprising given the move to smartphones and the trend for ‘snacking’ on news. emma data shows that more than one-third of our audience now read news on smartphones or tablet devices.”

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