Across their print and digital platforms, newspaper media reaches 93 per cent of the population – an audience of 16.2 million.
Their demands vary enormously – some prefer print, others digital. Some want to connect to their local community, while others seek out the global issues of the day. Some take time with a newspaper to relax and enjoy reading, others use mobile devices to snack on news.
They all have one thing in common – they turn to newspaper media.
The Newspaper Works recently released the first issue of The Works, a quarterly report on newspapers and their audiences. The report shines a light on the array of media formats that newspaper publishes embrace in the digital age and the rich audiences who engage in their journalism.
This article draws out some of the highlights of the report.
Newspaper publishers are synonymous with print but they also produce a variety of digital content, combining video and audio with photography and the written word.
The strategy is simple – make content available to audiences how and when they want it.
Even in this new era of fragmented media, Australians choose print content on a massive scale.
More than 4 in 5 (86%) read a newspaper every month, whether it be paid or free, local or national.
Newspaper journalism also reaches a mass audience on the web, with nearly half of all Australians (47%) consuming this way.
Tablet (16%) and mobile (16%) are smaller segments currently but growing as consumers adopt new wireless devices as innovations in consumer technology come on to the market.
Day of the week
Readers approach printed newspapers with a different mindset depending on the day of the week.
The weekday mindset is more focused and targeted, and work-related content comes to the fore. By contrast on Sunday the emphasis is on ‘me time’ and lighter content.
In between lies the popular Saturday papers, which provide readers with the opportunity to reflect and dig a little deeper into the big issues.
By taking the day of week into account, along with the content environment and the character of the type of newspaper, advertisers have a variety of powerful choices to reach readers with a message that strikes a chord.
The diversity of newspaper publishers’ content appeals to all age groups.
Some products connect with younger readers, such as mX, the city afternoon paper for capital cities on the eastern seaboard. Cross-generation appeal can be seen in the popularity of many newspaper sections, such as sport and entertainment.
Readership of print newspapers is more concentrated among older generations. To some extent, this is a reflection of life stage.
With age comes a greater interest in the world – from local events and issues to in-depth analysis of global politics and business. Long-form journalism, a staple of analysis and features, is still easier to consume in print than the standard digital delivery.
Although the age profile of the newspaper web audience is similar to that of the population, it is the oldest profile of the three main newspaper digital platforms. This reflects the fact that PC-based web content is the longest established component of the digital ecosystem.
The newspaper mobile audience skews much younger, with less than 1 in 5 of the audience over 44. For many Millenials, the smartphone is their main internet device, and the newspaper mobile audience reflects this.
Conventional wisdom suggests young people get their news from social media, which is also the natural partner for sharing breaking news.
But much of the news on social media comes from newspaper publishers.
Queensland University of Technology’s Australian Twitter News Index consistently finds news sharing is dominated by newspaper media.
emma data helps to explain why this is – compared to other device owners, newspaper audiences on tablet and mobile are more active on social networks than other device owners (80% vs. 64%). They are more likely to seek news online than other device owners (89% vs. 59%) and have a higher propensity to share it.