The total newspaper media audience has increased to its highest level yet, according to the latest monthly release of emma™ (Enhanced Media Metrics Australia) data*.
The emma data found that 16.4 million people a month consumed newspaper media, representing 93% of the population aged 14 and over – the highest level since emma measurement began in June 2013.
“The emma data confirms that newspaper journalism is reaching more readers than ever, with growth being driven by all digital platforms. It demonstrates not only the powerful reach of newspapers, but also that newspapers remain as relevant as ever to their audiences,” The Newspaper Works CEO Mark Hollands said.
Digital content is the key driver of this growth, due largely to the introduction of improved website measurement by Nielsen Online Ratings, which is fused with emma data.
The combined web audiences of major national, metropolitan and regional titles increased by 37% in the nine months from June 2013. This drove an overall increase across print and digital audiences of 7.6%.
The Newspaper Works Research and Insights Manager Simon Baty said: “With Nielsen now providing more comprehensive measurement of the online audience, it’s clear that newspapers are reaching more people than previously thought via their websites.”
Major newspapers on mobile platforms also showed double digit growth, with combined smartphone audiences reporting an organic increase of 13% and tablet audiences up by 17% from nine months ago.
The strongest growing tablet audiences were the Sunshine Coast Daily (+77%) and The Canberra Times (+52%), while the largest monthly tablet audiences belong to The Sydney Morning Herald (753,000) and The Age (594,000).
On smartphones, the strongest audience growth was from The Canberra Times (+51%) and The Mercury in Tasmania (+31%). The largest monthly smartphone audiences are those of The Sydney Morning Herald (711,000) and The Age (551,000).
While digital audiences increased, the print audiences of major titles collectively declined by 5.9% over the nine month period.
Western Australia recorded the two strongest print readership results. The Sunday Times and West Australian increased their monthly audiences by 1.3% and 0.7% respectively.
Print readership still accounts for a significant proportion of total consumption of newspaper media, at 14.6 million people, or 83% of the population aged 14 and over.
With the federal budget due to be delivered this week, audience engagement with newspaper media will be heightened. New data released this week by The Newspaper Works indicates that sectors of the population likely to be affected by the budget have a strong affinity to newspapers.
For example, prospective home buyers are 7% more likely to be heavy newspaper readers than the general population, but 12% less likely to be heavy TV viewers. Retirees and pensioners are 53% more likely than the population average to be heavy newspaper readers and half of them read financial sections in printed newspapers each month.
Younger people are also likely to look to newspapers for budget analysis, given that 87% of them access newspaper media on a monthly basis. There is a good chance they will be using their smartphone, given that 40% of the newspaper mobile audience is under 30.
“Australians from all walks of life are keen to know what the budget means for them. They turn to newspapers in their print and digital forms because they trust them to provide the analysis and understanding they are seeking,” Hollands said.
* Source: emma™ conducted by Ipsos MediaCT, People 14+ for the 12 months ending March 2014, Nielsen Online Ratings March 2014, People 14+ only. All figures quoted refer to monthly (last four week) audiences.
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