The first of Australia’s Roy Morgan Total News readership figures is out, and as usual, there’s something for everyone: It’s just the way you tell it.
Reading today’s Australian – under the headline ‘National newspaper's growth hits Nine hard’ – you’d learn that the national broadsheet grew its print readership by 50.2 per cent growth last year, while that of business daily the Australian Financial Review fell 12.2 per cent.
Which is true. But trade pub B&T’s report that the Financial Review “remains Australia’s most-read business masthead” is also true. And if you dig into the figures – released under embargo last week by sponsors ThinkNewsBrands – the AFR is also up 52 per cent year-on-year… for its weekend edition. The Australian figures are for weekday editions.
Currently – using figures for the past four weeks – the Nine-owned Sydney Morning Herald is Australia’s top masthead, read by more than 8.4 million people, a shade less than figures for the past 12 months, with a cross-platform audience of 8.5 million, Nine stablemate The Age next (with six million in the four-week period), and News Corp’s The Australian third with 5.2 million cross-platform and its Daily Telegraph fifth with 4.9 million.
ThinkNewsBrands says the first release of Total News readership shows news is holding strong with 20.4 million Australians consuming news in a four-week period, an increase of one per cent compared to the same period last year.
Total News consists of all news brands (print and digital) and digital news websites.
It says digital news maintains its position of strength with readership of 19.1 million, 90 per cent of the population aged 14+. Print news has seen a six per cent increase compared to the same period last year, now reaching 14.1 million people, 67 per cent of the population aged 14+.
TOP 10 MOST READ NEWS BRANDS
The total news readership figures – consists of all news brands (print and digital) and digital news websites – produced by Roy Morgan are the first for Think News Brands – owned by News, Nine and Seven – and show 97 per cent of Australians aged 14 and older read news brands. And that’s news with a small ‘n’.
Think News Brands general manager Vanessa Lyons said the figures showed news “maintaining robust audiences” at an important time.
Think News Brands is retiring its Emma metric in favour of the Roy Morgan figures, while industry publication Mumbrella described IAB and Nielsen as “at a loggerhead” over Nielsen’s digital measurement system.