Tuesday, November 12th, 2013 - Roy Morgan Research
Magazines are still proving to be one of the most popular media in Australia, despite the dizzying rise and proliferation of digital media this century. Indeed, according to the latest Readership figures from Roy Morgan Research, many magazines have actually increased their readership over the last two years. So where is the success story emanating from and what can other publications learn?

It is clear that magazines continue to make a unique connection with Australians through genres. From this perspective, Home and Health titles have been the biggest improvers: in the year to September 2013, 29.4% of Australians read a magazine of this type in an average four-week period, up from 28.3% during the year to September 2012. Men’s Health magazine is typical of this trend, with its total masthead readership (print, online and app) growing from 555,000 to 638,000.

There is no greater example of the power of magazines than the Food and Entertainment category, which is hard pressed to keep up with Australians’ insatiable appetite for this type of reading matter. Over 3 million (or 16%) Australians now read a food and entertainment title in an average four-week period, up from 14% in the 12 months prior.

Magazine-readership-Australia

Source:   Roy Morgan Research Single Source, October 2011-September 2012, n=53,220, October 2012-September 2013, n= 49,846

Business and entertainment magazines also grew, from 16.7% of Aussies reading them in 2012 to 17.4% in 2013; as did Men’s, Motoring and Sport titles, as well as Technology, Computers and Gaming publications. The growth of this latter genre, from 3.9% to 4.2%, is intriguing for the fact that its readers tend to spend more time than the average Australian on the internet but opt to read printed magazines!

While overall readership of women’s magazines declined slightly (from 30% to 28.5%), two titles bucked this trend quite emphatically. Weekly title Woman’s Day went from a total masthead readership of 1,977,000 in the year to September 2012 to 2,025,000 in 2013, with both print and website figures showing healthy growth.

New Idea, also a weekly, increased its total masthead readership from 1,262,000 to 1,388,000 over the same period, again with print and online both gaining ground.

George Pesutto, General Manager — Media & Communications, says:

“Australians clearly love magazines that are an extension of their personality and interests and advertisers should take note that this isn’t likely to change any time soon. Unlike their print cousins, newspapers, it would appear there is a place for printed magazines in a digital world also.


“There is a key element to this, though. Magazines in their categories are relevant to the people reading them, which is why they’re so influential. But the environment is more competitive in the general news and entertainment categories where, like newspapers, they compete against the immediacy and accessibility of digital delivery.


“Of course, magazine publishers will need to continue to develop their online and other digital platforms. The ones leading this space with relevant additional content not in the printed editions are already benefiting from extended audiences.


“The launch this week of our latest State of the Nation Report, with a spotlight on the Australian media landscape, will reveal further insights into this fascinating subject and more…


“We hear clients, magazines are coming back on menu!”


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Roy Morgan Research is Australia's best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
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Keywords

media, readership, magazines, publishing, digital, online, australia

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