Wednesday, June 10th, 2015 - Roy Morgan Research

Local news is the preferred media content for over 10 million Australians (14+) at least once during the week, the latest media preference data from Roy Morgan Research shows.

Whether over breakfast, at mid-morning or lunchtime, in the afternoon, during dinner or after, in the 12 months to March 2015 over half of Australians (51%) said local news was the content they most wanted to see, hear or read one or more times across the week.   

Capital city residents are less likely than other Australians to cite local news as a weekday or weekend content preference (49%). Generally, the bigger the city the less interest in local news—from just 46% in Sydney and 47% in Melbourne, to 50% in Brisbane, 53% in Perth (and Canberra) and 54% in Adelaide. In Hobart, however, 64% want local news.

There is more appetite for local news overall—but also more disparity—across Australia’s 12 largest non-capital towns and urban areas. As in Sydney, there is a below-average desire for local news in its satellite cities Newcastle (49%) and Wollongong (50%), but Melbourne’s relative disinterest in local news is less apparent in Geelong (where 55% want local news), Bendigo (56%) and Ballarat (63%).

Proportion who want Local news:

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, April 2014 – March 2015 sample n = 51,882 Australians 14+

In Queensland, the popularity of local news rises the farther you get from Brisbane: from 52% on the Gold Coast, 54% in Toowoomba and 57% on the Sunshine Coast, up to  60% in Townsville and 63% in Cairns. Of these 12 largest towns, local news scores highest in Albury (69%) and, mirroring Hobart’s high preference rate, Launceston (71%).

Across even smaller towns and rural areas, an average 56% of residents cite local news as a content preference at some point during weekdays or the weekend.

Stay tuned for our upcoming Community and Regional Newspaper Readership results.

Michele Levine – CEO, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Around 2.5 million Australians 14+ live in one of these 12 towns or non-capital urban areas. Compared with city-dwellers, they are more likely to be smaller, older or mid-life households—but not as much as those in rural areas.

“These mid-sized places represent a space between city and rural that is often misunderstood, or even unacknowledged, by marketers. Our large and country-wide rolling survey allows us to investigate town residents as a distinct group as well as the individual dynamics of each town, and their residents’ media usage, purchasing intentions, values, demographics and attitudes.  

“These towns represent a worthwhile potential market for Australian and international businesses looking to expand beyond a competitive, city-centric view and capitalise on owning smaller markets. But to do this, you first need to understand them deeper than simply as ‘non-capital-city’ residents.”

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Roy Morgan Research


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.
Shaun Ellis
P: 03 9224 5332
W: www.roymorgan.com

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