Thursday, May 8th, 2014

lmost 10 million Australians aged 14+ say they especially choose to watch the evening news on free-to-air TV, but audience analysis using Roy Morgan’s Helix Personas segmentation tool reveals some stark differences in the composition of news audiences on Channels Seven, Nine, Ten, SBS and ABC.

Metrotechs comprise 13% of Australia, but these typically well-educated, progressive and tech-savvy professionals comprise 20% of all those watching SBS World News.

Another 27% of the SBS World News audience is in the elite and established community of Leading Lifestyles. Together almost half (48%) of those choosing SBS’ News are in one of these high-earning, big-spending communities, ahead of ABC (44%) and well above Channels Nine and Ten (32% each) and Seven (29%). 

Proportion of each Channel’s evening news choosers who are Metrotech or Leading Lifestyle:

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January to December 2013: n = 48,835

‘Healthy, Wealthy and Wise’ people in the Metrotech Community are over twice as likely as the average Australian to especially choose to watch SBS World News. These socially engaged singles and couples renting apartments in near-city areas such as Port Melbourne and Bondi make up less than 2% of the Australian population, but almost 4% of SBS’s news audience, compared with just 1% of the new audience for Seven, Nine or Ten.

The Top Five Personas choosing to watch SBS or ABC are all in either the Leading Lifestyle or Metrotech Community, with three personas—including ‘Healthy, Wealthy and Wise’—appearing on each list.

News on the main commercial channels appeals to a broader cross-section of Australians, with personas from the communities Aussie Achievers, Today's Families, Getting By, Battlers, Leading Lifestyle and Golden Years all represented among Seven, Nine and Ten's Top Five.

Top 5 personas most likely to especially choose to watch evening news on channel*:

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January to December 2013: n = 48,835. *Some personas comprising under 2% of a channel’s ‘especially choose to watch’ audience have been excluded.

Tim Martin, General Manager - Media, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“ABC and SBS are clearly most appealing to similar groups of people, an audience which, by and large, is under-represented during the nightly news at the other three free-to-air broadcasters.

“For decades, channels Seven, Nine and Ten have battled it out for the top-rated nightly news show—trying new formats, new times and lengths, and new editorial and tonal strategies. But with better audience profiling comes a better understanding of the value of each viewer tuning in, and consequently the ROI of advertising.

“More Australians overall especially choose to watch the weeknight news shows on Channels Seven and Nine, followed closely by the ABC. But advertisers specifically targeting the type of consumers found in the Metrotech or Leading Lifestyles communities clearly need to consider alternatives.” 

Contact Profile

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


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