Thursday, May 7th, 2015

Roy Morgan Research today releases the latest Australian Magazine Readership results for the year to March 2015.

12,340,000 Australians 14+ read the latest issue of at least one magazine on average, down slightly from 12,806,000 in March 2014. Magazines in the categories of Food & Entertainment and Home & Garden continued to outperform the industry, as did the specialty set of Motorcycle mags. Categories performing near the overall industry norm include Women’s Fashion, Sports, Fishing and Motoring.

And when it comes to the rise of digital, three quarters of titles increased their audience for web or app. In fact, some magazines’ digital audiences—including CosmopolitanTimeReader’s Digest and Gourmet Traveller—are now almost as big as their print readership and could soon join Vogue by reaching more people online than off.

Mags get a (green) thumbs up

Eight out of 12 titles measured in the Home and Garden category posted increases in the 12 months to March 2015—including the country’s most-read paid-for magazine Better Homes & Gardens (up 2.4% to 1,826,000).  The biggest growth  in the category was for Belle, up 15.9% to 124,000. Home Beautiful grew 1.0% to 420,000, joining the Top 20 most-read magazines—the third title from the Home and Gardening category on the list.

And we may be becoming a nation of green thumbs, with both Gardening titles scoring double-digit growth: readership for Gardening Australia grew 14.0% to 414,000 and Your Garden grew 10.4% to 138,000.  

A passion for fashion

Marie Claire remains the most-read fashion title with an average 375,000 readers per issue, with Frankie (326,000) andVogue (320,000) still battling it out for silver. InStyle was the top-performing Women’s Fashion magazine, growing 5.4% to 177,000 readers per average issue.  

In the Women’s Youth category, Australians went steady with Girlfriend (almost unchanged with 201,000 readers), and this result put it on par with rival Dolly (200,000) for the first time in four years. 

Fit and fab

Two Women’s Fitness titles scored huge growth, proving that readership isn’t a zero-sum game. Women’s Fitness was the best-performing magazine year-on-year, increasing its readership by a healthy 27.4% to 149,000—vindication for Citrus Media which resurrected the title after its closure by Bauer. Women’s Health and Fitness was also up strongly, growing 19.1% to 181,000 readers.

A Taste Sensation

The power of print is proven with magazine continuing to grow from survey to survey, now up to an average readership of 428,000 per issue (14.4% higher than in March 2014). The magazine is now among the nation’s Top 20 most-read (at number 19): having overtaken Delicious (360,000) and Recipes+ (393,000), it now has sights set on 13th most-read magazine, Super Food Ideas (570,000).  

Silly season support for supermarkets

The 12-month results for the free supermarket titles get a boost from their bumper Christmas editions, available over the season and into the new year. At the close of 2013, Coles Magazine scored a spectacular Christmas result which helped it maintain a lead over Woolworth’s Fresh across 2014. But Fresh’s Christmas 2014 edition has just pipped Coles’, and fewer than 70,000 readers now separate the two most-read magazines in the country.

Weekly warriors

Although its lead has shrunk from over half a million readers in March 2014, Woman’s Day is still ahead of New Idea, with 1,557,000 readers a week to 1,232,000.  It’s a similar story between two other weekly competitors, That’s Life(down 9.1% to 761,000) and Take 5 (down 4.0% to 597,000).

Cross-platform audiences

Cross-Platform Audience is the number of Australians who have read or accessed individual magazine content via print, web or app. Audience growth was widespread across digital, with 16 of 21 magazines now reaching more people via web or app compared with 12 months ago.  For CosmopolitanGourmet TravellerMarie Claire and Time, the increase in digital more than offset declines in print to deliver higher overall cross-platform reach.

Better Homes & Gardens was the only title to grow across both print (up 2.4%) and digital (up 8.6%), scoring a 2.8% increase overall to surpass the 2 million mark in total audience. Women’s Weekly, however, was one of only three publications (along with Girlfriend and Cleo) to lose both print and digital audiences—but it’s still has the edge onBH&G with a total audience of just under 2.1 million during an average issue period.

View the full Print and Cross-Platform Readership results for Magazines on our website.

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

“The latest Roy Morgan readership results highlight magazines kicking goals in a tough environment. It’s impressive to see a recently launched print title such as figure in the Top 20 magazines read in the country—especially given its digital roots. It will also be interesting to see the effect of new Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana Windsor on the readership results of Mass Women’s magazines over the coming quarter.

“Major magazine publishers are investing heavily in their digital assets and content and we can see that starting to shine through in our cross-platform audience numbers.

“Roy Morgan will be soon releasing new digital measurement products to market, which will give publishers enhanced measurement and profiling of their audiences.  

“Roy Morgan Single Source is the preferred multi-media audience measurement currency used by the majority of Australian media strategy, planning and buying agencies and telecommunications, financial services and automotive brands.”

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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