ACM boasts 49% annual growth in digital subscribers

Australian Community Media (ACM) has reported that it has reached a milestone of 100,000 combined digital subscribers across its major mastheads.

ACM executive chairman, Antony Catalano said that this was an important achievement to make in a relatively short period of time, and that it “shows the power of trusted mastheads and our quality journalism that has helped us become one of the fastest growing media companies in Australia”.

The sites the ACM network collates for these figures includes: The Canberra Times, The Newcastle Herald, The Border Mail, Ballarat’s The Courier, and Warrnambool’s The Standard.

Front page of today’s Bendigo Advertiser

Catalano thanked those that have signed up for ACM’s digital services, and said that their support is helping “us keep our communities strong, informed and connected”.

“As more and more people move to the thriving regional centres across Australia, demand for quality local content has never been higher and we take pride in delivering the quality independent journalism our 6.4 million readers enjoy each month.”

He said that ACM’s approach to content, product and marketing has allowed a quicker uptake in digital subscriptions, which can otherwise be difficult in parts of Australia.

ACM managing director, Tony Kendall also said that the digital subscriber base had grown 49% year-on-year, with revenues also up 54%.

“It’s a testament to the great work our teams have been doing to bring quality content to our audiences across the country.”

Executive chairman, Antony Catalano

Last week ACM launched its first national trade campaign under the stewardship of Catalano, ‘ACM ConnectNow’, in order to encourage advertising agencies and clients to use ACM’s network for commercial opportunities.

This week, Roy Morgan released readership figures measuring both print and digital brands, showing that 20.4 million Australians are consuming news in a four-week period, an increase of 1% compared to the same period last year.

Digital news remained in a position of strength with readership of 19.1 million, or 90% of the population aged 14 and over, while print news has seen a 6% increase compared to the same period last year, now reaching 14.1 million people, 67% of the population aged 14 and older.

ACM said that following a successful pilot of subscriptions in 2016 on small local websites, the Bay Post at Batemans Bay and the Milton-Ulladulla Times, it started rolling out digital subscription packages on its key regional news sites in 2018 and 2019.

It also said that despite The Canberra Times and ACM’s daily mastheads in major regional population centres across NSW, Victoria and Tasmania being the central to subscriber growth, smaller mastheads including the South Coast Register, Armidale Express, Port Macquarie News and Wimmera-Mail Times have also seen growth.

ACM’s new national trade campaign

Kendall continued: “With the unfolding challenges of COVID, it’s a complex time for many of the communities we serve, and they know who to trust for timely, reliable information.”

In celebrating the milestone, ACM is offering new digital subscribers the chance to give a person of choice a three-month complimentary subscription to one of its major mastheads.


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