Apparently more Aussies read news than eat fresh fruit

Australians love to read the news, and perhaps aren’t having as much fresh fruit as they should, according to the latest Total News readership figures, produced by Roy Morgan.

The latest figures, crunched for ThinkNewsBrands, show that 20.8 million Australians over 14 read the news each month, a figure that represents 96% of the population.

Further to this, 16.7 million of these readers do so every week – making this a more common weekly behaviour than eating fresh fruit (16 million), drinking milk (15 million), or drinking a coffee (11.8%).

Aside from general news, which 94% of Australians engage with each month, the most popular news categories are property (67%), sport (60%), lifestyle and health (57%), entertainment and culture (51%), and business and finance (47%).

For those looking to use this captive audience to sell products, ThinkNewsBrands notes that readers of the above special interest categories are “influential, interested, and ready to buy”.

Readers across the top three titles in auto, business and finance, and lifestyle and health are 20-35% more likely than general readers to practice high discretionary spending, with these non-essential purchases due to these readers’ confidence in their own financial situation – sitting 18%-28% above the general public. Readers of these categories are also early adopters of tech, fashion, and new travel trends – making them a particularly important market for advertisers.

The tides are turning in regards to paid written news content too, with 60% of readers now paying to access at least one paywalled publication.

Vanessa Lyons, executive general manager of ThinkNewsBrands notes the “recognition of the value readers see in this channel”, and the benefits for advertisers.

“Paying news readers are 20% more likely than the general population to be homeowners and big spenders,” Lyons said.

“And on average, they hold two times the level of wealth compared to the average Australian.”

This amounts to $158,000 in savings and investments, compared to $70,000.

Time of day is also important (as we’ve seen with our own Mumbrella newsletter), with more than half of readers doing so before midday.


“Marketers and brands continuously seek to deepen their bond and connection with consumers,” Lyons continues.

“The latest Total News figures should instil confidence in Australian advertisers that Total News is a lucrative, commercially effective channel for brands to do just that.

“While the current Australian economic climate remains uncertain and the impacts of global events are unfolding day by day, these figures show that Total News remains a critical element for success in the advertising and consumer engagement toolkit.”

As for which publications Australians are reading, The Sydney Morning Herald is still the most-read of the traditional mastheads, with 7.4 million unique readers a month over the past year, with its Melbourne cohort The Age drawing 4.9 million AFL/Neighbours-loving readers.

Both The Australian and The Herald Sun have healthy monthly readerships of 4.1 million, with The Daily Telegraph and the West Australian drawing 3.9 million and 3.8 million readers, respectively.



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