Fairfax first to move on releasing detailed data on app usage – slow start for The Age and The SMH

Fairfax Media has attempted to counter negative perceptions around its falling print circulation by releasing a snapshot of its audiences for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age across all platforms.

The data includes the most detailed information to date about its audience on tablet apps. The number of readers using the apps on a daily basis are currently a small fraction of those buying the newspaper or reading the mastheads online, although the growth is 300% up on last year.

Australia’s audit bodies do not yet include app audiences, so the figures are self declared. According to Fairfax, The Sydney Morning Herald is averaging 3,576 daily users of its app, while The Age is averaging 2,924.

However, more consumers are using tablets to view the sites each day – 26,684 for the SMH and 22,780 for the Age.

The newspapers digital editions – effectively PDFs of the print edition – are running at just over 3,000 a day for The SMH and nearly 4,000 for The Age.

2011 numbers (SMH in blue, The Age in grey):


The numbers will be released by Fairfax four times a year as a quarterly report, along with monthly updates.

The transparency will inevitably put pressure from the market on News Limited to relaase more details over how The Australian’s app and potentially its paywall is faring. Thus far, the company has revealed little about its numbers,

Fairfax Metro Media’s CEO Jack matthews said of the new reporting drive: “This is a very significant development in the way we present information about Fairfax Metro audiences to the market.

“As the logical next step following our restructure, this move is to give our stakeholders, including media agencies, advertisers, shareholders and analysts, a fuller understanding of how audiences are engaging with our major Metro Media brands.

“We are successfully creating a truly multi-platform experience for our audiences, so if we don’t report on how each brand is engaging with them on every platform, we are painting an incomplete picture.”

He added: “We will no longer gauge our success or measure ourselves on a single-dimension or metric, but to look at how audiences are engaging with our brands across all platforms and time-frames.”

Full version of the Fairfax Metro report (click to enlarge):

fairfax metro report

Click to enlarge




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