Web traffic offsets readership decline for just 4 newspapers out of the top 11

Even with the addition of online readership figures, the majority of Australian newspapers are seeing a drop in audience size, a Roy Morgan report suggests. Figures indicate net readership across all metropolitan titles has fallen from 12,206,000 to 11,891,000, a decrease of 2.6%.

According to data collected from 2006 to December 2011, The Australian, Australian Financial Review, Herald Sun and The Age newspapers all achieved an increase in net print/online readership.

The Sydney Morning Herald held steady, its online and print readership dropping fractionally from 2,446,000 to 2,445,000 over the five-year period.

However, The Daily Telegraph, the Brisbane Courier Mail, the West Australian, the Adelaide Advertiser, the Perth Sunday Times have all seen a net fall in audience on and offline, according to the data.

Roy Morgan newspaper circulation data

The Australian’s readership has grown by 17% (the single largest percentage increase) and the Australian Financial Review by 13%.

RMR suggests that The Fin is the only title to have maintained its print circulation.

Every publication has seen a significant increase in website traffic, which in most instances has not offset the slump in print readership.

Roy Morgan’s data is compiled from a single source pool of respondents, although it does not include iPad and tablet readers at present.

George Pesutto, industry director at Roy Morgan, said: “Soon our app data will also be able to be combined with print and online readership data, to provide a true total masthead readership. And with assistance from newspaper publishers we will be working to measure growth in all news readership, as communication channels – such as smart TV – continue to evolve.”


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