SMH remains Australia’s #1 masthead, cross-platform audience hits 8.5m

Nine-owned The Sydney Morning Herald is still Australia’s top masthead, read by over 8.5 million people in an average four-week period over the 12 months to March 2021.

The data comes from Roy Morgan’s latest cross-platform audience results, which showed growth for Australian newspapers and magazines across the 12 months to March 2021.

During that period, an estimated 19.9 million (94.4%) Australians aged 14+ read or accessed newspapers or newspaper content in some way in an average four-week period.

Those figures include metropolitan, local and regional titles for print editions, online via website, app or news platforms.

16.8 million or 79.4% of Australians read or accessed metropolitan titles, while 15.6 million or 72.8% read of accessed magazine content.

The SMH was followed by fellow Nine masthead The Age, which had a cross-platform audience of almost six million Australians in an average four-week period.

The Australian came in third, with nearly 5.1 million people, while News Corp’s The Daily Telegraph was read by over 4.9 million and Melbourne’s Herald Sun over 4.5 million.

The ‘digital first’ Enhanced Cross-Platform Audience results are drawn from Roy Morgan Single Source comprising multi-mode interviews with a representative sample of 66,050 Australians aged 14+ and machine-based data.

4 Week Newspaper Cross-Platform Audience (12 Weeks To Match 2021)

Roy Morgan CEO, Michelle Levine, said: “Roy Morgan’s ‘digital first’ view of the media landscape shows millions of Australians turned to online channels to access leading newspaper and magazine mastheads during the last year as Australia was struck by the COVID-19 pandemic prompting a nation-wide lockdown, sever restrictions on people’s movement and lengthy border closures for most of last year.

“The new four week cross-platform audience results show an estimated 19.9 million Australians aged 14+ (94.4%) read or accessed newspapers including metropolitan, regional and community titles in an average four weeks in the 12 months to March 2021.”

Roy Morgan’s latest dataset also found that Are Media’s ‘Now To Love’ website attracts an audience of 2 million Australians in an average four-week period.

That number is down on the 2.5 million Australians accessing the online magazine destination reported in November, 2020.

Are Media’s two most widely read paid magazines, Better Homes & Gardens, and Australian Women’s Weekly, both had print readership of over 1.3 million.

They were followed by National Geographic with an average issue print readership of 914,000, Are Media’s Woman’s Day on 699,000, News Corp’s magazine on 620,000 and Are Media’s New Idea on 589,000.

Australia’s two most widely read free magazines are again Coles Magazine with an average print readership of 4,959,000 and Woolworths Fresh Ideas with a readership of 4,462,000.

Levine added: “In the magazine realm over two million Australians now visit the ‘Now to Love’ online ‘destination’ which provides a significant boost for popular Are Media titles such as Woman’s Day, Australian Women’s Weekly and the Take 5 weekly and monthly titles.

“The comprehensive four week cross-platform audience results create a range of opportunities for brand advertisers. Advertisers and their media agencies can now use these latest metrics to better plan campaigns and profile these larger audiences.”


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