12.6m Aussies read print magazines

12.6m Aussies read print magazines
Research also shows print magazines readership steady from last year

A study by Roy Morgan shows 63 per cent, or 12.6 million Aussies aged 14 and over, are reading print magazines, virtually unchanged - up by 2,000 readers - from the previous year between September 2016 and September 2017.

However there have been winners, magazines such as fashion titles Frankie, Elle and Vogue Australia, and automotive magazines including Wheels, Street Machine and Fast Fours & Rotaries have all recorded strong increases in their print readership over the past 12 months.

The audience reach of magazines is extended to 15 million Australians or 77.8 per cent of the population aged 14 and over when it includes magazine reading online either via the web or an app.

The magazines receiving most new readers over the year was Coles Magazine, up from 3.6 million last year to 3.9 million in 2017, up 8.3 per cent.

IVE won the Coles contract from PMP at the start of the year, when IPMG which printed Fresh Magazine by Woolworths, became part of PMP.

[Related: Magazine sales buck trend, beating online]

Fresh gained 17 per cent more readers, up from 3.2 million readers to 3.8 million. Coles Magazine and Fresh Magazine were also the most read magazines – both are given away for free at the till. Biggest read paid for magazine is Better Homes and Gardens, with 1.7 million readers.

Women’s fashion magazines have led the way in the 12 months to September 2017 readership results with the largest year-on-year growth – up by 7.4 per cent to a readership of 1.2 million to be the seventh most read category overall equal to 6.2 per cent of the population.

Leading the charge upward in readership is category leader Frankie up 20.6 per cent to a readership of 398,000 and Elle magazine now read by 165,000, up 22.2 per cent.

Michele Levine, CEO at Roy Morgan Research, says magazines have been slower to move to a digital future than their print newspaper counterparts, but having a strong digital presence is key to magazines retaining relevance in an increasingly online world.

Levine says, “Although Australia is moving definitively towards an experience economy that de-emphasises traditional notions of ownership – a theme explored in depth in the recent Roy Morgan State of the Nation Media, different types of magazines are impacted by consumer habits and competitive pressures in a variety of ways.

“Because of these diverse impulses, although the broader print industry is under intense pressure in an increasingly digital world, specialist magazines including fashion titles and automotive magazines including have all recorded strong increases in their print readership over the past 12 months.

“The strong performance of magazines that cater to audiences interested in specific areas provides an example for other magazines dealing with stagnating readership and struggling to implement a successful cross-platform strategy to grow their digital audiences. The biggest advantage established magazines have over digital upstarts is name-recognition and the brand trust which the magazine has built up over years.

“To build a successful online audience magazines need to leverage this established trust and target their customers through sophisticated psychographic audience segmentation tools like Roy Morgan Helix Personas that allow publishers to gain a much greater depth of understanding of their customers than in the past.”

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