Newspaper readers hang on to print

The Newspaper Works

The newspaper industry’s emma survey data shows readers only slightly skimped on their daily printed paper habits in 2013, with overall readership bolstered by digital numbers.

Looking at audiences over the 12 months to November 2013, emma figures show the trend for print audiences is down slightly on weekdays, dropping 0.7 per cent over five months before stabilising in November compared to October.

Mark Hollands, CEO of The Newspaper Works, which promotes the industry in Australia, says, “Overall we are seeing only the slightest negative movements with print audiences, aligning to circulation and copy sale trends as digital audiences continue to climb.”

On the bright side for newspapers, regional areas seem to still be responding well to publications with a local focus. Hollands says, “Several regional newspapers have performed strongly since June. The Geelong Advertiser and Illawarra Mercury have seen 6 per cent and 4 per cent growth respectively. Election coverage has also appeared to contribute to strong reader retention for the Canberra Times.”

The emma survey was launched in August 2013 with the aim of providing a more accurate and complete picture of the way people consume newspapers and magazines across platforms – including digital numbers not previously tallied by research groups. With readership data released every month, the industry hopes to use the numbers to improve advertising sales.

Hollands says the latest data presents an optimistic outlook for the year ahead, and rebounding retail figures should give the industry a boost. He adds, “The emma data shows newspaper readers are bigger spenders than non-readers. They spend 28 per cent more on furniture and homewares, and 21 per cent more on electronics. And 48 per cent of them have shopped online in the last four weeks. In 2014, advertisers and agencies should be capitalising on these and other strengths of newspaper media.”

This is the third monthly emma data release that shows average issue readership for 269 branded sections in national, metropolitan and some larger regional newspapers. It is conducted via national audience surveys through research company Ipsos MediaCT.


The Newspaper Works emma data – Enhanced Media Metrics Australia – was launched into the Australian market in August, 2013 by the Paris-based international research company, Ipsos MediaCT as one of the key initiatives introduced by Mark Hollands as The Newspaper Works’ new chief executive officer, replacing founding CEO Tony Hale in April of 2013