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News readership up as social media usage declines

Wednesday, 21 February 2018
By Print 21 Online Article

News media readership grew by 2% in 2017 for the second consecutive year as social media usage in Australia declined, according to media lobby group NewsMediaWorks.

Latest data from researcher emma says that in December 2017, 16.9 million people, or 90% of the population (aged 14+), read news media across all platforms. 

‘Content they know they can trust’: NewsMediaWorks CEO Peter Miller.

“Since 2015, we have seen more than half a million additional Australians turning to news media, consuming premium content they know they can trust,” says Peter Miller, CEO of NewsMediaWorks. 

“The great majority of major news brands have seen readership growth in print and digital audiences in 2017. News media’s engaged and growing audience is a proven way to build businesses – something advertisers continue to recognize and support.”

“In contrast, Australian’s social media usage is now in year-on-year decline, consistent with negative audience growth in Canada and the U.S,” Miller says.

Fairfax Media’s Sydney Morning Herald maintained its position as the most-read newspaper across all platforms with 5.18 million readers, followed by News Corp’s The Daily Telegraph with 4.18 million readers (see table below).

Almost three quarters of the population (74%, or 13.8 million people) consumed news media on digital devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops. Newspapers alone were read by 12.8 million people, or 68% of the population in December.

National news media was read by 2.5 million, or 13%, of the population. Metro newspapers were read by 10.6 million people, or 56% of consumers, over the same period.

Regional and community news media brands were read by 6.5 million people, or 35% of the population during December. A total of 3.1 million people (or 17% aged 14+), read regional newspapers, while community newspapers were read by 3.5 million (or 19% aged 14+).

Research group emma was developed for The Readership Works (TRW) by independent research company Ipsos Connect, which conducts national audience surveys and is the official measurement system in more than 40 countries including the UK, Italy and France.

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