Digital news media readership leaps by 9 per cent

Digital readership increase is driven by mobile

Digital news media readership is up 9 per cent year-on-year, from 9.9 million to 10.8 million, according to emma data for the 12 months to November 2014, reports the Newspaper Works. This figure represents 61 per cent of the Australian population aged 14 years and older, compared with 57 per cent in the 12 months to November 2013.

The number of readers accessing content on tablets is up 16 per cent year-on-year, from 2.5 million to 2.9 million, while the number of readers using mobile phones has increased 28 per cent, from 2.3 million to 2.99 million.

Print news media continues to reach more readers than digital platforms do despite a 2 per cent year-on- year decline across all newspapers (national, metropolitan, regional, rural and local community newspapers). Over four weeks, 14.5 million people read a printed newspaper, which equates to 82 per cent of people aged 14 years and older.

Digital readers younger, especially mobile readers

Most readers consume news media content on both digital devices and in print. The majority of digital readers also read printed newspapers (83 per cent), while most print readers also access digital newspaper content (62 per cent).

Readership on digital devices skews younger compared with printed newspapers. The average age for readers of printed newspapers is similar to that of total digital readers across all devices: PCs, tablets and mobile phones (46 years for print vs 44 for total digital). Readers accessing content on tablets and mobile phones are younger: 41 years for tablets, and 34 years for mobile phones.

“Readers accessing news media content on tablet and mobile drove most of the growth in digital readership, with almost 3 million Australians accessing news media content each month via tablet or mobile. This is impressive,” chief executive officer of The Newspaper Works, Mark Hollands, said.

Total newspaper readership in line with population growth

The total combined newspaper readership across print and digital over the four-week period to November 2014 is 16.3 million, a 2 per cent increase on the previous year. This is keeping pace with population growth, reaching 92 per cent of the Australian population aged 14 years and older, which is exactly the same percentage as this time last year.