Roy Morgan report reveals magazine readership increased during COVID-19

A report by Roy Morgan revealed that COVID-19 has caused a resurgence in Australian magazines, with readers turning to print.

Overall, the number of magazine readers has skyrocketed according to a recent Roy Morgan report.

It is believed that people read more than usual with more free time and an increased desire to enjoy escape experiences. A notion barely unimaginable when you consider any sense of normalcy has been put aside for almost two years.

While it is well known that times of crisis can be a prerequisite for lifestyle changes, the recent dramatic increase in magazine readership has taken most experts by surprise.

As Roy Morgan reports, 15.2 million Australians read magazines in print and online formats. Perhaps even more interesting, over 11.1 million Australians (aged 14 and over) read print magazines. Who said the print media jumped the shark?

With growth to and beyond double digits, the food and entertainment, general interest, home and garden, and mass women’s magazines categories saw the most success in print formats. Taken together, these categories have over 17 million passionate Australian readers.

Although the big winner among this group for market share is food and entertainment with a base of 7.2 million Australians engaged, 3 million more than the closest category. This cooking craze is particularly noteworthy, as research has previously indicated that cooking skills and self-confidence are on the decline.

The spoils of great results don’t end there. Impressively, all of the top 25 magazines have reported higher readership figures over the past year. This return to form is all the more astonishing when you factor in complications like bottlenecks, shrinking retail options and supply chain issues.

Better houses and gardens and australian Women’s weekly was ranked as the most read paid magazines with print readership figures of 1.661 million and 1.393 million, respectively. Year over year, this represents an increase of 8.2% for Better houses and gardens and an increase of 11.1 for the Australian Nomen’s weekly.

Behind these leaders are National geography and Woman’s day posted a strong result of 965,000 and 771,000 as a result.

Retaining their place atop the mountain as Australia’s most widely read free magazine has been Coles Magazine with a result of 5,132 million and Fresh Ideas Magazine 4.661 million. However, this is again a significant increase for both magazines with respective readership increases of 13.8% and 16.3%.

While the usual suspects continue to have stellar numbers, perhaps this year’s biggest surprise was House and Garden, which saw a massive 50.1% growth in print readership to take 6e place in the rankings of paid magazines.

Other worthy mentions include Taste.com.au (+ 22.5% to 708,000), Take 5 Bumper Monthly (+ 23.9% to 601,000) and That’s life Monthly Mega (+ 31.8% to 559,000). These are all positive signs of a magazine industry receiving a new wave of support from millions and millions of Australians.

In addition, high results are appreciated at all levels, as evidenced by the two smallest magazines printed according to readership. Halliday (32,000 readers) and Travel (33,000 readers) with double digital growth.

Roy Morgan CEO Michelle Levine said: “The strong performance of print magazines came after the nationwide lockdown in early 2020 and shows that once freed from stay-at-home restrictions, Australians wanted go back to magazines they know and love. . In addition, subsequent closures had a decreasing impact on readership of print magazines.

“It is possible that the same increase in print magazine spending will occur now and in 2022, as ‘cash in’ Australians freed from lockdowns seek compelling and engaging content.”

The increased appeal or impression is certainly impressive, but the most influential survey of magazine readership (multiplatform audiences) also showed exceptional numbers.

By rounding off the top three magazines for total cross-platform audience measurements, Taste.com.au, Woman’s day and Australian women’s weekly recorded 3.433 million, 3.058 million and 2.935 million audiences, respectively, in print and digital.

Explaining her thoughts on why there has been huge progress in reconnecting Australians to national titles, Roy Morgan CEO Michelle Levine said: to engage and respond.

“Magazines have the ability to communicate complex messages, and with the massive reach of many magazines, they can deliver large audiences to advertisers. “

For a list of the Top 15 Magazines by Print Readership and the Top 15 Magazines by Cross-Platform Audience, please refer to the tables below as they appear on the Roy Morgan website.

Top 15 magazines by print readership – September 2021

Publication September 2020 September 2021 % Switch
‘000s ‘000s %
Coles Magazine 4,508 5.132 13.8%
Fresh ideas 4,008 4,661 16.3%
Better houses and gardens 1,535 1,661 8.2%
Bunnings magazine 1,359 1,501 10.4%
Australian women’s weekly 1,254 1,393 11.1%
Open road (NSW) 873 1,090 24.9%
National geography 886 965 8.9%
Woman’s day 723 771 6.6%
Magazine Taste.com.au 578 708 22.5%
Road ahead (Qld) 498 650 30.5%
Home & Garden 429 644 50.1%
New idea 625 627 0.3%
Take 5 monthly bumpers 485 601 23.9%
It’s Monthly Mega Life 424 559 31.8%
That’s life! 442 509 15.2%

Top 15 Magazines – Total Multiplatform Audience

Printing (4 weeks) Digital
(4 weeks)
(including Apple News)
Total CPA
(4 weeks)
(including Apple News)
Publication 12m to Sep 2021 (in thousands) 12m to Sep 2021
(in thousands)
12m to Sep 2021
(in thousands)
Magazine Taste.com.au 708 2,860 3 433
Woman’s day 1,563 1,747 3,058
Australian women’s weekly 1,393 1765 2 935
New idea 1,276 1,281 2,431
Take 5 (weekly) 852 1,698 2,416
TV week 766 1,698 2366
Better houses and gardens 1,661 686 2 262
Take 5 monthly bumpers 601 1,698 2 198
National geography 965 638 1,563
Open road 1,090 101 1 170
Home & Garden 644 486 1 110
who 323 707 1,008
Delicious 341 603 925
4X4 Australia 256 676 904
That’s life 864 40 900

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