In their printed format alone, emma finds newspapers reach 15 million Australians every month. They read four distinct types of newspaper – National, Metropolitan, Regional and Community. Each one caters to different aspects of their personalities and lives and, consequently, there is considerable overlap.
For advertisers, this presents the opportunity to do as newspapers do – speak to Australians in an authentic voice. Messages can be tailored to take advantage of the unique environment provided by each type of newspaper.
Messaging metro markets
Australia’s five major metropolitan areas have a combined population of 9.7 million aged 14 or older. Most of them (8.4 million) are newspaper readers.
More than half of all National and Metropolitan newspaper readers (61%) can be found in these markets, with the remainder in regional areas.
Readership of Community newspapers – predominantly weeklies circulating in the suburbs – is focused more tightly, with nine in ten readers (88%) living in the five major metro areas of Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Melbourne.
The Local Newspaper Report, published by The Newspaper Works in 2012, found the two types of newspaper play distinct roles for metro dwellers.
National and Metropolitan newspapers carry authority and influence, and help readers shape their views on issues of national and international importance.
Communities, on the other hand, are the heartbeat of their suburb, connecting readers with their community by providing practical and motivating information.
Consequently, these two types of newspaper provide a different and complementary advertising environment, allowing advertisers to talk to metro audiences on different levels.
Complementary Metro audiences
With the newspaper types serving different needs, many in major metro areas read both. Two thirds of Community newspaper readers (3.3 million people) also read Metropolitan titles.
Communities differ from Metro and National papers in the profile of their audience, reflecting the different role they play. Their readers are concentrated in the 30-44 age group, with a particular skew towards women. Mothers of young children tend to be heavily invested in the local community, where school, sport and other activities are a focal point of their lives.
There is another bulge in the 65+ age group – retirees also spend more time than others in the local area.
Metro newspapers have a more balanced age profile, with older readers gravitating more to print, and younger readers towards web and, increasingly, tablet and other mobile platforms.
Community newspaper benefits
The Newspaper Works’ Local Newspaper Report found readers’ connection with their community rubs off on advertisers.
Readers feel more positive about a store or business that advertises in their local paper (57%). Community papers significantly outscore other local media, such as letterbox material (18%) and local radio (15%). They can, therefore, augment National and Metropolitan newspapers for advertisers looking to build brand affinity.
With their practical orientation, Community newspapers are also effective in generating a call to action. For retailers this can translate into store traffic. Some 62% of readers have visited a store or business because of advertising in Community papers. Among local media, letterbox material is a distant second with 35%.
Reaching regional markets
Some 7.6 million Australians live in regional areas and their consumption patterns are similar to those in the city. They spend just as much in supermarkets and are big spenders on items such as electrical goods.
Newspapers are very much part of their lives. Each week, 5.7 million Australians in regional areas read a newspaper, according to emma data.
National and Metropolitan newspapers are read extensively outside the five main metros, in other urban centres and regional areas. Just under half of their audience (39%) is in these areas.
The Regional newspaper audience is almost exclusively outside the five major metros (95%). Each newspaper tends to focus on a geographically targeted area. This encompasses a diverse range of localities, from large urban centres such as Newcastle, the Sunshine Coast or Geelong, through to more rural areas such as Kalgoorlie in WA or Mildura in Victoria.
Horses for regional courses
The Local Newspaper Report, found that Australians relate quite differently to Regional newspapers compared to Metro and National titles.
While Metropolitan titles provide an authoritative window on the wider world, Regional newspapers are seen as helping to define the identity of the region. They reflect its mind and mood and stand up for it, while also acting as a watchdog.
Advertisers should tailor their messages accordingly to the different environments.
Related regional audiences
There is considerable overlap between the Regional and National/Metro newspaper audiences, with just over half the Regional newspaper audience (1.6 million people) also reading National and Metropolitan newspapers. This reflects the different role each type of newspaper plays in the lives of regional Australians.
Nevertheless, Regional newspapers deliver an audience of 1.4 million Australians who would be unavailable through metro and national titles.
While the age and gender profiles of each type of printed newspaper are similar, they differ in other respects.
National and Metropolitan newspaper readers have a higher average household income ($80,000 annually vs $75,000 for Regional readers).
Regional readers, however, are more likely to be the household decision maker in various categories including groceries (8% more likely).
Reflecting regional Australians’ pride in their region, Regional newspapers provide an ideal context for advertisers looking to build their brands. Readers say they feel more positive about a store or business that advertises in their local paper (54%). They outscore both local TV (24%) and local radio (26%) in this regard, by a factor of two.
A common thread among all types of newspaper that is highly valued by advertisers is their credibility. The Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising report consistently finds newspapers the most trusted medium.
The TNW local newspaper report echoes this finding, with 60% of readers finding Regional newspapers a trusted source of information. They outscore regional TV (39%) and radio (36%) by a factor of 1.5.