Mobile audiences still growing: emma

Newspaper readership on mobile continues to evolve, with more Australians than ever reading newspaper content on mobile devices, especially among the under 30s, according to the latest data from emma (Enhanced Multimedia Metrics Australia).

For the 12 months to August 2014, 2.03 million readers consumed newspaper content on mobile phones, a 2 per cent increase from the May emma data. The growth in under 30s age group is even higher, rising by 5 per cent over the same period, from 748,000 to 785,000.

Print continues to be the most popular way for readers to access news journalism, despite increased mobile readership. Print readership is also up in the last three-month period, from 14.6 million to 14.8 million, a 1 per cent increase.

Total masthead readership (print and digital) increased by 1 per cent to 16.2 million, or 92 per cent of the Australian population aged 14 and over.

The Newspaper Works CEO Mark Hollands said: “The emma results show that print readership is stable, with readers increasingly moving to mobile consumption of news, which matches general communication trends and commentary about the future of technology.

“Evidence suggests that mobile and print readership offer complementary experiences. Mobile readers tend to snack and go, whereas print readers will stay longer with their newspaper.

“More than 30 per cent of readers now come to newspaper journalism either via a smartphone or tablet. All newspaper publishers are increasing their activity in this area. The launch this week of the ‘Extra Extra’ campaign by News Corp Australia for its metro title iPad apps aligns with these latest figures. One element of this evolution that publishers are watching is the technology
platforms readers are choosing. Apple is still strong in this market but Android is more popular in other countries.”

Overall digital readership over the past three months is up 1 per cent, from 9.3 million to 9.4 million, or 53 per cent of the population 14 and over.

Web browsers continue to be the most common means of accessing digital newspaper content, especially on desktop and laptop computers. Over the past four weeks 6.7 million readers used a computer-based web browser, with a total of 7.8 million reading newspapers on a computer, tablet or mobile web browser.

Although the under 30s increased their browser-based reading by 5 per cent over the past three months, with 42 per cent accessing content on the web, the 30-44 age group is still the heaviest-using segment, with 49 per cent reading newspaper content on a browser.

The contribution of PDF-based digital newspapers is declining, with only 43,000 readers reading one over the last four weeks.

For more news from The Newspaper Works, click here.

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