As NZME prepares for a possible merger with Fairfax Media’s New Zealand assets, company titles have been buoyed by increased readership.
Based on the latest Nielsen National Readership Survey, which examines the period Q2 2015 to Q1 2016, The New Zealand Herald’s average national weekday readership has increased by 1.7 per cent to 411,000.
The Weekend Herald increased by 30,000 to 442,000 which NZME says reflects the higher engagement with the newspaper in addition to strong population growth in the Auckland region.
These increases compare the latest survey data to the last readership release period, Q1 2015 to Q4 2016.
It shows the New Zealand Herald’s readership as a share of population potentials remains steady at 11.2 per cent in both releases.
The Herald on Sunday saw 10,000 more readers, growing readership to 311,000 and has maintained its place as the best read Sunday newspaper.
The company says sections and the magazine within the Weekend Herald helped drive readership gains.
The newspaper magazines in the New Zealand Herald saw growth on every day of the week: Bite saw a 6.4 per cent increase, Viva increased by 5.6 per cent, TimeOut went up 3.3 per cent, Travel had a 1.0 per cent increase and The Business saw a 1.1 per cent increase in readership.
Murray Kirkness, weekday editor of the New Zealand Herald, says the increase across all newspaper-inserted magazines shows the diversity of the paper’s readers.
“Having an increase across the board in our newspaper magazines is great, and shows we’re hitting different target audiences within the wider New Zealand Herald offering,” he said.
The Fairfax-owned Dominion Post sits at 166,000, its share of population potentials dropping slightly from 4.6 per cent to 4.5 since the last Nielsen release.
Meanwhile, The Sunday Star Times average issue readership rose to 303,000, increasing its share from 8.1 to 8.2 per cent.