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Digital readership rise mirrors mobile habits

Digital news media readership has risen again in light of new emma data that shows mobile will become the most used device to access the internet by the end of the year.

National newspapers continue to lead the growth in news media, with nationals’ print readership up by 2 per cent year on year, and total sector digital readership also growing by 2 per cent, according to the latest emma (Enhanced Media Metrics Australia) data for June 2018.

Almost nine in 10 Australians (89 per cent aged 14+), or 16.3 million people, read news media across platforms in June. News media readership on digital devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops, rose by 2 per cent to 13.2 million, or 72 per cent of the population.

Newspapers are read by 67 per cent of Australians, or 12.2 million people, each month. Metro newspapers were read by 10 million people, or 54 per cent of consumers, in June. Regional and community news media brands are read by 6.3 million people, or more than one-third of the population (34 per cent).

In addition to the industry currency readership data, emma CMV provides valuable insights into Australian consumers’ product purchases, behaviour and attitudes. This data has found that the trend towards using mobile phones to access the internet continues, with mobiles set to become the most used device by the end of 2018.

Eight in ten of the 13.2 million digital news media readers use a mobile for general internet access and while this number is still surpassed by computers and laptops at 83 per cent, mobiles will grow faster. Tablets are used by 46 per cent of digital news media readers for internet access and readers use an average of 2.4 devices to access the web.

Among digital news media readers who ‘read news online yesterday’, 59 per cent used a computer, 47 per cent used a mobile phone and 25 per cent used a tablet .

“Our news media sector is well placed to capitalise on the extraordinary growth in mobile usage, given our publishers pioneered the move to news websites and continue to command large and engaged audiences. The emma data is both independently audited and credible, and neither adjective applies in relation to Facebook’s recent outrageous audience claims. According to Facebook, it has more users than the population, which advertisers would agree is an unmatched achievement,” NewsMediaWorks CEO, Peter Miller, said.

“It’s also important to not discount the power and reach of newspapers, with our nationals growing and more than 12 million people reading newspapers in June. The news media sector has successfully attracted and grown its audience because of the trust that authoritative, credible journalism commands in an era of fake news. The Galaxy data from the ADTRUST study demonstrates that greater trust in a media channel positively impacts purchase intent .”

This is the fourth month of emma cross-platform readership data to come from Nielsen, in a new strategic collaboration announced in May. Under the new arrangement, Nielsen leads the fusion process that brings together the industry accredited print readership data from Ipsos and Nielsen’s IAB-accredited digital audience data, to deliver a total audience readership. Nielsen Consumer & Media View (CMV) is fused to the emma cross-platform data to provide critical product and attitudinal data.

The Sydney Morning Herald is Australia’s highest-reaching title across all platforms with 4.98 million readers. The Herald Sun followed, reaching 3.96 million readers and The Daily Telegraph on 3.68 million.


  1. 1. emmaTM, 12 months to June 2018. Readership based on last four weeks. Trends compared with 12 months to June 2017. Survey conducted by Ipsos Connect, people 14+, Nielsen Digital Ratings (Monthly), now Nielsen Digital Panel, NDP June 2018, People 14+
  2. Attitudinal and Product analysis emma CMV June 2018
  3. For “Used to access online news yesterday”, the split on mobile/tablet is not available. The above split therefore applies the ratio of tablet to mobile as indicated by the “Devices used to access the publisher owned news websites L4W” Net tablet: Net mobile : Net tablet & mobile = 2939 :5555 : 6719 (Jul17 to Jun18).
  4. ADTRUST; Galaxy Research online questionnaire, June 2017 (n=2,863) and April 2018 (n=1400) was conducted among a nationally representative sample of Australians aged 18 years and older. View full results at www.newsmediaworks.com.au/adtrust
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