Printed newspapers readership plummets
The Australian Financial Review was the only newspaper to gain readers in print in 2019, with all other titles seeing the switch away from print to digital continuing unabated.
Nine (formerly Fairfax) titles lost significant numbers of readers for its printed editions, but gained ground in digital readership, however News Corp mastheads lost readers in digital as well as print, with analysts pointing to its polarising editorial as the reason for readers leaving.
According to Roy Morgan Research readers of the printed version of the Sydney Morning Herald plummeted, down by 20 per cent in 2019 compared with the previous year, or 203,000, to a weekly figure of 772,000 from 983,000. Its stablemate The Age was down by 104,000 readers, or 12 per cent, to 713,000.
The main News Corp titles both lost 300,000 readers over the year, with the Herald Sun falling from 1.34 million to 1.06 million, while the Daily Telegraph fell from 1.28 million to 976,000. Overall the Tele lost 15 per cent of its readership online and in print.
The News national title The Australian also suffered a drop in readers, although in context not quite so calamitous, its weekly print readership dropped by eight per cent to 797,000.
The Australian Financial Review was the only newspaper to record an increase in its printed readership, which was up by ten per cent to 391,000 a week from 364,000 the year before. The AFR also added 30 per cent to its digital readership.
The readership figures are not the printed circulation figures, which are much lower, the publishers claiming that several people read each issue.