This week it was announced that News Corp, owned by Rupert Murdoch, is in the process of buying APN News and their Regional newspaper division. Which brings another 12 daily newspapers and 60 community newspapers to the News Corp Suite.
Roy Morgan research have this week released results for Australian newspaper readerships for the last 12 months as at March 2016 and it’s no surprise that major mastheads around the country have fallen in readership.
The future of print audience measurement is called EMMA (Enhanced Media Metrics Australia)… but what is it?
EMMA launced at the start of the new financial year and is designed to provide a complete picture of how people read and engage with newspapers and magazines across print, online, smarphones and tablets.
EMMA was developed by an independent research company and has been built in response to agencies and advertisers needs for greater transparency, accuracy and frequency of data.
This is how EMMA works… 54,000 people are surveyed a year, mainly recruited by phone, but around 8% through door-to-door methods. They will then complete an initial online survey taking them around 45 minutes, with around half completing a secondary survey looking at consumer habits in various categories. They are then sent an online link, where they complete a five minute survey about what they have read and visited in the proceeding day. This data is then extrapolated to give a readership number for each masthead across the mediums.
EMMA also sees for the first time around 130 regional papers, normally too small to be surveyed, a readership number, using Census data around demographics and the survey data.
Why it’s better?
The launch of EMMA already started with a collection of over 18 months’ worth of data, featuring a number of significant innovations and enhancements:
• An in-depth database of all newspaper formats capturing data across all platforms
• Branded sectional data within newspapers
• Contemporary segmentation and new insights into product categories
For us in an Advertising Agency, the data will more accurately portray the audiences figures, enabling us to respond to our clients briefs more effectively and providing the best environment to bring advertisers closer to their customers.
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Digital subscriptions were thought to be the great savior for newspapers however the first round of stats for combined print and digital sales have been released and so far only The Australian is moving in the right direction.
Circulation figures for the June quarter have just been released by the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC), alongside the first year-on-year stats for combined print, digital and package sales (masthead sales).
In total, the print market saw a 10.9% year-on-year decline in sales, with News Corp Australia titles dropping 9.7% in total and Fairfax 16.4%.
The declines in masthead sales are not as steep as the declines in print-only sales, indicating digital sales are making some inroads. However, digital growth is not yet sufficient at present to balance out print circulation decline.
Looking to print-only circulation figures, the results in the June quarter were particularly bleak. Not a single newspaper recorded positive growth, and across News Corp and Fairfax the best result was a 6.8% decline recorded by Fairfax’s weekday edition of The Australian Financial Review. The strongest result across the whole market was recorded by West Australian Newspapers’ West Australian, with a 3.8% drop.
Fairfax’s Sydney Morning Herald experienced the largest print decline, sliding 17%.
Newspaper inserted magazines also saw major declines across the board, with all audited titles seeing circulation drops. The total NIMs market fell 12%.
CLICK HERE to check out the complete set of ABC Circulation figures released August 2013 of Metropolitan Newspapers, Magzines & Inserts.