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Nielsen Consumer and Media Insights: 2012 Newspaper Results

February 8, 2013

A Changing Industry

Nielsen Consumer and Media Insights: 2012 Newspaper Results

Newspaper readership and circulation figures for the 2012 calendar year continue to reflect changing patterns of newspaper purchase and readership.

The results, released today, show readers are accessing content across a variety of new formats offered by newspaper companies.

Latest Nielsen Consumer & Media Insights (CMI) and ABC circulation results show that newspapers remain a dominant and widely accessed news medium with 2.44 million people, or 70 per cent of the adult population 15+, reading a paper once a week and nearly 1.5 million people reading each day.

While in part a reflection on the extraordinary news year in 2011, marked by the Christchurch earthquake, Rugby World Cup and NZ General Election, the decline is also as a result of consumers accessing content across new formats. Nearly 1.3 million New Zealanders also read newspaper websites at least once a month (this time period is the only one currently available through CMI). and are the most popular news websites in the country. Their success suggests the online formats share the same brand values and journalistic standards as their ‘parent’ newspaper brands - readers trust newspapers irrespective of format.

NPA chairman Michael Muir commented:

“These changes represent a dynamic industry that is working to reflect the multiple ways readers are looking for their news - newspapers, online, tablet, new apps, streaming video and social media. These days our newsrooms supply news 24/7 in multiple formats and these results are simply reflective of that change.

“This will become clear once we get an accurate combined view of newspaper readership and audiences across platforms (online, mobile, print).”

This will happen later this year when Nielsen’s Online Ratings (a world leading online audience measurement system) is integrated with the current newspaper media measurement system.

2012 was a major year for innovation across New Zealand’s newspaper groups. The weekday New Zealand Herald came out in a compact format with a redesigned website and new mobile apps. APN’s new online food hub became a Mecca for foodies, bringing together recipes from magazine and newspaper titles across the group.

Over at Fairfax, Stuff Nation was launched to engage consumers and build citizen journalism while parenting site Essential Mums was launched to offer news, views and community for women thinking about parenting.

Fairfax also launched refreshed iPad and iPhone apps.
Both the Ashburton Guardian and Wesport News installed pay walls on their new websites and the Oamaru Mail, Wairarapa Times Age, Wanganui Chronicle and the Northern Advocate all moved to compact formats.

Despite the variety of options open to readers, newspaper readership remains huge with 2.44 million readers reading newspapers weekly (70% of Kiwis 15+) and nearly 1.5 million reading each day. New Zealand continues to have the some of the strongest levels of newspaper subscription in the world: testament to ongoing loyalty and brand connection.

Newspapers have an especially key relationship with readers earning over $80,000 and this strengthened in 2012 with an increase of 86,000 readers in this cohort. These are readers with the power to purchase, a compelling reason to advertise in newspapers as well as other digital newspaper formats.

Readership of regional papers remained more or less unchanged. Seven newspapers maintained or grew readership in the past 12 months, demonstrating the ongoing relevance and connection for their local readers.


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