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Waikato Times, lifestyle mags deliver impressive readership results

Waikato Times and lifestyle magazines deliver impressive readership results in tough market
Nielsen Consumer and Media Insights Survey (Q4 11-Q3 12)

The latest Nielsen Consumer and Media Insights Survey results (Q4 11 – Q3 12) shows while many newspapers are retaining a relatively steady readership, Fairfax Media’s flagship newspaper in the Waikato region, the Waikato Times, continues to deliver impressive results, with a year on year increase of 20.5%. Other Fairfax metropolitan dailies registered statistically insignificant declines.

Lifestyle magazines continue to perform strongly, with key titles across the Fairfax Magazines portfolio delivering impressive results. NZ House & Garden remains the largest in its category by circulation, and has increased its readership. NZ Life & Leisure continued its powerful performance, with a readership increase of 27.8% year on year while Cuisine has grown its readership by 6.3% year on year.

Fairfax Media CEO Allen Williams says the latest results show the company’s publications and platforms continue to deliver what New Zealanders want. “We’ve had a very strong year as far as readership for our metropolitan papers goes. The Waikato Times continues to deliver stellar readership growth, and the changes for the Press and Dominion Post are so small as to be statistically insignificant. Coupled with our extensive network of community newspapers, Fairfax Media connects 83.9% of New Zealanders with the news and information they want.”

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• The Waikato Times up 20.5% increase year on year (15+)
• The Press Saturday edition is New Zealand’s most engaging newspaper, with readers spending on average 54 minutes reading
• Sunday Star-Times is the most engaging Sunday newspaper, with readers spending on average 49 minutes reading monthly unique audience : 1,142,000 monthly video views: 1,328,071 (+6.1% YOY) smartphone monthly unique visitors 116,485 (+96.0% YOY) on iPhone, and 404,226 unique visitors on Android (20 times more YOY)
• iPad monthly unique visitors 45,895 (+117.0% YOY)
• NZ Lifestyle Block is up 19.4% year on year
• NZ Autocar is up 28.8% year on year
• Cuisine is up 6.3% year on year
• NZ Life & Leisure is up 27.8% year on year
• Fish & Game NZ is up 28.2% year on year

Auckland’s Suburban Newspapers reached 796,000 Aucklanders aged 15 and over in an average week. Within Auckland, the Western Leader was up 3.1% year on year, the Manukau Courier was up 15.4%, Auckland City Harbour News was up 16.7% and the Papakura Courier was up 21.6%.

Readership was also up for other community newspapers, with the Hamilton Press up 5.6%, The Wellingtonian up 15.6%, Hutt News up 1.4%, Kapi-Mana News up 7.5% and the Upper Hutt Leader up 24.2%.

“Community newspapers are the absolute coalface of our business. Part of our ethos as a business is to be deeply embedded in the communities we serve and the strength of our community newspaper networks is a testament to that,” says Mr Williams.

New Zealand’s largest national newspaper, the Sunday Star-Times, reaching 466,000 New Zealanders in average week, registered a decline in readership of 13.7% year on year. The Star-Times' result reflects a tough market in Christchurch, where readership fell from the high levels achieved in 2011 after the earthquakes. Population decline in Christchurch also had an impact. Despite the readership decline, the Sunday Star Times remains the country’s most engaging Sunday newspaper, with readers spending on average 49 minutes reading each week.

Mr Williams says the Sunday Star-Times’ team is focused on improving the newspaper and making it more appealing and authoritative. “In the past three months we have begun a a project that enables our journalists from throughout the country to contribute to the Sunday Star Times. In particular The Press in Christchurch and The Dominion Post in Wellington are now providing some of their best stories for our Sunday readers. We’re also committed to bringing new features and innovations to life in the paper, as seen with the September launch of Link+, which brings the printed page to life via our free Stuff app.”

These strong results show that Fairfax Media’s brands provide New Zealanders with the news and information they want, allowing them to fully engage with their passions via its publications and platforms.

1. Nielsen CMI Q4 11-Q3 12
2. Nielsen Online Ratings September 2012
3. Omniture Site Catalyst September 2012


About Fairfax Media
Fairfax Media is an innovative, integrated multi-media business with strong brands across multiple platforms including newspapers, magazines and digital.

Fairfax Media has two national, nine daily and more than 60 community newspapers, 25+ magazines, market leading website and newly launched parenting site

Click here to see the company’s full portfolio of media brands.

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