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The Sydney Morning Herald is Australia’s most read masthead

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The Sydney Morning Herald is Australia’s most read masthead

Sydney Morning Herald

The Sydney Morning Herald has been named Australia’s most-read masthead after the latest Total News readership figures were released by Roy Morgan for ThinkNewsBrands. The masthead boasts a total cross-platform readership of 7.3 million readers across the country. Sydney competitor The Daily Telegraph was the next most-read publication at 3.94 million. 

The Sydney Morning Herald’s weekly print edition recorded an average readership of 383,000 per issue, while the Saturday edition recorded 485,000 readers.

In a press release about the findings, executive editor Luke McIlveen said: “The news cycle has been relentless in the first quarter of 2024, and the millions of readers who turn to our mastheads for quality and accuracy have shown their willingness to invest in premium journalism.

“We’re delighted with the subscription growth across The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald and we will continue to deliver the thoughtful, independent journalism our readers expect.”

Nine brands maintain hold on readers

In Victoria, The Age maintained its standing as the most-read masthead with a cross-platform readership of 4.7 million. This made it the second most-read news source after the Sydney Morning Herald. The Age beat its major Victorian competitor, The Herald Sun, by more than 720,000 readers.

The Age’s weekly print editions recorded an average readership of 251,000 per issue, and 403,000 for the Saturday edition.

“Our focus on quality, high-impact journalism that matters to Victorians is making a real difference to the lives of people in this state,” The Age editor Patrick Elligett said. “Reader endorsement of our approach is evident in the subscription and engagement growth we are seeing each week.”  

The Australian Financial Review was named the most-read premium business masthead, with a readership of 3.5 million people. Its News Corp rival The Australian, recorded a fall in readership over the year. The Financial Review’s editor-in-chief Michael Stutchbury said the newsroom was pleased with the success of their digital strategy and the growth of their digital-only audience.

“With our digital-only audience growing by 2.4 percent a year, the Financial Review has the biggest digital audience of any national newspaper brand.”

Australian readership trends

ThinkNewsBrands, a trade group for news publishers, reported 18.1 million Australians (or 82 percent of the population) consumed news each week. Reading news (53 percent) surpassed both watching and listening, with slightly more women engaged than men. More than 60 percent of readers paid for access to news, with Australians more likely to read news in the morning (56 percent) than any other time of the day.

When it came to the topics Australian readers were most interested in, general news led the pack, followed by property, sport, lifestyle and health. Readers in capital cities were only slightly more engaged than those in the country (97 vs 96 percent) The latest figures were released on Monday and included the 12 months ending March 2023 to 2024. 

Photography attributed to Roman Kraft on Unsplash


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January Jones

January Jones is a freelance writer.

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