News Corp takes another stab as readership battle looms

By David Blight | 16 August 2013

When News Corp Australia was asked to comment on today's Roy Morgan newspaper readership figures, the media owner simply said the launch of a rival readership metric on Monday will “deliver a much more accurate measurement”.

That comment pre-empted today's Roy Morgan readership figures for the 12 months to June 2013. The stats paint another picture of decline for the newspaper industry, with readership for Monday to Friday editions down 5.8% across the country. Saturday editions are down 6.1% in total, while Sunday titles have dropped 5.8%.

Roy Morgan readership June 2013.

The News Corp-backed new metric, called EMMA (Enhanced Media Metrics Australia) launches on Monday. Media agencies have suggested it will likely give daily newspapers an uplift in readership because its daily survey methodology should improve recall.

Yesterday News Corp Australia said it would not renew its readership subscription with Roy Morgan Research, while group director of sales Fiorella Di Santo said EMMA will become the company's “preferred readership measurement currency”.

In response a Roy Morgan spokesman told AdNews that there was "a lot of noise" in the market but that it had not translated into customer losses.

The Roy Morgan newspaper readership figures for the year to June 2013 dealt the newspaper industry another negative blow. News Corp's weekday edition of The Australian took a 12% hit, while the Monday to Friday edition of The Daily Telegraph fell 9.9%. The Herald Sun weekday edition fell 8.1%.

At Fairfax, the weekday edition of the Australian Financial Review increased 3.5%, but in NSW the Sydney Morning Herald's Monday to Friday paper fell 13.4%, while in Victoria The Age weekday edition declined 9%.

The strongest increase was seen by MX in NSW, growing its readership by 16.8%. In total, 12 titles across the country increased their readership, compared with 42 titles showing declines.

The launch of EMMA on Monday will create competition in the readership space. The question is will the market be big enough for two readership metrics?

Roy Morgan Readership

Roy Morgan Readership

Roy Morgan Readership

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