Latest newspaper readership stats

August 10th, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The latest Nielsen data is here. Major papers are:

  • NZ Herald 539,000 (-27,000, -6% drop in last year)
  • Waikato Times 87,000 (-17,000, -17%)
  • Dominion Post 234,000 (-7,000, -4%)
  • The Press 209,000 (-29,000, -13%)
  • ODT 98,000 (-4,000, -5%)

Significant that despite a growing population, all major dailies dropped.

Weeklies:

  • Sunday News 203,000 (-60,000, -23%)
  • SST 432,000 (-82,000, -17%)
  • HoS 366,000 (-28,000, -8%)
  • NBR 51,000 (-4,000, -9%)

The two Fairfax weeklies are plummeting. We may see the HoS beat the SST in the next few years – remarakable as the HoS was only created a few years ago.

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22 Responses to “Latest newspaper readership stats”

  1. wikiriwhis business (4,016 comments) says:

    headline in Dom Post this morning

    MP’s unite to keep travel perks

    Moral: Politicians and perks are like pigs and muck. you can’t keep them apart

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  2. wreck1080 (3,917 comments) says:

    I reckon sunday news will be next to disappear.

    The herald is just an advertising catalog with a few news stories thrown in .

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  3. Ross12 (1,428 comments) says:

    DPF : Are these readership or circulation figures ? ( I’m making the distinction that advertisers often look at )

    [DPF: readership]

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  4. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    These terrible readership numbers can hardly be a surprise to the MSM – because they are largely self inflicted.

    Not that many years ago, our household enjoyed the fact we could receive newspapers delivered 7 days a week and could read them at our leisure. And that was also at a time when online content was freely available. But papers today lack news / newsworthy content because they are largely full of jaundiced opinion pieces from a stream of left wing hacks who have abandoned journalism in favour of cutting and pasting left leaning media releases.

    Once upon a time, newspapers were respected. And the term ‘investigative reporting’ was not the oxymoron it is today. So these latest numbers simply confirm the fact that people are turning off in droves.

    No surprises. None at all.

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  5. flipper (4,067 comments) says:

    OK, DPF…

    We all understand about ABC stats. The only thing they do not tell is actual readership.
    For myself, this year to date, I have bought 2 copies of the Herald, three of the Dom Post, 2 of the Sunday Herald, 1 of the SST and none of the other rubbish Fairfax blurb.
    I prefer electronic sources, and there plenty. But it is never wise to rely upon one. KB is a better source than most newspaper I’net outlets. The other blogs have a news items once in a moon phase, or not at all.

    But what really would interest me is some accurate, and I mean accurate, data on TV viewership. After questioning many, including many with an intense interest in politics, the number watching Q+A, the Nation and Backbenchers is very, very small. Sort of like a busman’s holiday :)

    Since we taxpayers fund at least two of those programmes, would it not be too much to insist that they provide real balance in their coverage and their selected participants? Ralston, James, Johansson, Williams, Miller, Mutch, Dann, Smalley and Edwards are all from the same stable. But folk like Oliver Hartwich, Luke Malpass, D Farrar, C Slater, L Smith, Phil O’Reilly and the like are rarely seen.

    Time for a change!

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  6. Changeiscoming (189 comments) says:

    The further Left they go the more readers they will lose.

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  7. OneTrack (3,107 comments) says:

    They are running out of progressive readers to spout their sermons to.

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  8. Reid (16,471 comments) says:

    It’s amazing it hasn’t occurred to the slack-jawed morons that their decline coincides with their transformation from being reporters to repeaters and spinners.

    Instead the idiots look to the web as the sole source of their woes, never thinking that maybe if they returned to their Fourth Estate roots and allowed the public to make up their own minds and reporting stories of significance rather than celeb pap they might finally start recovering some lost ground.

    But no, the leemings continue their race to oblivion, competing with each other to see who can produce the most vapid, the most biased and the most insightless articles in edition after edition, year after year. Never has such stupidity been displayed right across an entire industry with not one of them showing any sign of recognition of the correct answer which has always been visible to everyone else in the entire world in flaming letters a million feet high replete with acrobats, flashing neon, trumpets, fireworks and dancing elephants galore.

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  9. Andronicus (219 comments) says:

    The belief, held by conservatives in both Australia and NZ, that the mainstream media is leftwing is laughable.
    From the day in the 1930s when Granny Herald sternly warned its readers that a vote for Labour would be the last free vote they would ever cast (and for decades before that) both nations have had a staunchly rightwing Press.

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  10. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,903 comments) says:

    Andronicus, reporting from Baghdad on the great victory of Saddam over the evil Amerikans.

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  11. wikiriwhis business (4,016 comments) says:

    Alternative media plays a game of two halves and is the winner at the end of the day

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  12. Paulus (2,627 comments) says:

    Within 5 years all the Sunday papers will not exist – like Australia they will be merged into one or two Weekend Editions.
    For the first time the Wellington Weekend edition appears to be very good from the few copies that I have read.
    With the almost certain collapse of the SST shortly the Fairfax Weekend edition is already moving in that direction, providing they do not re employ such as Rod Oram who appears, I have read, to have returned to New Zealand, having not been able to find another job overseas.

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  13. OneTrack (3,107 comments) says:

    Andronicus – You must be joking. For a start, it isnt the 1930s anymore. The MSM, especially the Herald, have moved on to an agenda of progressivism and puerile voyeurism.

    Their writers are in the main very left-wing and anti-National. The problem you are probably reflecting is that, in both Austrlia and New Zealand, the Labour parties have gone completely off the rails – populated by incompetents who dont know what they really represent so we see a continual barrage of cock-ups, that even their friends in the msm couldnt hide. They still do their best though – note the “outrage” over Phil Goffs comments has been quietly forgotten.

    So to protect their “cause”, the msm now quickly goes to the Greens for comments on all and sundry. And whenever the Greens are being interviewed, it is an interviewee friendly zone – all mates.

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  14. AM1 (17 comments) says:

    Andronicus, what you say is nonsense. By and large the Australasian media is left-wing. There have been studies done on it – check the link below here on Kiwiblog, for example:

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2013/05/australian_journalists_four_times_more_likely_to_be_left-wing.html

    As for the Sunday Star-Times… I used to read it but their political bias got too much for me and I decided I wouldn’t support them anymore. Rod Oram was part of the problem. The ridiculous Horizon polls were another.

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  15. Jack5 (5,137 comments) says:

    The print media is dying of obsolescence.

    Democracy existed well before Gutenberg’s movable type began it all, and will continue after newspapers survive only as a craft and hobby product.

    As the internet moves further out of its geek phase we’ll get some exciting forms of new communication, and the written word will still thrive in its electronic form.

    What are we going to do with all our Pinus radiata plantations? Rat-shit wood, best used for newsprint.

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  16. Reid (16,471 comments) says:

    This is a useful article pointing out what should be done but isn’t and why doing the right thing isn’t complicated. It applies here just as much to the WaPo, but don’t expect the idiots to listen, after all, they’re the advanced thinkers, what do the readers know, we’re just a bunch of sheep, according to the idiots.

    http://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2013/08/09/why-the-washington-post-sold-itself-to-amazon-man/

    It’s notable isn’t it that not one journalist has yet come onto this thread and defended their industry, despite us all knowing they monitor this blog like a lot of others. Perhaps they’re not allowed to. Perhaps their editors are too busy plunging the entire idiot industry into the ground to pay attention to any thoughts that might contradict their accepted wisdom that they provide the readers with what the readers tell them they want: celeb pap and more and more sport. One wonders has it ever occurred you normally get the answers you expect from the questions you ask? One wonders if its ever occurred to the idiots to ask: “Do you think the media and this paper in particular, is biased?” “Do you think the media and this paper in particular, produces too much celebrity pap and not enough hard news?” I bet if they ever asked those two questions, the idiots would reel back in shock and horror. That’s why they’re idiots.

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  17. WineOh (630 comments) says:

    The entire print media industry is in a death spiral, and hard to see it recovering any time soon. The cause is less to do with content than it is to do with the ease and immediacy of internet news. At best the print version of a newspaper is 12 hours old by the time it gets into the hands of the reader, rather than instantaneous access from the convenience of a phone or computer. The newspapers could have delayed this spiral by not rushing into providing free news access websites, but now that the paywall is the exception rather than the norm.

    Its a spiral now because with the free alternatives, readers need to have a value-add reason to pick up a newspaper. If the content isn’t great, then the readership drops, which reduces advertising revenue, which reduces headcount and quality of journalism, which reduces the quality of the content, which reduces readership etc. The only other industry in terminal decline like this is video rental, overcome by free/cheap internet downloads.

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  18. WineOh (630 comments) says:

    Reid, I felt that Rappoport article was relatively poor, it picks on an attempt at an inflammatory article, spins a few mistruths, and demonises the entire journalism profession. Thats not giving the public what it wants, and fails the entire purpose of its article. The public wants to be informed, and entertained. The skew towards entertainment is what has created the mire of manufactured news, and allows the genuine news to slanted by the special interest groups.

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  19. Reid (16,471 comments) says:

    The cause is less to do with content than it is to do with the ease and immediacy of internet news.

    The cause is content, specifically the lack of indepth insights using professional journalists who are already on staff. The thing the web isn’t good at is providing depth. It’s great at newsflashes, lousy at real depth compared to reading paper. You combine depth with insight, real insight that treats every reader as if their IQ is three digits and isn’t interested in celeb pap and sport, and you will have readers. Of course if any idiots aka media editors read this, they would immediately think “high-brow” and not do it. That’s their mistake. It’s not high-brow I’m talking about, it’s getting back to the standards of the 50’s and the 60’s and the standards practised back then, as exemplified in that above link about the WaPo. That’s all they have to do, and they refuse to.

    Reid, I felt that Rappoport article was relatively poor, it picks on an attempt at an inflammatory article, spins a few mistruths, and demonises the entire journalism profession.

    WineOh it was just an example, I agree it was boring and trite but they probably had a word limit, but interpolate the principles behind the technique and start doing them, I think was the point of the example.

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  20. Dennis Horne (2,403 comments) says:

    There may be not be an answer. Not everything has an answer.

    If a quality paper like The Economist (that I don’t buy anymore) is losing money I can’t see any hope. Maybe if the best columnists combined to produce a weekly there may be a niche in NZ, but don’t forget the profit from papers comes from advertising and Google has gobbled that up.

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  21. jcuk (687 comments) says:

    I gave up subscribing to my paper, mentioned in the figures above, years ago becuase I felt they were left wing … which is understandable as they serve a largely left wing population … though I enjoy reading the ‘letters to the editor’ when finding a paper at a restaurent I occasionaly have lunch at. I switched off TV* prior to the rugby world cup so I guess I rely on RNZ, heavan help me, and KB.
    *I have not updated my set so I cannot receive anymore which helps :-)

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  22. Liberty (267 comments) says:

    What else would you expect from a industry that is fixated on negativity and crawls up the arse of loses. Such as Labour and NZF.

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