Fairfax Media's Audience Continues to Grow

Published: Thu 15 Feb 2007 01:32 PM
Fairfax Media's Audience Continues to Grow
Fairfax Media’s newspapers and magazines are read by 2,721,000 or 84.6%1 of New Zealanders aged 15yrs+ according to the latest Nielsen readership results for 2006 - an increase of 43,000 over the same period last year.
Fairfax Media Chief Executive, Joan Withers, says the latest readership survey sends a very clear signal that print media continues to be a very relevant and reliable source of information and entertainment for most New Zealanders. “Fairfax Media is proud to have a stable of newspapers and magazines that are clearly meeting New Zealanders’ needs for knowledge, reflection and entertainment.”
“And when it comes to editorial content on the digital platform, Fairfax Media holds an equally strong position. Over the past three months (Nov 06 – Jan 07) on average Fairfax Media's news and information website,, attracted 1.48 million unique browsers and recorded an impressive audience growth of 83% year on year in January 07.”
“Fairfax holds a unique and unrivalled position in the New Zealand media market. To be reaching such a large percentage of the overall population is a privilege and responsibility that all our media properties take seriously. Our size and scale lend the organisation a significant advantage in the way that we can gather national news and information at a central point and quickly and efficiently disseminate it throughout our network, enabling significant investment in local news reporting at a community level,” says Joan Withers.
Readership Results Highlights:
Fairfax Media Metropolitan Dailies
- Fairfax Media's metropolitan newspapers continued their consistent performance over recent years with stable readership results. The Waikato Times readership result mirrors the strength of its previous circulation report with a daily readership of 94,000, consistent with a year ago and up 3,000 on the mid year report. Reach within Hamilton (46.8%) has significantly increased up 6,000 or 11.8% year on year. In contrast the Herald's penetration into Hamilton has fallen to a five year low of 14.6%. Combining Waikato Times with our market leading community paper the Hamilton Press delivers a combined readership of 77.3%*.
- Wellington’s The Dominion Post recorded a daily readership of 253,000 on a par with last year, and a weekly readership of 439,000, up 10,000 year on year. Half of all Wellingtonians (49.4%) read The Dominion Post on a typical day and more than three quarters (77.1%) read it each week. The Dominion Post’s readership profile continues to show its strength against affluent New Zealanders, with six out of ten readers falling into the top three socio economic groups, the highest daily newspaper skew. The seven central community newspaper group reaches 269,000 people aged 15yrs+.
- The Press, the country's largest South Island newspaper, has an average issue readership of 223,000, marginally down on last year, weekly readership remained at 375,000. On a typical day The Press is read by 53.2% of those living in Christchurch, the second highest penetration of any metropolitan paper. The local community paper, The Christchurch Mail, reported its third consecutive increase of readers, up 10,000 year on year. Combined, The Press and The Christchurch Mail on a Wednesday reach 76.3% of those living in Christchurch aged 15yrs+.
The Independent Financial Review
- The first full year readership result for The Independent Financial Review since 2000 has been extremely pleasing at 36,000 average issue readers. This is 13,000 above the last time the publication released a full readership result back in 2000. This latest result is also an increase of 6,000 readers or 20% compared to the six month to June 2006 report. In contrast the rival business publication fell by 5,000 readers or -5.2% year on year. The Independent Financial Review reader is 158% more likely to have a household income of $100,000+ than the general population 15yrs+.
Fairfax Media Auckland Suburban Newspapers
- Fairfax Media's Auckland Suburban Newspaper group achieved a 45,000 increase in the number of average issue readers (632,000) with nearly two thirds (65.2%) of all Aucklanders aged 15yrs+ reading a Fairfax Suburban newspaper on a typical day, significantly ahead of both The Herald and The Aucklander group of titles. In total 752,000 people aged 15yrs+ read a Fairfax Suburban newspaper each week, with the addition of the Rodney Times, this reach jumps further to an impressive 789,000 readers 15yrs+, cementing the growing importance community papers have, which is also a worldwide trend.
Fairfax Media Regional Dailies
- Fairfax Media's family of six regional newspapers, Taranaki Daily News, Manawatu Standard, The Nelson Mail, The Marlborough Express, The Timaru Herald and The Southland Times, combine to a daily reach of 260,000 readers nationally or 55.4% of those living within their circulation area. Weekly readership for the group increased by 12,000 to 374,000. Readership wins compared to a year ago were recorded by all four South Island regional papers.
Fairfax Media Sunday Newspapers
- Fairfax Media Sunday Newspapers, Sunday Star-Times and Sunday News, retain their positions as the two leading Sunday newspapers. Sunday Star-Times recorded a readership of 599,000 compared to the previous release of 603,000 aged 10yrs+. Readership increases were recorded in the Northern market (+6.7%) release, making Sunday Star Times the number one Sunday Newspaper in the Northern market. Readership also increased by 6.7% in the Auckland market. Sunday News is read by 392,000 New Zealanders each week compared to 416,000 aged 10yrs+ in the previous release, that's 52,000 more readers than its tabloid competitor. Of those New Zealanders who read a Sunday newspaper, 83.1% read a Fairfax Sunday.
Fairfax Media Magazines
The Fairfax Media Magazine stable experienced extremely strong readership results across the board. Stand out performances were seen in the lifestyle category in particular where Fairfax Media’s leading titles further reinforced their dominant position within a highly competitive market that has faced a number of new entrants in recent times. Highlight results include:
- NZ House & Garden has increased its readership by 25,000 readers to 664,000, a lift of 3.9% compared to the previous release. This now puts NZ House & Garden at 413,000 more readers than its nearest home and lifestyle competitor.
- Cuisine continues its undisputed market leadership with a readership result of 377,000 readers, up 13,000 (3.6%) from the previous release. Cuisine has a readership more than three times the size of newer entrants to the food category. Similarly NZ Gardener increased 2.4% year on year to 216,000 readers.
- The TV Guide at 794,000 readers is also up compared to the mid year result and it remains the biggest selling magazine in New Zealand supermarkets^.
- NZ Autocar is on par with its previous readership reports at 163,000 readers and has held readership against competition. FHM saw an increase from the mid year report and maintains a considerable lead with 76,000 more readers to its nearest competitor.

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