According to a new piece of research from Enhanced Media Metrics Australia (EMMA), 58% of news readers prefer to receive their news stories in a digital form, The Newspaper Works reports. This figure rises even further for those aged 25 to 54, reaching 66%.
This latter figure was repeated for those aged 18 to 24 years old, but drops back to 52% of those aged 55 to 69. It was found that around 2.9 million Australians consume their news content on either a smartphone or a tablet. The number of Australians who either read the news in a digital or print form has also risen by 7% in the last year.
CEO of The Newspaper Works, Mark Hollands, noted that “the digital trend is not new, but it is becoming more pronounced.” However, with the trend for increased digital usage, it may be expected that figures for print readership would decrease – but this is not the case: “Australians are indulging in their passion to keep up-to-date and newspapers remain a critical part of that contribution”, Hollands said.
In fact, overall readership for the digital articles offered by newspapers was up 17%. Increased engagement with social media and news apps could be behind the rise in digital, the article notes.
Although the print trend for Australia’s top 13 national and metropolitan newspaper saw a decrease of 2%, overall readership still remains high – 72% of Australians have read a printed newspaper in the last month, figures show.
In response to the growing relevance of digital news, Hollands concluded that: “the appetite for quality news journalism is only increasing. The major newspaper publishers are continuing to grow their audiences.”