|Trust in news||39%
(8th out of 12)
|Interest in news||65%
(9th out of 12)
With near-universal internet access and high smartphone penetration, Australians are early adopters of new technology and avid digital news consumers. Australia’s broadcast environment includes two public broadcasters, three commercial terrestrial TV networks, the Foxtel cable/satellite/IPTV network, and multiple commercial radio networks.
Despite the most concentrated print ownership of any Western democracy – coupled with a contracting traditional media industry – there is still excitement and potential in the sector: for example, the independently published weekly The Saturday Paper, launched in 2014, was accessed by 9% of survey respondents in the past week. Digital-only launches include free-access local versions of UK mastheads the Guardian (2013) and the Mail Online (2014) and of American sites Buzzfeed (2014) and the Huffington Post (2015).
TV, radio, print
Traditional (offline) reach
Top digital subscriptions
- The Age
- The Sydney Morning Herald
- The Australian
The easing in 2006 of cross-media ownership restrictions allowed for asset acquisition in two out of three of the television, newspaper, and radio sectors in a geographical area. Media ownership remains an ongoing issue, with the Communications Minister again raising the prospect of limited deregulation as recently as March 2015.
National broadcaster ABC achieves high penetration in urban, regional, and rural regions via multiple traditional and online platforms. Whilst the ABC continues to move into the digital space with some confidence, the organisation has been subject to recent editorial and financial pressure from Australia’s right-wing Federal Government.
The number paying – or willing to pay – for news remains low, which may affect the two major publishers in Australia’s largely duopolistic newspaper market.1
Fairfax Media operates a hard paywall for national business daily the Australian Financial Review and soft paywalls for metropolitan dailies the Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne’s The Age. Newsroom and back-office reductions may have reduced product quality and – as a result – sales. Fairfax reported 69% share of all metropolitan mastheads’ digital-only subscriptions and 19.5% share of print sales, amounting to 26.2% of the total metropolitan newspapers share.
Apple devices vs the rest (news usage)
Top social networks*
News Corp Australia operates a hard paywall for national daily The Australian, whose circulation drop is offset to some extent by a rise in print+digital subscriptions and digital-only sales. News Corp reported 31% share of all metropolitan mastheads’ digital-only subscriptions and 71.3% share of print sales, amounting to 65.8% of the total metropolitan newspapers share. News’s other mastheads – including the web-only News.com.au – remain free to access.
- Circulation figures in this section are from Australian Bureau of Circulation audit December quarter 2014. Digital news figures combine digital-only and print+digital subscriptions packages and excludes print-only subscriptions. ↩