More reading = more spending, says Nielsen's new CMI research

  • Marketing
  • July 12, 2011
  • Ben Fahy
More reading = more spending, says Nielsen's new CMI research

When Nielsen launched its pimped out Consumer & Media Insights (CMI) research tool back in April, publishers' mouths started watering at the prospect of being able to prove New Zealanders who read magazines and newspapers actually spent more, thereby showing print was a good place for brands to be seen. And while the first instalment of the new readership offering had a few teething problems, its new fused data approach has revealed there is "a strong connection between high household expenditure and print media readership".

The research comes from Nielsen’s CMI Household Expenditure Module, which uses the Statistics New Zealand Household Economic Survey (HES) and links them to readership data. While questions about household income and expenditure have long been included on readership surveys, fusing government data with readership and being able to break it down into specific spending categories is thought to be a world first (and something Gary Yeo, senior vice president of Scarborough Research and guest speaker at the launch event, believed was possible because of our small population).

“The ability to draw connections between household spending and media consumption provides agencies and advertisers with the capability to target and better understand New Zealand households,” states Kate Terry, director, media, Nielsen. “The figures revealed in this piece of analysis are a significant illustration of the spending power of New Zealand households with print readers.”

New Zealanders reading newspapers on a daily basis (43 percent of the population aged 10+) spend on average $1,223 per week, which is $97 more than the average household spend per week ($1,126) and significantly more than those households with no readership of daily newspapers ($1,009). Furthermore, households with people who read at least one edition of a daily newspaper each week account for $1.2 billion of overall spend.

For households with readers of home, garden and entertaining magazines, total household spending was over $775 million per week, whilst motoring magazine readers accounted for almost $700 million and households with women’s weeklies readers spent in excess of $625 million.

These new insights, which back up the MPA's recent trade campaign showing magazines add value to brands that add magazines to their media mix, show New Zealand households with newspaper and magazine readers are not only big spenders overall, they also tend to spend more than households which have little or no connection with print. Homes with people who are heavy newspaper readers tend to be amongst the top spenders in most categories, as do households with heavy magazine readers. Conversely, households with low print readership spend less than average across most categories.

Key findings:


  • Households with heavy magazine readers (six plus titles in their issue period) and/or heavy newspaper readers (6+ daily newspapers per week) spend more than average on restaurants and dining out.

  • Households with female readers of women’s lifestyle magazines are 45 percent more likely than the general population to be in the highest spend group for beauty products and perfumes.

  • Households with heavy daily newspaper readers are 30 percent more likely to be among the biggest spenders on vehicle accessories and parts.

  • 49 percent of households with readers of home, garden and entertaining magazines are among the top spenders on international air travel.

  • Households with print readers tend to spend more on wine. Those with heavy magazine, metropolitan and regional daily newspaper readership are all significantly over represented among top wine spenders.

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