Nielsen has released its latest National Readership Survey to reveal New Zealand's top 10 magazines according to readership. And while AA Directions remains well ahead of its competitors, New Zealand Geographic's digital drive has grown its print readership enough to see it make the list for the first time.
According to Nielsen’s latest National Readership survey from Q1 2016 – Q4 2016, AA Directions tops the list with 805,000 readers, which has grown from 765,000 readers in Q1 2015 – Q4 2015.
The publication's position at the top is well set when considering the readership of the second placeholder NZ Woman's Weekly, which achieved 581,000 readers in this survey. It's a drop from its 648,000 readers in Q1 2015 – Q4 2015.
Also seeing growth was New Zealand Geographic, which grew five percent from its 303,000 readers in Q1 2015 – Q4 2015 to achieve 318,000 this time around.
And while making the top 10 is an achievement to be proud of, publisher James Frankham's rationale behind the achievement is very logical.
“With most of the other titles in decline, and our pattern of slow growth or stability, we appear to have defaulted our way on to the scoreboard," he says.
“We’re sort of flat-lining our way to the top.”
However, he does acknowledge the show growth in readership comes off the back of winning Magazine of the Year at last year’s MPA Awards as well as eight years of the successful New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the Year event and a dedicated digital play over the past nine months that has seen traffic on its website multiply ten-fold.
“As strange as it seems, digital appears to be driving growth in print for us,” says Frankham.
“Our print subscriptions, magazine retail sales and print readership have all risen as we tip more investment into the digital space. We also have print subscribers picking up digital subscriptions at unexpected rates because the see the value in our on-demand television service, audio podcasting and experiments in VR. It’s all got us working harder than ever, but it’s really encouraging to see momentum building across all the channels we’re present in."
It’s a similar opinion to that of editor-in-chief of Your Home and Garden Shelley Ferguson who told StopPress earlier this year that digital platforms can have positive effects on printed media as they can attract those to the magazine who are not typically print readers.
In the latest survey, Your Home and Garden saw 255,000 readers, a drop from its previous 270,000 readers in Q1 2015 – Q4 2015.
The previous 10th rung holder, KiaOra also saw a drop in readership numbers from 334,000 in Q1 2015 – Q4 2015 to 316,000 in the latest survey.