‘Extraordinary’ NZ Herald/NZME newspaper readership growth

Media Release: 12pm 10 September 2020

‘Extraordinary’ NZ Herald/NZME newspaper readership growth: Kiwis flock to news they trust

Facing incredible uncertainty caused by Covid-19, New Zealanders hungry for news and information they can trust are turning to New Zealand Media and Entertainment’s (NZME) newspapers in record numbers.

Readership of the New Zealand Herald for the 12 months to June 30 has jumped 16 per cent year on year, to 546,000 daily readers. Across each week nearly one million Kiwis read the NZ Herald.

The New Zealand Herald’s weekly brand audience is at a record 1.758 million people.

Other highlights from the NZ Readership data released today by Nielsen include:

  • The Weekend Herald now has a staggering 633,000 readers - up 30 per cent compared to the previous period and 19.4 per cent year on year.
  • The Herald on Sunday is easily New Zealand’s best-read Sunday newspaper, with year-on-year growth of 11.7 per cent to 354,000 readers.
  • NZME grew its share of total New Zealand daily newspaper readership to nearly 60 per cent^.
  • All NZME daily regional newspapers – The Northern Advocate, the Bay of Plenty Times, the Rotorua Daily Post, Hawke’s Bay Today, and Whanganui Chronicle have enjoyed growth against the previous period.
  • NZME’s daily newspapers now reach 1.165 million Kiwis each week – up 169,000 readers since the previous release.
  • All NZME magazines have increased readership, with Travel, Canvas, TimeOut and Viva leading the charge – Tuesday Travel magazine is up 70,000 readers, year-on-year, to 417,000.

“Kiwis are living in uncertain, worrying times, and it’s our job to ensure we’re providing the reliable information, balanced analysis and factual answers they’re seeking. At a time when the Covid crisis has caused so much upheaval, audiences are turning to sources they trust - the NZ Herald, NZME’s regional newspapers, and our websites,” said NZME managing editor Shayne Currie.

“While our newspaper readership was growing prior to Covid-19, there is no doubt we’ve built loyalty with masses of new readers by delivering high quality journalism that they can trust. Especially during a time when the proliferation of fake news is creating yet more fear and uncertainty,” said Currie.

New Zealand Herald editor Murray Kirkness described the results as extraordinary. “It reflects the trust Kiwis are putting in The Herald to help them make sense of what continues to be a very challenging time.”

Stuart Dye NZME’s Editor Weekends, says the growth in new readers across both the Weekend Herald up nearly 20 per cent and Herald on Sunday up more than 11 per cent year on year is humbling. “New Zealanders need news at the weekend as much as any other day of the week, but they also have time to reflect and hopefully relax a little.  I’m delighted to see more and more Kiwis are including our news in their weekend life – and it’s testament to the hard work of everyone in the newsroom.”

Younger people are also engaging in newspapers in stronger numbers, according to Nielsen. The number of 18 to 29-year olds who read the NZ Herald each week jumped by more than 50,000 on the previous release, to nearly 200,000.

A growing number of readers continue to sign up for NZ Herald Premium subscriptions. The number of Kiwis accessing the digital news service grew to more than 82,000 in the 18 months to the end of August 2020.

“Covid-19 is an economic and political story as much as a health crisis story. The awareness amongst New Zealanders of the exclusive, in-depth and investigative journalism our team delivers along with the smart commentary and analysis available on Premium grows by the day, as does our number of subscribers,” said Head of Premium Miriyana Alexander.

NZME CEO Michael Boggs thanked New Zealanders for their ongoing support throughout the Covid-19 crisis.

“Kiwis have trusted us and have been reading our newspapers and magazines in huge numbers. They are engaging with us across our digital platforms, listening to our radio stations and accessing content via our new NZ Herald App in massive numbers too. Our advertisers have strived to stick with us, and we have stood by them.

“The number of New Zealanders who have turned to us during these turbulent times has reinforced with all of us at New Zealand Media and Entertainment the incredible responsibility that comes with our purpose of keeping Kiwis in the know.”


Source: Nielsen CMI Q3 19 – Q2 20 AP15+

^ Excludes community publications, includes duplication

For further information please contact: Cliff Joiner, GM Communications, +64 212709995 Cliff.joiner@nzme.co.nz