A surge in digital readership has lifted the The Australian Financial Review‘s audience to above 2 million people for the first time, making it Australia’s fastest-growing national masthead.
In May, the Financial Review‘s monthly audience grew 5 per cent to 2.024 million, 15 per cent higher than a year before, according to Enhanced Media Metrics Australia figures released this week.
The annual growth was powered by a 31 per cent expansion in digital readership, more than offsetting a 1 per cent fall in the masthead’s print audience as readers gradually shift from newspapers to online.
The figures confirm the Financial Review as a standout among traditional news mastheads. The other national newspaper masthead, The Australian, suffered a 1 per cent fall in its overall audience in the year to May, according to the EMMA figures.
The Australian Financial Review Magazine recorded an 8.5 per cent increase in average issue readership to 178,000, its strongest result in more than three years.
The Financial Review‘s editor-in-chief, Michael Stutchbury, said the masthead’s expanding reach was powered by double-digit growth in premium digital subscriptions and reflected its strength as Australia’s “daily habit of successful people”.
“Quite a few trusted mastheads around the world are experiencing a pickup in subscriber growth as readers seek refuge from fake news and are engrossed by stories such as the Trump presidency,” Mr Stutchbury said.
“The same phenomenon has been felt by our newsroom as Australians’ interested in business and financial news have turned to the Financial Review for expert and reliable reporting on stories such as the banking royal commission.
“The royal commission itself is the sort of big issue that can only be fully covered by the journalistic scale and experience that our newsroom brings.”