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Kiwis continue to turn to NZ Herald as readership growth hits new records - NZME

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

New Zealanders are seeking the New Zealand Herald’s journalism in growing numbers, with the latest COVID-19 crisis expected to boost readership numbers even more.

Latest Nielsen audience numbers show that, for the second survey in a row, more than 2.2 million Kiwis are reading the NZ Herald each week across print and digital. And the NZ Herald’s daily readership of 1,346,000 is up nearly 300,000 readers compared with the same period last year.

"We know 2020 was an extraordinary year that stimulated New Zealanders’ passion for accurate, trustworthy and timely news in which they can have confidence. Many new readers came to the New Zealand Herald for their Covid-19 news, and they’ve stayed with us," New Zealand Herald editor Murray Kirkness said.

Nielsen’s data shows the New Zealand Herald average daily print readership is at 608,000 - up 62,000 readers (11%) on the same time last year.

Earlier this month NZME reported growth in net newspaper subscription acquisitions. NZME attributed this growth to the value New Zealanders continue to place in a tactile, quality news experience during major events.

"The newspaper subscription growth and the phenomenal number of new Kiwis accessing our COVID journalism via our online and app platforms - as well as us maintaining a deeply engaged and loyal audience - reflect our ongoing strategy to be ‘New Zealand’s Herald’," said NZME managing editor Shayne Currie.

nzherald.co.nz has also recently celebrated a full year as New Zealand’s number one digital news website with a unique audience of 1.865 million in July 2021 - up 6.4% on June. -

During the latest COVID-19 Delta outbreak, nzherald.co.nz has achieved more impressive audience peaks with daily website sessions reaching 3.7 million and total page views reaching 11 million on some days.

The number of New Zealanders accessing in-depth and exclusive coverage, insights and commentary through their NZ Herald Premium subscription also continues to grow - more than 120,000 Kiwis are now subscribing to Premium content.

"Our strategy to be New Zealand’s Herald is based on the understanding that New Zealanders’ relationship with the issues they care about goes so much deeper than a front page or a headline," said NZME Head of Premium and Magazines Miriyana Alexander.

"Our readers are following stories through from breaking news to in-depth investigations and analysis to get a deeper understanding of the ‘why’," said Alexander.

NZME’s audience growth is also reflected in lifestyle and entertainment categories - each week nearly 800,000 Kiwis engage with the Herald's magazines Travel, TimeOut, Canvas, Viva, Be Well, Spy and Driven.

"Our combined Travel Tuesday and Sunday Travel magazines reach nearly half a million Kiwis each week - and that’s despite the restrictions COVID-19 has posed. It shows how important and aspirational travel is to New Zealanders who are prepared to dream and plan their next trip, big or small, whenever COVID allows," said Alexander.

NZME’s family of regional newspapers The Northern Advocate, Bay of Plenty Times, The Rotorua Daily Post, Whanganui Chronicle and Hawke’s Bay Today continue to command significant audiences in their regions with the Bay of Plenty Times recording substantial year-on-year audience growth.

"While the New Zealand Herald audiences are impressive in their own right, our regional newspapers are also vital from a community and a confidence perspective," said NZME CEO Michael Boggs.

The New Zealand Police Commissioner this week warned New Zealanders about the proliferation of untruthful and harmful content circulating on social media sites, masquerading as 'facts' in the wake of the New Lynn terrorist attack.

The commissioner implored Kiwis to be exercise caution as that much of what was circulating on social media was either false or inaccurate.

"NZME is justifiably proud of the professionalism in our newsrooms, with trained journalists and editors armed with an unwavering commitment to the truth and whose work goes through an important and careful editing and verification process," said Boggs.

"The best weapon against the fake news and hate disguised as fact on some social media channels is for more Kiwis to get their news from teams of local journalists like ours. We are accountable to our readers and listeners, and to our own high standards," said Boggs.

SOURCE: Nielsen CMI Q3 20 - Q2 21 AP15+ -Nielsen Online Ratings July 2021 Nielsen Digital Content Ratings August 2021

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