Friday 15 February 2013: The number of downloads of the SMH and The Age tablet apps have passed 1 million, according to data released by Fairfax Media today in its quarterly FMMAR report.

The masthead tablet apps have also passed the 150,000 mark of daily unique browsers.

It shows Fairfax's strategy to grow its already large and valuable audiences across all publishing platforms is working, according to Jack Matthews, CEO of Fairfax's metro media division.

"At every stage we've invested early in digital expansion of our news brands," said Matthews. "This has put us in a great position with the leading tablet news apps, mobile sites and websites."

"The latest numbers support our decision to step up our digital growth as we follow our readers across their day and across all their devices.

"These tablet apps have been extraordinarily popular with readers and advertisers," he said.

Rick Gleave, the mobile director at Fairfax metro, said: "We couldn't be more excited that our audience is growing so fast and is really engaged. It's way beyond our most ambitious expectations. As we see the faster-than-expected take up of tablets - thanks in part to the market entry of various 7-inch devices - we are experiencing an uplift in traffic and reading time."

"An important and significant sign of our tablet app success is how many of these downloads translate into loyal daily users. We've just reached 15 per cent daily which I think any digital publisher around the world would kill for.

"Our continuous investment in new content and first-class functionality will help entrench us further as mobile market leader."

The 1 million milestone was reached 19 months after the editions were launched, initially on the iPad. The editions are now also available on Android tablets.

The number of daily unique browsers on the tablet jumped more than 200 per cent in the December quarter over the corresponding period to 80,000 a day for the SMH tablet app and 73,000 for The Age. The total number of monthly page views on these apps jumped more than 120 per cent over the same period a year ago to more than 140 million per month.

In other FMMAR December quarter highlights:

Total masthead readership of the SMH again topped all news brands in Australia, according to separate figures released today by Roy Morgan. The SMH recorded net readership of the website and print at 3.2 million, representing a 40 per cent increase in audience over the past decade. The Age's unduplicated total masthead readership of print and website came in at 2.4 million. This represents a 66 per cent increase in The Age's audience over the past 10 years.
The number of daily unique browsers of our Age and SMH mobile sites rose 6 per cent in one quarter to 340,000
Growth in digital editions is offsetting the fall in print consumption. The total masthead sales on The Age grew 1.6 per cent on Saturday compared to the September quarter and grew 0.4 per cent on weekdays, according to official figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Total masthead sales for the SMH on Saturday grew 3.5 per cent and fell just under 1 per cent on weekdays. ("Total masthead sales" of these mastheads only includes print and digital editions at this stage. The SMH and Age will launch digital subscriptions across all their masthead products later in 2013).

Note about FMMAR quarterly reports. These reports include quarterly averages taken from the October-to-December monthly totals.

Download the report here.

Miranda Schuppan
Communications Director – Fairfax Metro Media
T: +61 3 8667 2661
M: 0409 256 764

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