Australian Country & Australian Country Homes magazines experience a 20% sales increase during the COVID period
Australian Country magazine and its sister title Australian Country Homes have both experienced a 20% increase in readership since February 2020 – during the COVID-19 period. Does this mean Australians are working from home in the country, moving to the country, itching to get back to country travel after the bushfires, or is it just the appeal of country values?
The drivers of a new focus on country living
- Working from home in the country
At the start of the COVID downturn, sales in high street newsagencies picked up, especially in regional areas. Retailers noticed the change and concluded that many people had chosen to bunker down in weekenders for a better work-from-home experience.
- Moving to the country
After the GFC we saw a number of Australians move to outer-urban and regional locations. Inflated inner-city mortgages just don’t make sense in a recession, and property commentators are already predicting this phenomenon for the post-COVID period. Australian Country Homes magazine has done particularly well in 2020 and is fundamentally designed to help people create the country living experience they desire.
- Return to country travel
Travel stories make up 37 of the top 50 articles on australiancountry.net.au at present. It is clear Australians love to travel and while in lockdown they are dreaming of when they can do so again. The readers of Australian Country magazine have long preferred Australian destinations, but now this core audience of ‘most likely travellers’ is itching to get out again. This audience is also buoyed by newcomers who may have popped over to Thailand for a short winter break.
- Country values
Of course, when times are difficult, country values come to the fore. Stories from the heartland are in demand – all readers are interested in reading about the businesses and the people that are adapting and making things happen right now.
2020 will be a good year for the Australian Country Media Network
2019 saw the publisher invest in a design and paper stock upgrade for both Australian Country and Australian Country Homes magazines, with a pivot to ‘stories from the heartland’. “No doubt these improvements have contributed to our 2020 successes,” said Publisher Janice Williams, “but double-digit increases are hard to come by and especially pleasing in this very unusual economy. Whatever the drivers are, there is room for optimism about expenditure in the regions both now in the COVID period and as we emerge later in 2020.”
A number of links to articles on trends in work-from-home in the regions, regional property and regional travel have been uploaded to the Lifestyle Marketing section of the Universal Media Co website.
About Universal Media Co
Australian Country is published by Universal Media Co, Australia’s largest niche publisher specialising in helping marketers find targeted audiences via print and online media. UMCo’s 53 magazine brands include leaders in home, craft, bike and some lifestyle categories, plus 12 niche web portals. The company owns the Australian Publishing Company and Universal Online Media. Universal Media Co is an independently owned private company.
For further information, please call Publisher Janice Williams on 02 9887 0316