The NZ Herald's readership is soaring across print and digital - with year-on-year increases, and weekly brand audience now at 1.66 million people.

Many of NZME's magazines and regional newspapers are also enjoying year-on-year growth.

The latest round of readership figures from research firm Nielsen shows the daily NZ Herald newspaper is now at 453,000 - up 23,000 (5.1 per cent) in 12 months. The combined, daily print-digital brand audience is now at 1.04 million, a 6 per cent increase on a year ago. The weekly brand audience has risen 7 per cent to 1.66 million people.

The Weekend Herald sits at 505,000 readers - and a massive 49-minute reading time for each reader - and the Herald on Sunday remains the best-read and best-selling paper with 336,000 readers.

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NZME managing editor Shayne Currie said relentless, comprehensive and engaging journalism and content continued to drive strong audience numbers for the company's newspapers and magazines - a positive sign ahead of NZME's plans to launch digital subscriptions for nzherald.co.nz.

"We've also seen huge growth in the time people are spending on the Herald site over the past three months - our journalism is hitting the mark."

Readership of NZME's three biggest regional newspapers - Hawke's Bay Today, Bay of Plenty Times and Northern Advocate - has also increased over the past 12 months, proving the importance to regional communities of relevant and engaging local content.

In the NZME magazine stable, The Business, Tuesday Travel, and Bite all enjoyed big readership increases in the past 12 months and all four weekend magazines - Canvas, Weekend, Spy and Travel - had also increased.

Of the other metropolitan newspapers, Stuff's Dominion Post and Waikato Times newspapers fell 7.8 per cent and 8.9 per cent respectively, while The Press was up 3.2 per cent. The Otago Daily Times was down 8.6 per cent.

NZME chief commercial officer Matt Headland says the engagement across the Herald and magazines gives advertisers the luxury of being able to speak directly to their audience.

"The growth we have seen in print compared to this time last year gives advertisers the confidence that their message will reach the biggest news audience," he said.

"The different publications under the NZME umbrella allow us to create integrated and engaging multi-platform campaigns, and when combined with NZME's radio and digital offering, it means we can deliver scale and engagement beyond our competitors in a uniquely cohesive, strategic and successful way."