Digital sales of Australia's three big broadsheets have grown by double digit percentages, in a further sign of the shift away from printed newspapers.
The Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) said in its latest report that Monday-to-Saturday sales of national, metropolitan and regional newspapers fell 6.9 per cent in the three months to December 3, compared with the prior corresponding period.
The December quarter result was a little worse than the 5.9 per cent decline in the three months to September 30.
However, figures from Australia's two major publishers - Fairfax Media and News Ltd - showed average daily sales of Monday to Friday digital editions of The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age rose by 13.4 per cent, compared with the previous quarter.
Moreover, sales of Saturday digital editions for the three mastheads were up 19 per cent.
It was the second consecutive quarter the two publishers have reported digital sales.
The Newspaper Works chief executive Tony Hale said the data showed consumers were willing to pay for quality journalism across publishing platforms.
"The growth of digital subscriptions is now starting to offset the decline in print circulations, as illustrated by the one per cent increase in total sales of the mastheads which are reporting their digital figures," he said in a statement.
"Given that the newspaper industry has only just begun reporting digital sales, these latest ABC numbers are very encouraging."
The Newspaper Works, a non-profit body set up to promote the industry, said reporting of print and digital sales would be compulsory for all publishers from the July to September audit period in 2013.
In a separate statement, Fairfax said there have been more than one million downloads of its SMH and Age tablet apps since they were launched 19 months ago.
The two apps had more 150,000 daily unique browsers, Fairfax said.