Newspapers and Magazines: The News Is Good

Brandon Grosvenor wrote this on May 04, 2017 | 0 comments

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Reliable Print News and Information Are Reaching More Canadians Than Ever, But The Traditional Paper-Based Model is Changing.

The typewriter may be gone, but newspapers and magazines are live and well. Canadians have access to more legitimate news and information than ever before, thanks in large part to the digital revolution. With so much fake news out there, access to reputable journalism is highly valued, as evidenced by the unprecedented levels of news readership in this country.1

Newspaper Audience Databank Inc. (NADbank), now a part of Vividata, released a survey in 2015 that found newspapers and magazines reach 90% of Canadians on a weekly basis.2 Readership of physical newspapers had declined about two per cent in the previous five years, but digital readership had jumped 40 per cent, according to the survey. “The overall readership levels are relatively stable,” said Sara Hill, Vividata’s President and CEO.3

The data also suggest that a large number of younger Canadians, aged 18 to 34, are reading as well. More than half read a daily newspaper during the week, in print or online, and 60 per cent read a magazine. 38 per cent of this newspaper demographic and 16 per cent of those reading magazines use only a digital device, avoiding print entirely.4

Breaking it Down Further

In 2015, circulation (paid and free) of daily Canadian newspapers averaged 5.1 million copies a day and 30.4 million copies over the course of a week. Of the 103 daily newspapers published that year, 90 were paid and 13 were free.

In 2016, 1,060 community newspapers and 1,160 editions were published in Canada. That amounted to almost 20 million copies each week. The majority of circulation is free (controlled), accounting for more than 18 million copies weekly. Community newspapers publish in broadsheet and tabloid formats, but 88% of all editions are tabloids.5

“The stats tell a story showing the continuing relevance of our publications to audiences across the country,” said Phillip Crawley, The Globe and Mail’s publisher and CEO and a Vividata board member.6

Changing the Model

While the public’s appetite for printed news is more robust than ever, news publishers grapple with the need to make infrastructural changes in the face of new and aggressive online competition. Publishers must explore and develop digital revenue categories. It’s often necessary to switch to simpler, systematic pricing and sales practices. Some publishers would benefit from converting to a smaller format, which many of today’s readers prefer. Others should be putting out fewer dailies, and consider supplementing them with controlled distribution publications to specific audiences or the most desirable neighborhoods.7

It’s not easy to pull away from the legacy paper-based tradition. But these changes must be made in order to operate a cost effect business, while providing advertisers and readers with high-quality services and products at reasonable costs.8 The publishers who get this will succeed in the long term.

Talk to us

At Brand Grow Media, we use in-depth market research to help you determine if news print advertising belongs in your media mix. If it does, we’ll create a marketing strategy with the right balance of measurable tactics, traditional and/or digital, to connect you with your targeted audiences and deliver the ROI you’re looking for.


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