Vividata releases first readership study

Nearly half of Canadians read a newspaper (print or digital) on a typical day

Canadian publishers, agencies and advertisers have received the first wave of data from Vividata, the new audience measurement organization combining the former Print Measurement Bureau (PMB) and Newspaper Audience Databank (NADbank).

The Vividata results are based on an online survey of 36,000 Canadians 12+, reflecting both print and digital metrics for 80 magazines and 78 newspapers, complemented by product and media usage data. The results will be released four times per year, addressing widespread industry calls for more timely and frequent data.

The Toronto-based organization, which is located in the former PMB headquarters, boasts it delivers “a whole new read on readers” via one of the country’s most comprehensive consumer surveys. The survey results reflect readership habits across platforms, as well as hundreds of product and service categories.

The first wave of data, reflecting readership information captured between January and June, found newspapers now reach approximately 56% of Canadian adults on a typical day, up from 50% five years ago. While the reach of printed copies has dropped to 41% from 46% in that time period, digital readers have almost tripled to 31%.

The study, which captures reading across multiple digital devices including laptop/PC, mobile phones and tablets/e-readers, found more than a quarter (26%) of Canadians now read a digital-only edition.

Magazines reach nearly three quarters of Canadians, unchanged from five years ago, with an increase in digital readers offsetting a decline in print. Approximately 42% of magazine readers are cross-platform readers, with 9% reading digital versions only. However, the report notes audience composition also varies “widely” by individual title.

The study also found mobile reading is significant, with 70% of digital readers saying they are using their mobile device to read magazines and newspapers.

The study also found 75% of teens are magazine readers (2% more than the Canadian average) while more than a third (38%) read a typical weekday edition. Two thirds of millennial adults read magazines, with just under half reading a newspaper on a typical day.

Their consumption habits are drastically different, however, with almost two thirds of people 12-34 reading a magazine online, and almost 75% of newspaper readers opting for a digital version.

Newspapers

The Globe & Mail is the most-read newspaper nationally, with 2.5 million weekday readers, 1.8 million of whom consume the publication digitally. Postmedia Network’s flagship daily the National Post has 1.5 million Monday to Friday readers, 1.2 million of who read a digital edition.

The Toronto Star maintained its strong print position in its home market, with print accounting for 1.1 million of its 1.6 million Monday to Friday readers, and digital accounting for 865,000.

The Star recently abandoned its paywall in favour of the free Star Touch digital product, which could boost digital numbers in coming weeks.

In Montreal, digital accounts for 65% of the city’s total weekday readership of 1.98 million, with La Presse attracting 1.03 million readers (858,000 of which consume the publication digitally).

Le Journal de Montréal had the highest print readership of the market’s six daily newspapers, 530,000.

Average weekday readership for Vancouver’s four daily newspapers was 1.05 million, led by the Vancouver Sun with a combined daily audience of 507,000 (358,000 print and 230,000 digital).

Magazines

Canadian magazines boast combined print and digital readership of 22.6 million, of which 11.3 million looked into or accessed a digital issue, magazine website or other digital content (apps, other websites, social media websites or e-newsletters).

Reader’s Digest boasts 4.8 million readers, 4.5 of which consume the publication through its print edition. Cineplex Magazine boasts 4.6 million readers including an industry-leading 2.1 million digital readers. Canadian Living boasts 4.2 million readers including 1.6 million who consume the title digitally.

A total of eight titles surpassed 1 million digital readers including People (1.9 million), The Hockey News (1.36 million), Canadian Geographic (1.34 million), Sportsnet Magazine (1.3 million), Ricardo Magazine (1.1 million) and Chatelaine (1.04 million).

Ricardo Magazine is the most read French title, with a combined print and digital readership of 1.6 million, ahead of Coup de pouce (1.4 million), L’actualité (916,000), Touring (English and French, 871,000) and Bel Age (840,00).

Vividata has enlisted Ryan Edwards Communications and branding agency Trajectory to create a new website and an awareness campaign that underscores the “vital quality” of the insights behind the new measurement information.

The organization’s logo, which features the phrase “Reading Consumers,” features imagery that resembles a laptop and a print publication coming together, positioning the company at the intersection of the two platforms.

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