Newspapers holding steady in major markets: NADbank

The latest survey indicates daily newspaper readership holding steady, with growth in online.

There may be a whole new digital world out there to tempt busy news readers, but daily print newspaper readership is holding steady, a new survey by the Newspaper Audience Databank (NADbank) reports.

The 2008/09 edition of the biannual survey, covering fall 2008 to spring 2009, reports a 10% increase in weekly online readership in six major Canadian markets. Cities that saw an increase in the number of adults who read an online newspaper at least once a week include Ottawa-Gatineau (28%), Toronto (25%) and Calgary (22%).

Overall, NADbank reports, readership of daily print newspapers by Canadian adults is holding steady to last year’s report, with 77% of Canadian adults reporting they’ve read a daily newspaper in the past week.

The strongest readership reported is in Ottawa-Gatineau, where 80% of adults reported that they read a daily newspaper in print or online at least once a week. The percentage is down slightly from last year, when 82% made the same claim. In other major markets, the number of adults reporting their weekly readership was quite similar: Toronto (75%), Montreal (77%), Vancouver (78%), Calgary (79%) and Edmonton (79%).

Leading in weekly readership, the Toronto Star takes the top spot with 50%, followed by Le Journal de Montreal at 40%, the Ottawa Citizen at 49%, the Calgary Herald at 57%, the Edmonton Journal with 59% and The Province and the Vancouver Sun with 48% and 47% respectively in that market. Nationally, the Globe and Mail‘s highest market share is in Toronto with 25%, although Vancouver saw a 35% jump in readership for the paper. The National Post also has its highest market share in Toronto, with 13% of that market.

The survey supports the findings of a new study released by the Audit Bureau of Circulation this week, indicating that despite the rise of digital media, publishers believe that their print publications will remain viable enough to still be available five years from now.