Digital gains can’t make up for print drops: Vividata

The Globe and Mail once again topped Vividata's rankings for overall reach, but most newspapers saw declines in print audience from last quarter.
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The latest quarterly report from research firm Vividata shows little change in its listing of the country’s top magazines and newspapers in terms of reach— but it did show declines for many publications between Q4 2016 and Q1 2017.

For national newspapers, The Globe and Mail once again topped the list for overall reach, with a footprint of 2.22 million readers per average weekday issue (1.1 million in print, 1.42 million in digital). Coming in second was The National Post, with an overall footprint of 1.51 million readers (793,000 on digital, 883,000 on print).

While The Globe and The National Post remained mostly steady from last quarter ( The Globe pulled in 2.23 million readers for average weekday issues and the Post had 1.52 million), many of the country’s publications saw losses in print that drove down their overall reach, despite modest to significant gains in digital.

Those trending downwards for the report included titles like the Toronto Star (which grew its digital readership to 897,000 from 889,000 but still dropped to 1.87 million in overall print and digital reach from 1.91 million) and Le Journal de Montréal (digital up to 568,000 from 559,000, but overall foot print at 1.26 million down from 1.36 million).

For newspapers, the biggest digital gain came from La Presse (which recently announced it will become a 100% digital publication at the end of 2017), which saw an increase of nearly 50,000 in its average weekday audience. However, for most publications, the gains could not offset a drop in average audiences on print.

Those surveyed for the latest Vividata report were asked if they looked at a print issue or digital content from a newspaper “yesterday.” For print magazines, they were asked if they read the last issue of a specific magazine (which could range from a daily magazine to a twice-yearly magazine), while they were asked if they accessed digital content for the respective magazines within the last 30 days.

Although print readership is largely down for publications, Vividata found that of the millennials that are reading newspapers and magazines, 89% still read print regularly, a number that has remained unchanged since last quarter.

Boomers are also receptive to digital — more than half (59%) of Canadians born 1946 to 1965 reported reading newspapers or magazines on digital devices. This total holds strong from 58% in Q4 2016.

Different generations aren’t just feeling the effects of the digital revolution; they’re also riding the mobile wave differently. Of digital readers, 83% of millennials read on smartphones, but that drops to under half (44%) of boomers.

The two generations are also distinguished from one another in terms of how they find their content. Most millennials (63%) opt to access digital newspapers through social media links, while it is still more common for boomers to go directly to the paper’s website (54% say they do this most often).

Here are the top publications in the country for overall readership footprint, according to Vividata.

Magazines (Canadians 12 and up)

English magazines: Print and digital reach, average issue

  1. Reader’s Digest: 4.48 million readers
  2. Cineplex Magazine: 4.32 million readers
  3. Live Better: 3.98 million readers
  4. Canadian Living: 3.9 million readers
  5. Canadian Geographic: 3.63 million readers

English magazines: Print reach, average issue

  1. Reader’s Digest: 4.08 million readers
  2. Cineplex Magazine: 3.62 million readers
  3. Live Better: 3.6 million readers
  4. Canadian Living: 3.41 million readers
  5. Canadian Geographic: 3.07 million readers

French magazines: Print and digital reach, average issue

  1. Ricardo Magazine: 1.77 million readers
  2. CAA Quebec Touring (French and English): 1.45 million readers
  3. Coup de Pouce: 1.41 million readers
  4. Vivre Mieux: 1.01 million readers
  5. Bel Age Magazine: 946,000 readers

French magazines: Print reach, average issue

  1. CAA Quebec Touring (French and English): 1.32 million readers
  2. Coup de Pouce: 1.26 million readers
  3. Ricardo Magazine: 1.25 million readers
  4. Bel Age Magazine: 899,000 readers
  5. Vivre Mieux: 859,000 readers

English magazines: Digital reach, monthly

  1. Sportsnet Magazine: 1.41 million readers
  2. Maclean’s: 1.35 million readers
  3. People: 1.19 million readers
  4. Cineplex Magazine: 1.04 million readers
  5. The Hockey News: 750,000 readers

French magazines: Digital reach, monthly

  1. Ricardo Magazine: 653,000 readers
  2. Les Affaires/Les Affaires Plus: 356,000 readers
  3. L’Actualité: 322,000 readers
  4. Coup de Pouce: 225,000 readers
  5. Le Magazine Cineplex: 168,000

Newspapers (Canadians 18 and up)

National newspapers: Print and digital reach, average weekday issue

  1. The Globe and Mail: 2.22 million readers
  2. National Post: 1.51 million readers

National newspapers: Print reach, average weekday issue

  1. The Globe and Mail: 1.1 million readers
  2. National Post: 793,000 readers

National newspapers: Digital reach, average weekday issue

  1. The Globe and Mail: 1.42 million readers
  2. National Post: 883,000 readers

Ontario newspapers: Print and digital reach, average weekday issue

  1. Toronto Star: 1.87 million readers
  2. The Toronto Sun: 843,000 readers

Ontario newspapers: Print reach, average weekday issue

  1. Toronto Star: 1.19 million readers
  2. The Toronto Sun: 619,000 readers

Ontario newspapers: Digital reach, average weekday issue

  1. Toronto Star: 897,000 readers
  2. The Toronto Sun: 344,000 readers

Quebec newspapers: Print and digital reach, average weekday issue

  1. Le Journal de Montréal: 1.26 million readers
  2. Le Journal de Québec: 714,000 readers
  3. Le Devoir: 318,000 readers (tie)
  4. Le Soleil: 318,000 readers (tie)

Quebec newspapers: Print reach, average weekday issue

  1. Le Journal de Montréal: 900,000 readers
  2. Le Journal de Québec: 528,000 readers
  3. Le Devoir: 138,000 readers
  4. Le Soleil: 2172,000 readers

Quebec newspapers: Digital reach, average weekday issue

  1. La Presse: 1.19 million readers
  2. Le Journal de Montréal: 568,000 readers
  3. Le Journal de Québec: 321,000 readers
  4. Le Devoir: 236,000 readers
  5. Le Soleil: 160,000 readers

Toronto newspapers: Print and digital reach, average weekday issue

  1. The Toronto Star: 1.23 million readers
  2. Metro: 733,000 readers
  3. The Globe and Mail: 695,000 readers
  4. The Toronto Sun: 586,000 readers
  5. 24 Hours: 502,000 readers

Toronto newspapers: Print reach, average weekday issue

  1. Toronto Star: 824,000 readers
  2. Metro: 660,000 readers
  3. The Toronto Sun: 456,000 readers
  4. 24 Hours: 448,000 readers
  5. The Globe and Mail: 415,000 readers

Toronto newspapers: Digital reach, average weekday issue

  1. Toronto Star: 579,000 readers
  2. The Globe and Mail: 406,000 readers
  3. National Post: 2516,000 readers
  4. The Toronto Sun: 232,000 readers
  5. Metro: 161,000 readers

Montreal newspapers: Print and digital reach, average weekday issue

  1. Le Journal de Montréal: 701,000 readers
  2. Métro: 477,000 readers
  3. 24 Heures: 394,000 readers
  4. Montréal Gazette: 251,000 readers
  5. Le Devoir: 183,000 readers

Montreal newspapers: Print reach, average weekday issue

  1. Le Journal de Montréal: 514,000 readers
  2. Métro: 441,000 readers
  3. 24 Heures: 363,000 readers
  4. Montréal Gazette: 164,000 readers
  5. Le Devoir: 87,000 readers

Montreal newspapers: Digital reach, average weekday issue

  1. La Presse: 630,000 readers
  2. Le Journal de Montréal: 304,000 readers
  3. Montréal Gazette: 131,000 readers
  4. Le Devoir: 128,000 readers
  5. Métro: 91,000 readers

Vancouver newspapers: Print and digital reach, average weekday issue

  1. The Vancouver Sun: 424,000 readers
  2. The Province: 404,000 readers
  3. Metro: 335,000 readers
  4. 24 Hours: 294,000 readers
  5. The Globe and Mail: 216,000 readers

Vancouver newspapers: Print reach, average weekday issue

  1. The Province: 319,000 readers
  2. Metro: 316,000 readers
  3. The Vancouver Sun: 305,000 readers
  4. 24 Hours: 279,000 readers
  5. The Globe and Mail: 93,000 readers

Vancouver newspapers: Digital reach, average weekday issue

  1. The Vancouver Sun: 176,000 readers
  2. The Globe and Mail: 159,000 readers
  3. The Province: 137,000 readers
  4. National Post: 88,000 readers
  5. Metro: 56,000 readers

Photo by Matthew Guay, courtesy of Unsplash