Print declines shrink newspapers’ footprints: study

For many newspapers, digital gains can't offset losses in print readers.
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Many of Canada’s newspaper saw declines in overall readership between the first and second quarter of 2017, according to the latest audience reports from Vividata. As was the case earlier this year, even those newspapers making gains among digital audiences can’t seem to offset losses in print readership.

Vividata conducts ongoing research into the media habits of more than 43,000 Canadians, tracking readership of weekday print newspapers among Canadians 18 and up and regular print magazines among those 12 and up (both their print readers and those who view that content online, measuring its unduplicated audience across both formats as a “footprint”).

The Globe and Mail retained its top spot among national newspapers from last quarter, but its total national footprint did decrease slightly to 2.13 million readers on an average weekday, down from 2.22 million in Q1.

The National Post also dropped slightly down to 1.43 million readers from 1.51 million. Both the Globe and Post primarily lost ground in print readership while making slight gains in digital.

In provincial markets, drops in print readership also drove lower overall footprints in Ontario for the Toronto Star and Toronto Sun, despite both showcasing growth in digital readership.

In Quebec, papers including Le journal de Montréal, Le journal de Québec and Le soileil saw slight readership declines across both print and digital. La presse saw audience gains online after moving to a mostly-digital publishing model, producing only one print edition on Saturdays. Le Devoir, which still came up shorter in print, saw an increase in print that helped drive its overall footprint up from last quarter.

Many city and local markets saw a similar pattern. Toronto papers, for example, saw consistent declines across print and overall footprint, despite many of the local papers gaining in digital readership. In Vancouver and Montreal, some anomalies were present, including Le devoir, which grew its overall footprint in the local market, Vancouver’s The Province, which held perfectly steady in its overall footprint with no major gains or losses in print of digital, and Metro, which grew its local footprint overall in Vancouver thanks to a boost in print.

For magazines, readership in general saw a slight swell — English and French magazines reached an estimated 22.19 million across print and digital, up from 22.13 million. The print footprint decreased slightly (20.36 million down from 20.42 million), but many of the country’s top English and French magazines saw increased reach on digital this quarter, including Ricardo, Sportsnet Magazine and Cineplex Magazine.

Although some print titles, including Canadian Living, Live Better and several editions of CAA grew their print readership, print magazines’ footprints were still a mixed bag, with some decreases from the previous quarter.

Magazines (Canadians 12 and up)

English magazines: Average issue footprint, print and digital

  1. Reader’s Digest: 4.47 million readers
  2. Cineplex Magazine: 4.32 million readers
  3. Canadian Living: 3.99 million readers
  4. Live Better: 3.93 million readers
  5. Canadian Geographic: 3.63 million readers

English magazines: Print reach, average issue

  1. Reader’s Digest: 4.07 million readers
  2. Cineplex Magazine: 3.65 million readers
  3. Live Better: 3.51 million readers
  4. Canadian Living: 3.47 million readers
  5. CAA Magazine (Atlantic Canada/Ontario/Gatineau): 2.99 million readers

French magazines: Average issue footprint, print and digital

  1. Ricardo Magazine: 1.78 million readers
  2. CAA Quebec Touring (French and English): 1.62 million readers
  3. Coup de Pouce: 1.38 million readers
  4. Vivre Mieux: 986,000 readers
  5. Bel Age Magazine: 937,000 readers

French magazines: Print reach, average issue

  1. CAA Quebec Touring (French and English): 1.46 million readers
  2. Ricardo Magazine: 1.23 million readers
  3. Coup de Pouce: 1.22 million readers
  4. Bel Age Magazine: 884,000 readers
  5. Vivre Mieux: 834,000 readers

English magazines: Digital reach, monthly

  1. Sportsnet Magazine: 1.6 million readers
  2. Maclean’s: 1.36 million readers
  3. People: 1.29 million readers
  4. Cineplex Magazine: 1.1 million readers
  5. The Hockey News: 818,000 readers

French magazines: Digital reach, monthly

  1. Ricardo Magazine: 665,000 readers
  2. Les Affaires/Les Affaires Plus: 381,000 readers
  3. L’Actualité: 325,000 readers
  4. Coup de Pouce: 219,000 readers
  5. Le Magazine Cineplex: 173,000

Newspapers (Canadians 18 and up)

National newspapers: Print and digital reach, average weekday issue

  1. The Globe and Mail: 2.13 million readers
  2. National Post: 1.43 million readers

National newspapers: Print reach, average weekday issue

  1. The Globe and Mail: 1.02 million readers
  2. National Post: 693,000 readers

National newspapers: Digital reach, average weekday issue

  1. The Globe and Mail: 1.44 million readers
  2. National Post: 898,000 readers

Ontario newspapers: Print and digital reach, average weekday issue

  1. Toronto Star: 1.82 million readers
  2. The Toronto Sun: 782,000 readers

Ontario newspapers: Print reach, average weekday issue

  1. Toronto Star: 1.13 million readers
  2. The Toronto Sun: 555,000 readers

Ontario newspapers: Digital reach, average weekday issue

  1. Toronto Star: 923,000 readers
  2. The Toronto Sun: 348,000 readers

Quebec newspapers: Print and digital reach, average weekday issue

  1. Le Journal de Montréal: 1.15 million readers
  2. Le Journal de Québec: 684,000 readers
  3. Le Devoir: 326,000 readers
  4. Le Soileil: 307,000 readers

Quebec newspapers: Print reach, average weekday issue

  1. Le Journal de Montréal: 807,000 readers
  2. Le Journal de Québec: 514,000 readers
  3. Le Devoir: 133,000 readers
  4. Le Soleil: 197,000 readers

Quebec newspapers: Digital reach, average weekday issue

  1. La Presse: 1.21 million readers
  2. Le Journal de Montréal: 554,000 readers
  3. Le Journal de Québec: 313,000 readers
  4. Le Devoir: 252,000 readers
  5. Le Soleil: 158,000 readers

Toronto newspapers: Print and digital reach, average weekday issue

  1. The Toronto Star: 1.21 million readers
  2. Metro: 713,000 readers
  3. The Globe and Mail: 688,000 readers
  4. The Toronto Sun: 578,000 readers
  5. 24 Hours: 464,000 readers

Toronto newspapers: Print reach, average weekday issue

  1. Toronto Star: 788,000 readers
  2. Metro: 636,000 readers
  3. The Toronto Sun: 439,000 readers
  4. 24 Hours: 406,000 readers
  5. The Globe and Mail: 389,000 readers

Toronto newspapers: Digital reach, average weekday issue

  1. Toronto Star: 620,000 readers
  2. The Globe and Mail: 441,000 readers
  3. National Post: 265,000 readers
  4. The Toronto Sun: 242,000 readers
  5. Metro: 172,000 readers

Montreal newspapers: Print and digital reach, average weekday issue

  1. Le Journal de Montréal: 644,000 readers
  2. Métro: 409,000 readers
  3. 24 Heures: 345,000 readers
  4. Montréal Gazette: 228,000 readers
  5. Le Devoir: 196,000 readers

Montreal newspapers: Print reach, average weekday issue

  1. Le Journal de Montréal: 461,000 readers
  2. Métro: 372,000 readers
  3. 24 Heures: 316,000 readers
  4. Montréal Gazette: 154,000 readers
  5. Le Devoir: 87,000 readers

Montreal newspapers: Digital reach, average weekday issue

  1. La Presse: 650,000 readers
  2. Le Journal de Montréal: 291,000 readers
  3. Montréal Gazette: 118,000 readers
  4. Le Devoir: 145,000 readers
  5. Métro: 97,000 readers

Vancouver newspapers: Print and digital reach, average weekday issue

  1. The Vancouver Sun: 410,000 readers
  2. The Province: 404,000 readers
  3. Metro: 340,000 readers
  4. 24 Hours: 291,000 readers
  5. The Globe and Mail: 197,000 readers

Vancouver newspapers: Print reach, average weekday issue

  1. The Province: 318,000 readers
  2. Metro: 328,000 readers
  3. The Vancouver Sun: 290,000 readers
  4. 24 Hours: 278,000 readers
  5. The Globe and Mail: 87,000 readers

Vancouver newspapers: Digital reach, average weekday issue

  1. The Vancouver Sun: 170,000 readers
  2. The Globe and Mail: 146,000 readers
  3. The Province: 135,000 readers
  4. National Post: 74,000 readers
  5. Metro: 47,000 readers

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