The more mags change…

The PMB Spring 2009 study released today reveals readers-per-copy are holding steady, with average readership down a tad from 2008.

The PMB 2009 Spring survey, released today, marks the first time in its 35-year history that the PMB has released readership and product data biannually (in the spring and fall). The study now also includes readership info on six new publications, bringing the total number of pubs surveyed to 106. The new mags on the block are: Canadian Health Magazine, LouLou, Our Canada, Parents Canada and the Health Journal in English and LouLou in French.

Leading in readership (12+), Reader’s Digest came in at 6,564,000 followed by Canadian Living at 3,959,000. In third spot, a tie between Canadian Geographic and Chatelaine at 3,768,000, followed by What’s Cooking which came in at 3,705,000 and People at 3,560,000.

In circulation, CAA Magazine (excluding Manitoba) took the lead at 1,484,000, followed by What’s Cooking at 1,409,000, Westworld at 1,155,000, Reader’s Digest at 955,000 and Touring (Fre & Eng) at 681,000.

Average readership of all the magazines measured in the Spring 2009 PMB study turned out to be fairly consistent with last year’s study, at 1.03 million compared to 1.06 million in PMB 2008, down by less than 3%, which is encouraging given the economic situation.

On the readers-per-copy front, analysis shows Canadian mags are maintaining their level of recent years too. Excluding the newly measured titles, the overall figure in this year’s study (4.9 readers per copy) was consistent compared with both PMB 2008 and PMB 2007 (5.0).

PMB chairman and SVP at PHD Canada Fred Auchterlonie says the minimal decrease in readership is ‘interesting,’ pointing to the wider context, with all media – not just print – ‘under real pressure.’ Auchterlonie also thinks the new biannual frequency of the study is a plus: ‘In today’s advertising world, changes happen very quickly and media measurement needs to keep pace with those changes.’

Readership measurements on all 106 publications can be viewed here.