It’s alive! Newspaper readership holds steady: NADbank

The 2009 NADbank readership study is out and the results indicate that while mobile may be making all the headlines, people still like the feeling of pulp n' paper in hand.

While e-readers and tablets may be making technophiles drool, the latest annual readership report from the Newspaper Audience Databank (NADbank) indicates that readership of daily print newspapers is holding steady in most Canadian markets.

The study, which was released today and covers 81 Canadian daily newspapers and two Detroit newspapers in 53 markets across Canada, revealed that 14.7 million Canadian adults (18+) living in markets where daily newspapers are available read a print or online edition at least once a week.

This year’s study revealed that 73% of adults in the top 22 markets read at least one daily print newspaper a week, consistent with 2008′s findings, and 22% read an online edition in an average week, up 2% over 2008. A nominal overall increase in newspaper readership (online and print) for those markets was reported for 2009, with 78% weekly readership reported this year compared to 77% in 2008. Although popular perception would dictate otherwise, the study also revealed that only 4% of adults read a newspaper only on the internet; most migrate between online and print.

Of the eight multi-market print dailies in Canada, the Globe and Mail (49 markets) leads the pack with a total weekly readership of 2,886,000 (down slightly from 2,926,000 last year), the Toronto Star (19 markets) is in second place with 2,901,300 total weekly readers (up 99,300 from 2008), the National Post (49 markets) is in third place with 1,431,200 readers (down 13,400 from 2008) and the Toronto Sun (15 markets) rounds it out with 1,537,200 total weekly readers (down 215,800 from 2008). Free commuter daily Metro (seven markets) had a total weekly readership of 2,733,500, while 24 Hours garnered 2,077,500.

In the major markets across Canada, the Toronto Star led its market with total weekly readership of 2,331,400 (or 53% of the audience), with the Toronto Sun in second (1,078,200 total weekly readership) and the Globe and Mail in third with 1,066,400.

In Montreal, the leader was La Journal de Montreal with 1,198,000 total weekly readership (40% audience share), La Presse with 900,800, and the Gazette with 554,700. Metro earned 678,400, while 24 Hours tallied up at 564,800.

Vancouver’s daily leader was the Province with 887,400 total weekly readership (47% audience share), the Vancouver Sun with 877,000, Metro with 434,800 and 24 Hours with 546,200. Calgary’s number one was the Herald at 525,400 (55% audience share), the Calgary Sun in second with 384,700 and freebies Metro at 149,400 and 24 Hours with 81,000. Ottawa’s leader was the Citizen with 481,500 (51% audience share) , the Ottawa Sun with 290,200, Le Droit at 170,700, Metro with 177,400 and 24 Hours with 103,600.

Online readership remains strongest in smaller Canadian markets, with Ottawa Gatineau in the lead with 31% of adults reading an online daily at least once a week, while Halifax (28%), Charlottetown (28%) and Windsor (27%) rounded out the top of the list.

The 2009 NADbank study will be released in two stages. Product data will be released in May.