Online news gains ground: MTM

How news consumption is changing for Canadians, and where newspapers fit into the equation.

Television is the top source for Canadians looking for news, but the internet is rapidly closing the gap, according to new data from Media Technology Monitor.

According to its latest newspaper study, 43% of Canadians report using TV as their main source for news, with 33% reporting using the internet, 14% the radio and 9% newspapers.

Results for this report are based on telephone interviews with 8,000 Canadians.

The number of Canadians using the internet as their main source of news has been rising, moving from 24% in spring 2012 to 43% now.

On the opposite end, the percentage of Canadians using newspapers as their main source of news has been dropping, going from 15% in spring 2012 to 9% now.

Two-thirds of Canadians report reading online news, moving from 56% in the fall of 2011 to 67% this spring. The likelihood of a Canadian reading online news goes up with household income levels, with Canadians reporting incomes of $200,000 and up being the most-likely to read news online. 

Readers go to sites from online news broadcasters like, CTV News and most often, with 66% reporting it as their source for digital news. Online newspapers were second, with 62% reporting they get their news from the digital version of newspapers like the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and La Presse.

The Globe and Mail is the most popular title for reading online news among Anglophones, with La Presse being the most-read Francophone title.

Though newspapers have declined as the main source of news, just under one-fifth of Canadians still report subscribing to a newspaper in either print, online, or both. Unsurprisingly, high-volume news consumers are twice as likely to subscribe to a newspaper as non-heavy news users. Wealthier Canadians are also more likely to subscribe, with 29% of respondents that have household incomes of over $200,000 reporting that they have a newspaper subscription.

Canadians living in smaller markets (less than 10,000 residents) are less likely to subscribe to a newspaper, while those living in cities with populations between a half-million and a million being the most likely to subscribe.

The majority of newspaper subscriptions are for hard copies, with 86% of subscribers reporting that they get the paper version. That’s followed by 33% who have an online subscription and 21% who get both the digital and paper versions.

Most subscribers only get one paper, with 83% reporting that they receive one title. The Toronto Star and Globe and Mail are the English-language titles with the highest print, digital or print and digital subscriptions. La Presse and Le Journal de Montreal are the most-popular French-language titles for subscribers. That paper announced in September that it would be ceasing the weekday printing of its paper, aiming to transition more of its readers over to its tablet version, La Presse+.

Both in print and online, Anglophone subscribers are most-likely to choose a title that is produced within their region, with those in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Because there isn’t a French version of the Globe and Mail or National Post that question was only measured for Anglophones.

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