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Reader's Digest boasts highest readership Add to ...

The Canadian English-language edition of Reader's Digest has experienced pronounced declines in circulation and readership in the last 20 years but a survey released yesterday shows the 62-year-old monthly continues to have the largest overall readership among Canadian periodicals.

The survey, prepared by the Print Measurement Bureau (PMB) from data compiled Oct. 1, 2007 through Sept. 30, 2009, found that the audience for Reader's Digest totalled, on average, 6.36 million readers 12 years of age and older each month. This was a 3.1-per-cent drop from the Digest's PMB total reported the year before. However, its average per-copy readership increased slightly, to 7 from 6.9.

The study, which surveys more than 65 English-language magazines and newspapers as well as more than 40 francophone periodicals, positioned Canadian Living in second place in the English market, with close to 4 million readers per month. This is a slight increase from the 3.96 million readers reported in March 2009. Its readership per copy (RPC) also increased marginally, to 7.8 from 7.7.

Nationally, readership seems to be holding steady, with PMB reporting total readership at 24.6 million, down only 2.5 per cent from the 2009 spring report. Canadian Health, published quarterly by the Canadian Medical Association, continues to be the periodical with the greatest RPC, at 33.7 a 12-per-cent hike from last year.

Chatelaine has been a magazine in upheaval in the last six years, having had five editors-in-chief and huge turnovers in staff. Still, it continues to occupy the third-place position it has held in recent years, with 3.56 million readers per issue. This represents a 5.5-per-cent decline relative to the PMB number posted last year, including a modest drop in RPC, to 6.1 from 6.3.

Among Canada's major business publications, Report on Business Magazine, published by The Globe and Mail, held onto top place overall, with an average of 1.27 million readers. This represents a 3.4-per-cent decline from last spring's findings; however, the magazine held onto the same number of average RPC, 4.6.

Rogers Communications' Canadian Business magazine saw overall readership rise to 1.16 million, a 13-per-cent hike from last year, while average RPC increased by 15 per cent, to 12.8. Financial Post Magazine, published 11 times yearly by the National Post, saw total readership slip by 5.5 per cent, to 1.11 million, while its RPC held steady, at 5.6.

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