The Globe and Mail reaches more than 7.7 million readers across all its platforms, according to new readership data that show the audience for newspapers and magazines across Canada is shifting to mobile devices even as print remains popular on weekends.
Research released Thursday marks the first full-year results from a new venture, called Vividata, which surveys 38,000 consumers to gauge the reach of 117 publications across Canada. The organization was created to merge the two previous authorities in audience measurement, NADbank and Print Measurement Bureau (PMB), and released its first figures last October.
The latest findings, from surveys conducted throughout 2015, suggest 90 per cent of Canadian adults read newspapers or magazines, and nearly six out of 10 do so both in print and online. Vividata will now release rolling 12-month data in quarterly reports, with a methodology aimed at more accurately measuring audiences for newspapers and magazines, including younger readers.
"This is a landmark study for our industry. For the first time Canada's newspapers and magazines are being measured together in a timely fashion across their various print and digital platforms, which is what agencies and clients had been seeking for years," said Phillip Crawley, The Globe and Mail's publisher and CEO and a Vividata board member. "It took a lot of effort to get all the players to this point, so I am hopeful that our partners on the buy side value the new insights in this data."
The Globe recorded the largest weekly newspaper readership of any brand surveyed, at more than 7.4 million in print and online. With the monthly Report on Business Magazine included, The Globe's weekly readership reaches 7.7 million. The Toronto Star had the next largest total, at 6.3 million, followed by the National Post at 5.2 million. Le Journal de Montréal has the largest cumulative readership among French-language papers, at 3.4 million.
The Globe also has the largest digital audience – across desktops, smartphones, tablets and eReaders – with 5.6 million weekly readers, followed by the Toronto Star with 4.4 million and the National Post with four million. La Presse, which has worked hard to shift readers to its tablet edition and stopped printing a paper on weekdays in September, has 2.7 million weekly digital readers – best among French-language titles.
About 70 per cent of news readers – of magazines and newspapers – now read on a mobile device at some point, as the dominance of digital platforms continues to grow.
The Star registered the largest weekly print readership, at nearly four million, followed closely by The Globe at 3.9 million. The percentage of newspaper readers who use digital platforms exclusively drops from 35 per cent on weekdays to only 20 per cent on weekends, suggesting print still holds sway when people have more leisure time.
Among magazines, Reader's Digest has the greatest total reach in print and on digital devices, with 4.5 million readers, followed by Cineplex Magazine with 4.2 million and Canadian Living with 3.8 million. Report on Business Magazine reaches more people than any other business magazine included in the survey, with 1.5 million combined print and digital readers.
Many magazines have been experimenting with new digital alternatives, bundling their wares together in monthly subscription services such as Texture, an app part-owned by Rogers Communications Inc. that offers digital access to up to 160 magazines for either $9.99 or $14.99 per month. Of the 70 per cent of Canadians who read magazines, 41 per cent now read them both in print and online.
Cineplex and People boasted the largest digital audiences among magazines, with roughly 1.7 million readers each.
"The stats tell a story showing the continuing relevance of our publications to audiences across the country, and describe the exciting growth trend for digital products," Mr. Crawley said.
The data also suggest a large number of younger Canadians, aged 18 to 34, are also reading: More than half read a daily newspaper during the week, in print or online, and 60 per cent read a magazine. Among those readers, 38 per cent of the newspaper audience and 16 per cent of those reading magazines use only a digital device, avoiding print entirely.