NADbank, the national newspaper readership monitoring service, released a report on Wednesday with some new numbers (PDF) for newspaper publishers to chew on. And, of course, with all the data there, each newspaper cherry-picks facts to make it look like they’re doing better than their competitors:
- Metro Montreal still talks about being #1 on the island of Montreal. That’s true, barely, but if you include readership off the island, it falls to #3 behind the Journal de Montréal and La Presse. And that’s not even counting the fact that Metro is a free newspaper.
- Metro Edmonton talks about “increasing popularity”, but leaves out the fact that its readership numbers are still less than half of the Edmonton Sun and less than a third of the Edmonton Journal.
- The Calgary Herald talks about huge gains, and compares its numbers to the Calgary Sun – which of course is the only other major paid newspaper in the city.
- The Toronto Star, still the most-read newspaper in Canada, of course has a lot to gloat about. And it does in spades.
So what do the numbers show?
For the sake of comparison, I’m using the “five-day cumulative” number, which measures how many people read the newspaper (in printed form) at least once over the previous five weekdays. The numbers are compared to the last annual report released in March.
- Journal de Montréal: 1,027,400, up 3.3% from 994,600 despite the lockout
- La Presse: 678,200, up 0.9% from 672,300
- Metro: 630,100, up 2.0% from 617,900
- The Gazette: 454,200, down 1.1% from 459,200
- 24 Heures: 516,400, up 13.9% from 453,200
Note that no numbers are given for Le Devoir.
The big news here is with 24 Heures, which has shown a huge jump in readership, surpassing The Gazette for fourth place in the market overall. This is most likely due to more aggressive distribution as well as the increased number of journalists now employed by the paper since the Journal de Montréal was locked out. It also may have picked up some former ICI readers, since ICI is now a weekly supplement in 24 Heures.
For online readership, the numbers are all press-release-worthy:
- La Presse (cyberpresse.ca): 359,000, up 10% from 326,200
- The Gazette (montrealgazette.com): 134,900, up 6.5% from 126,700
- Metro (journalmetro.com): 36,900, up 12.2% from 32,900
- 24 Heures (24hmontreal.canoe.ca): 27,100, up 24.3% from 21,800
NADbank is also, for the first time, counting Journal de Montréal online readership (the Journal doesn’t have its own website, but Canoe groups some of its articles on a page here). It measures weekly readership at a paltry 130,700, just a bit less than The Gazette.
It’s unsurprising that online has grown quite a bit (in most cases it really has nowhere to go but up), and while Metro and 24 Heures have seen huge gains percentagewise, their numbers are still so small that NADbank puts an asterisk next to them to indicate the sample size was too small to be reliable.
Speaking of small sample sizes, the numbers also include Montreal readership for the Globe and Mail (97.600 Monday-Friday, 79,800 weekly online) and National Post (71,400 Monday-Friday, 41,100 weekly online).
So I guess the newspaper crisis is over, huh?