NADbank, the organization that measures newspaper readership, has come out with its mid-year national survey. Based on its large-market readership numbers:
When combining print and digital readership, La Presse and the Journal de Montréal both reach 1.241 million people a week. The difference in the official numbers is only 300, or 0.02%, which is far below the margin for error in such a survey.
Even more surprising, the daily readership of La Presse, measured by asking survey respondents which papers/websites they read the day before, is significantly higher than the Journal de Montréal, at 750,000 to 582,000.
La Presse has closed the gap with the Journal mainly through a huge increase in digital readership. The survey doesn’t distinguish between digital methods, but La Presse’s publisher Guy Crevier says this is mainly due to its now-flagship product La Presse+. Its digital readership jumped from 571,000 a week to 721,000 a week, a 26% increase.
In fact, more respondents said they read La Presse on a digital medium the day before than read the print paper. Other than the national papers Globe and Mail and National Post, no other major-market daily has more daily readers online than in print.
Even more amazing, La Presse reported slightly more daily digital readers in Montreal than the Star did in Toronto.
Excluding digital media and focusing just on print, the Journal de Montréal is still tops on weekdays and weekly, and that’s what it focused on with its press release. But on Saturday, La Presse has slightly more readers in print alone.
This dramatic increase in digital readership — and the fact that it has resulted in an increase in readership overall instead of just cannibalizing print readers — is yet another statistic justifying La Presse’s new strategy. And as if on cue, publisher Guy Crevier has another interview, in which he says 35% of La Presse’s revenues come from La Presse+, and that he doesn’t expect the print edition to still be around (at least as a daily) by 2020, or maybe even 2018.
Other facts in the NADbank numbers:
- More than three years after 24 Heures became the official newspaper of the metro system, Métro still has more readers overall (300,000 vs. 270,000).
- Métro and 24 Heures both get more than 90% of their readership from their print product. Their online readership is so low NADbank warns the numbers are statistically unreliable.
- Only two papers in Montreal had more than half their weekly readers reading on any given day: La Presse and The Gazette. Readers of these publications are more likely to be everyday readers, compared to occasional readers for the others. (The Gazette has more daily readers than Métro or 24 Heures, but fewer weekly readers, because of this.)
- More people said they read The Gazette online the previous day than the Journal de Montréal, despite the Journal’s gains online. The Gazette’s weekly online readership is up 37% from the previous report.
- The Globe and Mail beats the National Post in both print and digital in all major markets. (In Edmonton, the Post has more daily digital readers, but fewer weekly digital readers and fewer readers overall.)
- This isn’t new, but I just noticed it now: The Journal de Montréal has more readers in its home market than the Toronto Sun, daily and weekly.