The latest NADbank newspaper readership numbers have been released, and as you can imagine it’s fantastic news for every news agency with the ability to spin:
- Halifax: Metro has a 20% increase in daily readership.
- Montreal: The Journal has had “spectacular” growth, with 58% more readers than its closest competitor La Presse and 64% market share.
- Ottawa: The Sun’s readership has “skyrocketed”, with Saturday readership up 43%. Metro’s readership is up 22%.
- Toronto: The Sun is “the fastest growing paid English language daily newspaper in Canada”, with 19.5% growth since the last full survey, far outgrowing its competition. The Star, meanwhile, clobbers its competition by a factor of more than 2:1 in readership, reaching more than half of the GTA’s adult population.
- Edmonton: The Journal’s online readership has jumped 21 per cent since the last survey, and weekday print readership has shown “stability.” Metro has gained momentum with the second-highest growth increase.
- Calgary: Metro is the fastest-growing daily newspaper in Canada.
- Vancouver: The Sun’s online readership jumped 19 per cent in the past year. Metro has a lot of “traction” in its key demographic.
Of course, it’s all about selective cherrypicking of numbers:
- Readership numbers down but you’re still No. 1? Don’t talk about growth, and concentrate on how X% of the market is choosing you
- Still far behind the big players in a market? Talk about how fast you’re growing, and leave out how your competitor still has twice as many readers.
- Print readership numbers suck? Point to the online numbers. Compare those to 2007 if necessary.
- Numbers stagnant? Talk about “stability” and imply you’re ahead of the curve that is quickly leading to the extinction of newspapers.
- Still nothing? Focus on some key demographic – young adults are the best – to show how the cool people choose your product.
- Little exciting news about your paper? Focus on the national scene and what the numbers show nationwide for online vs. print readership.
Infopresse has the numbers for Montreal (PDF) as part of its analysis. Here they are compared to last year at this time, using five-day cumulative numbers:
|Journal de Montréal||1,027,400||1,124,700||+9.5%|
Of note here:
- The Journal de Montréal continues to gain readers despite its lockout. This is being explained as more papers being given away free or cheap (this survey measures audience, not subscribers or subscription revenue).
- Métro has replaced La Presse as the No. 2 paper on weekdays. When you consider on-island readership (this survey covers the entire region), the difference is even greater.
- Online readership is mostly stable for all five (down slightly for The Gazette/La Presse, up slightly for the rest). La Presse kills in this category, with 330,300 weekly readers, more than twice that of the Journal and The Gazette. In fact, it’s slightly more than all the other four combined.
Wow, the Metro Ottawa headline is one of the most unfortunate I’ve seen in a while…
Here is an example of free giveaway. I think it’s every Tuesdays. If you buy a cup of coffee at Ultramar, you get the Journal de Montreal for free. Only worth it if I can get a cup of coffee. Total trash if I had to pay for it.
And what about Le Devoir?
Le Devoir’s numbers aren’t included in NADbank, but its readership is only about 20,000 or so.
One thing you have to look at with the free papers Metro and 24 Heures is that actual readership levels. If you go into any metro station where they are being given away, you see tons of them in the garbage, left on the seats in the station, etc. It is also the difference between a force give away (they have people handing them out in many locations) versus an intentional pick up or purchase.
Someone buying the Gazoo is way more likely to be an actual reader, where as someone who gets handed a Metro newspaper may only glance at it and ignore it. I know that all of the papers are playing games with this (You can get the Gazoo for free in some locations), but in the end, the business models are very different, and the readership levels are as well.
the gazoo sells almost 1/2 million papers every day? Just think if they supported a party different from the liberals! Maybe our linguistic minority would get some benefits for a change instead of being the whipping boy of political politics. (I’m a little sensitive today, having been run down by a bike riding french racist xenophobe “intellectual”)
These are five-day cumulative numbers, and measure readership, not subscriptions/sales. Daily readership is about 300,000, and subscriptions are about half that.