2009 NADbank results show readership is stable (and even growing)

The 2009 results of NADbank’s annual newspaper readership study have been released and according to the report, papers have “demonstrated their value to Canadians.”

The overview of results shows that 77 per cent (14.7 million) of adults living in markets where a daily newspaper is available read either a printed or online edition each week. Some other results of note include:

  • 47 per cent of adults 18+ read a daily newspaper on the average weekday
  • 73 per cent of adults 18+ read a printed daily newspaper in the past week
  • 22 per cent of adults 18+ read a daily newspaper online in the past week

In a Globe and Mail article titled “Readers not giving up on newspapers,” Toronto Star spokesperson Bob Hepburn said that while much is made of free information online, people still value the printed newspaper.

The Globe article noted:

“However, cheap circulation – printing more copies and giving them away for free or at a heavy discount – is still being used by some papers to boost readership figures, including at the Toronto Star, which gave away tens of thousands of newspapers during the Winter Olympics. New circulation data show that in 2009, the Star produced more than 100,000 cheap or free copies every day of the week except Sunday…The Globe and the National Post distribute less than half as many free or discounted copies.”

The study showed that “most adults migrate between print and online,” with 73 per cent reading at least one printed newspaper each week and 22 per cent reading an online edition on the average week and 4 per cent reading only online.

A Toronto Star report on the study noted:

“The Star increased its total print and online readership within the GTA by 8.7 per cent, with a total weekly readership of 2.33 million adults…Weekday readership for The Globe and Mail rose 6.2 per cent to 406,500 in the GTA, the NADbank survey found. In comparison, the Toronto Sun‘s weekday readership plunged 21.5 per cent to 372,300 while the National Post fell 13.5 per cent to 167,800.”

Readership of Canwest newspapers (including the Vancouver Sun, Calgary Herald, The Gazette and the Regina Leader-Post, among others) went up by 2.1 per cent, to four million, while weekly online readership was up 20 per cent, the Canwest News Service reports.

Not surprisingly, local news turned up as the most popular content read in daily newspapers, with 73 per cent of readers usually gravitating toward these pages.

Overall, NADbank called this year’s readership “stable.” The report explains:

“In the 22 markets measured in 2008 and 2009, weekly print readership remained stable at 73%; online readership increased from 20% to 22% resulting in an overall increase in newspaper readership (78% in 2009 compared to 77% in 2008).”

Check out the NADbank website for full results, various charts and presentations and further information.