Newspaper readership numbers strong, NADbank study

NADbank Inc., the Newspaper Audience Databank), has released its 2008-09 readership study and the news is pretty good.

John Hinds, president and CEO of the Canadian Newspaper Association said (quoted in the Vancouver Sun):

“Despite the current challenges in all advertising and challenges in the media, our industry is pretty strong.

“I think we get so bombarded by the news from south of the border and we get so bombarded with this idea that our medium is falling apart, and yet the facts just don’t bear it out.”

This year’s study showed newspaper readership numbers holding steady at the  77 per cent reported in 2008.

The Toronto Star reported that its numbers in the “read yesterday” category were up 4.8 per cent over last year, while print and online readership was up 2.6 per cent. The numbers show that 974,000 people in the GTA read the weekday print edition of the Star each day, compared with 929,500 last year. In the GTA, The Globe and Mail‘s daily print readership was up 2.7 per cent, while the National Post’s GTA numbers were up 0.5 per cent.

In the six largest markets (Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary and Edmonton), the Globe‘s readership was up 8 per cent, while the Post‘s readership in those same markets was down 1.3 per cent, according to a Globe report.

Online readership numbers were positive and added to overall increases.

The Globe report on the NADbank numbers stated:

“When online numbers were included in the mix, several papers saw increases in their readership across the six major markets. The Globe and Mail reported a 5.7-per-cent increase in combined cumulative readership throughout the week in print and its online readership, climbing to more than two million people. The National Post rose 4.1 per cent in the past year to 1.2 million readers when online and print were combined.

“Online readers have become a significant force in driving newspaper readership, NADbank said. In Ottawa, 80 per cent of adults polled by NADbank said they read a printed or online version of their newspaper, the highest in the country. Calgary and Edmonton were second at 79 per cent, followed by Vancouver at 78 per cent, Montreal at 77 per cent, and Toronto with 75 per cent.”

For further details about readership numbers across Canada, check out tables and charts at the NADbank website. Overall, it seems that despite the advertising crisis and shifts taking place in the media business, Canadians are still reading newspapers.