Unlike US, Canada Newspaper Revenues, Readership Remain Strong

April 11, 2008

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Robust online ad revenues of $196 million (up 29%) helped offset declines in print advertising and circulation sales to keep total Canadian newspaper revenue steady – down just 0.8% from 2006 – according to data from the Canadian Newspaper Association (CNA).


Highlights of the CNA’s data:

  • Combined, online and print ad revenue and circulation sales totaled a strong $3.576 billion in 2007.
  • Print ad revenues totaled nearly $2.6 billion, down 2.4% from 2006 levels:


  • Circulation sales were down slightly, dropping 1.2% to $808.9 million:


The slight fall in total revenues is in stark contrast to the sharp revenue decline of the US newspaper industry:


  • US total print ad revenues plummeted 9.4%, to $42 billion, in 2007 – the biggest year-over-year decline since 1950, when the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) first began charting numbers.
  • US online ad revenues only slightly softened the fall, rising 18.8%, compared with 31.4% in ’06, according to the NAA.


Canadian newspaper readers use both printed and online editions, with a total reach of 78% per week, according to the 2007 Newspaper Audience Databank (NAD) study (pdf).

  • Some 17% of adults read a daily newspaper on the internet.
  • Just 3% read online-only editions.
  • Overall, online readership of daily newspapers has grown 11% from 2006.

Readership for both daily and weekly newspapers is still high:

  • Three quarters of Canadians, 13.9 million adults 18+, read a printed edition of a daily newspaper each week.
  • 73% of Canadians usually read local news.

For weekly newspapers, there are…

  • 11.7 million readers in the top 17 markets (vs. 11.8 million in 2006)
  • 10.3 million in the top ten markets (vs. 10.4 million in ’06), with more than 7 in 10 Canadians reading weeklies:


  • More than 8.7 million in the markets of Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa-Gatineau, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver (vs. 8.8 million in ’06).


Across all Canadian markets…

  • 50% of adults 18+ read a newspaper “yesterday.”
  • 46% read a newspaper “last Saturday.”
  • 26% read a newspaper “last Sunday.”
  • In a typical week, by Friday 70% of adults have read at least one issue of a daily newspaper and 78% have read a newspaper, printed or online.

About the data: CNA data, collected by Borrell Associates, contains revenue results from circulation, print and online activities from 93 daily newspapers, representing 95.5% of daily circulation in Canada. Estimates were made for each non-participating title by developing metrics based on newspapers of comparable circulation for which data had been received.

The 2007 NADbank study includes readership and demographic data from 82 Canadian daily newspapers and 2 Detroit dailies in 54 urban markets and their extended market areas, representing 97% of total weekly circulation and 71% of Canadian adults. The NAD provides additional readership data for 57 community newspapers in 33 markets. Product data will be released in May ’08.


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