Bullish about newspaper industry

The newspaper industry continues to evolve—and evolving with it are television, radio, and magazines.
For newspapers, the good news is that the number of Canadians reading daily and community newspapers has not declined in the last decade.
This past week, I attended the joint convention of the Canadian Newspapers Association and the Canadian Community Newspapers Association in Toronto. Several presentations were made showing newspaper circulation, readership, trust, and advertising success with newspapers.
That information was garnered through studies carried out for daily newspapers by Canadian Facts and often noted at NADbank.
The study measured readers in 81 daily markets across Canada, with papers discovering that 48 percent of adults aged 18 and over have read the most recent daily paper in their city.
And that 73 percent have read a daily paper in the week.
It was interesting to note that more papers are being printed and distributed in Canada than ever. Today there are more titles in circulation than a decade ago.
Suzanne Raitt, vice-president of marketing and innovation for the CNA presented some interesting facts. One fact is that more people read a newspaper every day than eat a “Big Mac” in a year.
A similar study that was released in March by ComBase, which was undertaken by Leger, found that 72 percent of all Canadians have read the last edition of a community newspaper.
Some 229 community papers from St. John’s, Nfld. to the west side of Vancouver Island participated in the study, which also found that 86 percent of Canadians have read the last three of four editions of a community newspaper in their market.
The Fort Frances Times participated in the ComBase study, which found the number of district residents who had read the last edition of the Times was 83 percent. For the last three of four editions, that number almost reached 90 percent.
Newspapers often have been their own worst enemies in not telling their customers how popular papers are. An amazing fact is that when one looks at readership that combines both print and online versions, the numbers grow to 90 percent.
The NADbank study also examined the way Canadians read advertising. One of the more interesting discoveries was that readers who saw an ad in a paper, and then online at the newspaper portal, were 20 percent more likely to remember the advertisement.
Angus Reid noted, in talking about two major media studies his company has performed in the last year, showed that Canadians prefer traditional mediums for their information. That included print and broadcast.
People’s greatest trust of information came from family and friends. Least trustworthy were social networks and blogs.
Some 75 percent of newspaper readers browse the ads while 73 percent have been influenced to buy something as a result of an ad in a printed newspaper.
And of those adults who did not read a newspaper in the past week, 36 percent used a newspaper during that same week—often using the paper to check for sales in local stores.
Meanwhile, a study by Admap showed 34 percent of readers had been driven to find more information about products they saw advertised in newspapers.
As well, 37 percent of all Internet traffic is going to newspaper websites. Newspaper websites are the number-one local site in 22 of 25 of the top markets in Canada.
And yet, futurists showed the more than 400 newspaper people present some of the gadgets papers in other parts of North America and the world are using.
The special “Apps” that have been created for the I-phone, Blackberry, and Android are delivering news, sports, and weather around the clock. The new I-Pad that only was introduced by Apple less than a month ago already has newspaper people excited.
Easy to use, the device will generate the full sheet of a newspaper that can be quickly read and offers features that only were dreamed of three years ago.
We came away excited about the future, and enthused about newspapers in Canada. Canadians reinforced through surveys in more than 300 locations that newspapers are the important and trusted providers of news to families.
And Canadians expect that old-fashioned media “print” will be around for a long time to come.

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