Study Finds Print is Platform of Choice, but Cross-Platform Usage Continues to Grow

27 May 2016

Canada’s newspaper and magazine measurement body, Vividata released interesting results with regards to Newspaper and Magazine readership audiences. People are still reading, but the way they read is changing. In the new technology landscape, readership of both newspaper and magazine brands has remained strong, with overall brand reach remaining relatively constant in the past five years. Over five years, print readership for both newspapers and magazines has decreased; however, digital readership is on the rise, keeping overall brand reach near or above levels from five years ago. Newspaper brands have actually increased average weekly reach by 5% since 2011.

70% of newspaper readers still read a printed edition daily. That’s down from 90% five years ago. While print remains the leading source for most newspaper readers in Canada today, digital and cross-platform continues to grow.

For both newspapers and magazines, over half of the audiences read digital products. With regard to newspapers, 28% of readers (18+) only read newspaper content on digital devices, up from 16% in 2012. Cross-platform readership (meaning they read both print and digital products) for newspaper brands has doubled from 14% in 2012 to 30% in 2015. And as one would suspect, digital readership is higher among younger demographics. For newspapers, 45% of digital-only readers are under the age of 39 versus 21% for those aged 60+.

“70% of newspaper readers still read a printed edition daily.”
As feature-rich smartphones and mobile applications continue to evolve, we expect to see a continued rise in multi-device readership. In 2012, only 4 out of 10 digital newspaper readers used a mobile device, by 2015 it was 7 out 10. Today, a majority of digital readers (2 out of 3) use a tablet or a smartphone, and 1 in 4 are exclusively mobile.

Source: INMA


U.S. adults who have a phablet —a smartphone with a 5- to 7-inch screen — are much more likely to use it for consuming news than those who have a standard-size smartphone. Of particular significance to news organisations trying to reach younger audiences with their digital content, nearly 7 in 10 (69 %) phablet owners between the ages of 25 and 34 said they consumed news on their phablet “Frequently” or “Very Frequently” in the past week. 81 % said they spent more than 20 minutes on a typical day consuming news on their phablet. One-third (33 %) said they spent more than an hour.

Source: 2015 RJI Mobile Media Research Report 1


Recent research by Research and Analysis of Media (RAM), an international media research company, confirms the crucial role newspaper inserts play in consumer marketing. RAM data shows that nearly 9 in 10 of media consumers use newspaper inserts. This is much higher than the usage of direct mailers. Readers believe they find the best deals in newspapers. 65% believe the best deals on products can be found in newspaper inserts.

“65% believe the best deals on products can be found in newspaper inserts.” In a fragmented media landscape, newspapers remain an advertising medium with broad audience and reach.
Source: Newspaper Association of America


Millennials respond as strongly to newspaper advertising as previous generations. Across all newspaper ad categories, millennials generate slightly higher recall scores (58%) than Gen Xers (57%) and Boomers (54%), according to Coda/Triad’s The Newspaper Generation research report. Millennials are significantly more likely to use inserts to plan shopping trips, with 47% doing so, compared to 36% across the full age spectrum.


While all age groups find printed newspaper inserts easier to use than their online counterparts, electronic versions of advertising inserts and circulars are growing in importance — although they lag significantly in utility and use. Among recent research findings: Consumers are seeking out digital advertising. More than three-quarters said they look online for digital advertising circulars.

“Consumers are seeking out digital advertising. More than three-quarters said they look online for digital advertising circulars.”

Respondents under 35 are the most likely to look online for digital circulars, with women 35-54 and those with higher incomes also more likely to do so. While RAM found that millennials use digital newspaper inserts slightly more than printed newspaper inserts.
Source: Coda/Triad, Newspaper Insert Study, October 2015/ The Newspaper Generation Report, 2015; Research and Analysis of Media (RAM) Inserts Study, November 2015. – As published by The Newspaper Association of America