Satisfying Audiences Blog

Satisfying Audiences

If you’re thinking one newspaper fits all, think again

23 January 2013 · By Anne Crassweller

With so many segments of the population accessing newspaper content in so many different ways — online, on the go, in print — it’s important for media companies to abandon the “one size fits all” approach and produce a variety of sizes.

As I sat down to think about this blog posting and what to say about newspapers, I struggled to find another overarching truth about our business.

Then I thought maybe I was going about it the wrong way. Perhaps it was time for a deeper dive.

In Canada, as we are always proud to boast, nearly every market is a multi-newspaper market.

In most urban markets there are four newspapers available, and the larger markets now have at least a few newspapers to choose from. Toronto, our largest market, has six newspapers and Montreal, the next largest (and a bilingual) market, has eight.

Media is a fragmented and niche business and so is the newspaper business in Canada.

What is the media landscape all about today? It’s always available, video predominates, and mobile is growing exponentially. And what then, about newspapers?

  • They continue to reach nearly eight in 10 Canadians every week with a predominantly non-video approach — but that’s changing.

  • They appeal to most Canadians in a printed format — but that’s changing.

  • They appeal to all age groups — some read more often than others.

  • They are always available on one or more platforms — and that’s growing!

While newspapers continue to appeal to a broad spectrum of the population, the medium has shifted, and many individual newspapers have adopted the “niche” approach by becoming what “their” readers want them to be. And that is a very good thing.

Newspaper readers generally have a higher net worth and spend more on consumables than the average consumer of other media.

Newspaper readers have a higher net worth compared to other media consumers; the value of their investments and savings is higher than those who consume other media on the average day.

They expect to spend more on their next real estate purchase, did spend more on major appliances, home accessories, and their most recently obtained vehicle.

There is no difference in spending, or it is higher, for all other categories NADbank tracks. Spending patterns vary by age and frequency of reading.

Heavy newspaper readers are more likely than less frequent readers, or other media consumers, to have a higher income, and spend more on a range of products and services.

The new free dailies have gained traction in Canada and tend to cater to a very different audience than either the broadsheets or the tabloids.

About 30% of adults use public transit each week and they are a unique subset of the population. They are young, often in the middle of their education, and live in rented accommodations.

They are, therefore, less likely to have home delivery of their newspaper and more likely to pick it up from a newsstand or box.

The profile of transit users matches that of free daily readers: young, mobile, and looking for entertainment? There’s a “newspaper” for that!

Younger newspaper readers do not have the highest net worth or spending patterns compared to other media users. They are, however, in their acquisitive years, and the tabloids and free dailies are chock full of ads from small businesses, of entry level cars, electronics, households goods, and classifieds.

Young and starting out in the world? There’s a “newspaper” for that!

Broadsheets continue to have the largest market share. Their average reader is older than for other newspapers and represents a broader spectrum of the population than the male-dominated tabloids and younger readers of the free dailies.

They tend not to use transit and do have their newspaper delivered to their door or office. These readers are the ones with higher net worth, some with big careers, and they grew up in the “consumer age,” based on the strong economy over the past 20 years.

Established, building your career or affluent? There are “newspapers” for that!

The population is getting older, and we boomers are really greying up the planet and taking up a great deal of space.

We need to pay attention to demographics! In Canada, the number of adults age 50 or older has grown by 43% in the past 10 years; 35- to 49-year-olds have had a modest growth of 10%, and the number of 18- to 34-year-olds is up 18%.

Boomers (50 and older) represent 40% of adult population; they still have good incomes and have lived lives as solid consumers.

Grown up and still spending? There’s a “newspaper” for that!

The 35- to 49-year-olds are in the busy, acquisitive years, and marketers covet them as customers; they represent only 29% of the adult population. Young adults, the darlings that get all the attention, have lower incomes, spend less, and represent 31% of the population.

What stage are you at? There’s a “newspaper” for that!

Digital — and mobile, specifically — is shaping the evolution of all media, particularly newspapers.

Younger adults like to read online and on their mobiles but tend to read the free dailies in printed format. Older adults still love their printed editions and cannot be ignored.

Printed editions will remain important for those who want them, and digital and mobile options will grow in popularity with the younger readers and tech savvy boomers who migrate between platforms.

Mobile and tech savvy? Love the printed newspaper? There are “newspapers” for that!

So, while it is true that newspapers provide their readers with current, always available, curated news and information, they are many things to many different readers. We should think about “making the shoe fit” rather than “one size fits all.”

print article send to friend

blog comments powered by Disqus
About this blog

The Satisfying Audiences Blog aims to reflect print and digital content not just across platforms but extending into consumer events, non-news-related subscriptions and other audience vehicles for newsmedia companies. This blog written by INMA members is dedicated to identifying the emerging linkages between content, audiences, and platforms. The blog is an initiative by the INMA North America Division Board of Directors.

Meet the bloggers

Julie Anderson
Senior Vice President of Digital Publishing/Florida
Tribune Publishing
Orlando, Floria, USA
send message

Nadine Chevolleau
Consumer Marketing
The Toronto Star
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
send message

Kathleen Coleman
Sales & Marketing
S-R Media
Spokane, Washington, USA
send message

Kevin Curnock
General Manager
Brunswick News
St. John, New Brunswick, Canada
send message

Jim Fleigner
Managing Partner
Impact Consultancy
Santa Monica, California, United States
send message

Sara Hill
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
send message

Dan Johnson
Vice President,
Business Development
Gilbert, Arizona, USA
send message

Sandy MacLeod
Chief Operating Officer, Print
The Toronto Star/Metro English
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
send message

John Newby
Muskogee Phoenix
Muskogee, Oklahoma, USA
send message

Nicki Purcell
Chief Digital Officer and Senior Vice President of Consumer Sales
The Dallas Morning News
Dallas, Texas, USA
send message

Maria Terrell
Director of Content
Dallas, Texas, USA
send message

New York City, New York, USA


RSS feed

Blog archives

May 2016 ( 2 )
April 2016 ( 2 )
March 2016 ( 2 )
February 2016 ( 3 )
January 2016 ( 3 )
December 2015 ( 2 )
November 2015 ( 4 )
October 2015 ( 3 )
September 2015 ( 4 )
August 2015 ( 2 )
July 2015 ( 4 )
June 2015 ( 4 )
May 2015 ( 4 )
April 2015 ( 4 )
March 2015 ( 2 )
February 2015 ( 5 )
January 2015 ( 4 )
December 2014 ( 3 )
November 2014 ( 3 )
October 2014 ( 2 )

Blog roll

Brain Traffic

Join INMA Today
Upcoming Events
INMA World Congress
London, United Kingdom
22-24 May 2016
INMA Ideas Day on Audience Development
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
17 June 2016
INMA International News Media Conference
São Paulo, Brazil
23-24 August 2016
INMA South Asia News Media Conference
New Delhi, India
30-31 August 2016
INMA European News Media Conference
14-17 September 2016
INMA Latin American News Media Conference
Panama City, Panama
22-23 September 2016
INMA Business Strategies 2020 Conference
Chicago, United States
03-04 October 2016

More Events

Member Profiles

  • Flavio Steiner

  • Rodger Cosgrove
    United States

  • Simon Smith

  • Bernhard Sonntag

  • Parag Karandikar

  • Danna Emde
    United States

©2016 INMA | Home | About | Contact | RSS | Privacy