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Research: Audience attitude survey finds most trust established news brands

By Rahul Sethi


Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Newspaper and magazine audiences are generally viewed through a limited lens. Looking at newspaper audiences from the perspective of attitudes and preferences brings to light unique behaviours beyond simply mirroring age, gender, income, and so on.

Certain behaviours are simply dictated by personal preference. Those who have a shared preference, behaviour, or way of thinking may share some demographic qualities, but this is not always the case.

This means that if we just look at the demographics of audiences and disregard why and how audiences engage with certain media, we miss an opportunity for building deeper relationships with them. Vividata’s segmentations of attitude toward media segments were built to better understand these media preferences.

Traditionalists, Digital Content Conscious, and Media Obsessive

Out of the six attitude segments we established, Traditionalists, Digital Content Conscious, and Media Obsessive are of the greatest interest to Canadian newspaper brands. Together, these three segments make up 52% of Canadian adults in Canada. Though their media behaviour differs greatly, they all share one thing in common: They find newspaper brands to be the most trusted and in-depth source for news and information.

By understanding these segments, newspaper brands can better strategise their content and advertising.

Key features of Traditionalists:

  • 70% are over 50 years old (an index of 144).
  • Have C$206,000 in securities and savings (32% higher than the national average).
  • Are more likely to agree with the statement: “I feel it is important to pay for news and information to feel truly informed.”
  • Two in five intend to vacation outside Canada in the next year.
  • 81% own their home, the highest of any of the segments.

Key features of Media Obsessive:

  • 52% are under 50 years old.
  • Just over 40% earn a household income over C$100,000 (an index of 132).
  • Are the highest educated of any of the segments. Forty-seven percent have an undergrad or postgrad degree (an index of 131).
  • The segment most likely to change their principal home in the next year.
  • One in three agree with the statement: “Advertising influences my purchase decisions.”

Key features of Digital Content Conscious:

  • One in three are under 35 years old (an index of 125).
  • Earn an average household income higher than the general adult Canadian population.
  • Nearly one in four report they love to buy new gadgets.
  • The segment most likely to own voice-activated smart speakers (an index of 133).
  • 70% agree with the statement: “I often refer to the Internet before making a purchase.”

Perhaps the most important thing to note is that a significant percentage of these segments notice and respond to newspaper ads. Among every segment, one in four searched online for a product, brand, or service advertised, and just over one in 10 made a purchase after seeing a newspaper brand ad. The Media Obsessive group tends to be particularly active.

Trusted, in-depth coverage

When it come to news, different segments have different preferred experiences. Traditionalists want news in one place in a printed copy. Digital Content Conscious want the efficiency of digital access from any device. And the Media Obsessive segment wants newspaper brands to be just one news source (though their most preferred) out of many.

However, all these segments have one thing in common: They turn to newspaper brands for trusted, in-depth coverage.

In the presence of fake news and quick yet inaccurate presentations of news from independent parties, newspaper brands remain recognised for in-depth, trusted coverage.

About Rahul Sethi

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