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Canada's News Audience Seeks Varied Sources

Community newspapers still maintain a significant hold on the news-seeking audience

TV remains the most popular medium in Canada for news junkies and casual news seekers alike. In an October study from Ipsos Reid, which asked respondents to self-identify as “hyper-,” “moderate-,” “casual-” or “non-newsies,” 74% of consumers across all categories named a regular TV newscast as their source for news. Even 46% of non-newsies at least sometimes got news from a regular TV newscast.

By comparison, newspaper websites and TV news websites reached only 41% and 36% of all respondents, respectively. However, among hyper-newsies those figures rose substantially: 71% of hyper-newsies consulted news websites regularly and 60% consulted TV news websites.

Community newspapers and magazines also fared comparatively well among semi-regular news seekers, coming in as the second most-consulted news source. Non-newsies, though, were more likely to read free newspapers handed out around town over community newspapers.

And while nearly three-quarters of hyper-newsies watched some news on devoted 24-hour stations, just over half of general consumers got news from these channels.

Those identifying as hyper (10%) or moderate (29%) newsies—meaning they check the news at least multiple times a day—were almost equal in number to those identifying as casual newsies (42%), who check on news “once in awhile in a given day.”

Comparing the Ipsos data on Canada’s news seekers with US studies on news sources, June research from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press suggested that consumers in the US were much less likely to get their news from TV, at just over half of respondents.

But it is also possible that consumers in Canada are more engaged by news overall. News sources were divided into more granular categories in the Ipsos study and still, across all metrics, corresponding sources were more highly penetrated in the Canadian study than in Pew’s US study. For example, 46% of consumers in Canada got news from “talk radio stations with regularly scheduled news broadcasts on the half hour.” That’s more than the 33% of US consumers who got any news from any radio programming.

Correspondingly, according to ZenithOptimedia, print newspapers will constitute nearly 17% of ad spending in Canada this year, whereas in the US, eMarketer finds newspapers will account for 11.5% of total media spending.

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Check out today’s other articles, “For SMBs, a Path Toward Digital” and “Video Turns Online Apparel Shoppers Into Buyers.”

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