Voyages of the Readership Enterprise
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Voyages of the Readership Enterprise

Photo of Astral Media’s multi-publication structure prototype taken at City Hall last June by Jonathan Goldsbie/Torontoist.

Every single one of the 107,000 copies of Now Magazine published each week is read by (on average) three different people. Sure, PMB, whatever you say. Perhaps that’s not surprising when your annual studies—used to determine readership numbers and thus a year’s worth of ad rates—are based largely on how recognizable a publication’s logo is [PDF].
But PMB (the Print Measurement Bureau) is what the non-dailies go by, and whatever it takes to keep Now, Eye, and the like healthy and afloat is a good thing. The new numbers were released today [.xls], and to much relief, Now‘s and Eye‘s readerships actually went up, even as their circulations went slightly down. (The data is based on a two-year rolling survey; i.e., PMB conducts the survey and publishes a report every year, but the results are drawn from the preceding two years of research.) Hence our alternate titles for this post, “You Sunk My Readership” and “Readership Down,” will have to be filed away for at least another year.
Now puts out 107,000 copies each week, down a couple thousand from last year [PDF], but the RPC (readers per copy) has gotten a nice bump from 2.7 to 3.0, for 321,000 readers, up almost 7.8% from last year’s 298,000. Eye spits out 117,000 copies every week, also down a couple thousand from last year (but still higher than Now, due to Torstar’s exclusive arrangement with Gateway Newstands in subway stations) but has increased its RPC from 1.6 to 1.8, giving it 213,000 weekly readers, about 10.4% over the previous 193,000.
Not so coincidentally, NADbank (the Newspaper Audience Databank)—which bases its numbers on phone surveys [PDF] that assume the respondents know what the Star, Sun, Globe, and Post are—put out their own data yesterday [PDF]. The Star is spinning the figures to trumpet its continued dominance, the Sun is spinning them to trumpet its weekday readership growth, and the Globe and Post, meanwhile, are arguing over the importance of online vs. print readership.
And for those of you who are curious, here are the stats for Torontoist, blogTO [PDF], and the collected Spacing sites [PDF].
Jonathan Goldsbie is an occasional contributor to Eye Weekly.