Print advertising: who consumes it and how

What is the current place of print advertising in the lives of people in Québec? Through a portrait of the reading public in Québec, find out which, magazines or newspapers, best respond to your communications objectives.

Reading habits of people in Québec
Print content is still alive and well in Québec. From various newspapers, either local or national, to magazines about cooking, décor, health, fashion and well-being, there’s more than enough to slake a thirst for reading. If a magazine has been redesigned and become more specialized over the years, turning into a collectable object (such as Dinette magazine, for example), it’s perfectly sensible to ask ourselves if printed newspapers are still pertinent to the media consumption of people in Québec, when major players like La Presse have chosen to go digital. But what do people in Québec really consume?

People in Québec read, on average, one magazine per month, and devote one hour of their time to it. Print newspapers are consumed more frequently, with an average of three publications per week, and a combined one hour of reading (Vividata 2021). So, readers in “la belle province” spend four times as much time with a newspaper in their hands than a magazine. It goes without saying that, being linked to news, the almost-daily consumption of newspapers seems logical.

Here are some key elements of print consumption (both newspapers and magazines) for people in Québec:

• Reading print content is personal, pleasant and uninterrupted activity.
• The fact that the content is physical (we can touch it) is an important aspect of the experience.
• People in Québec trust newspapers to publish truthful content.
• Since the advent of the pandemic, the time devoted to reading newspapers and magazines has increased.

This last point is interesting. People having a greater need to inform and entertain themselves during the pandemic have naturally turned to pleasant and trustworthy publications.

Snapshot of the reading public in Québec
Who are these readers of print content? For newspapers, adults 50+ are more assiduous. They read an average of two newspaper per week, and devote one hour per week to this practice. As for magazines, the target is much younger for this type of publication. The average age is between 35 and 49 years old.

What platform should you choose for your communications: newspapers or magazines?
Each has its strengths and weaknesses. If people in Québec spend more time reading newspapers, this medium has a much shorter shelf-life than magazines. Newspapers can be daily, weekly, bi-monthly or monthly. In each case, once the publication has been read, the majority of the information in it is generally out of date. As for magazines, they are consumed and remain pertinent over a longer period of time. Certain magazines are kept as references, such as cooking magazines (Ricardo, Trois fois par jour, etc.) with content that ages little or not at all.

Magazines also encourage contextualization because their context targets a very precise market. For example, le Bel Âge allows an advertiser to efficiently address seniors, while Elle Québec speaks to people who are in tune with the latest trends in fashion. Newspapers can also provide a certain degree of contextualization, for example, in more specialized newspapers such as Les Affaires, which is of interest to business people. So both types of print media offer the opportunity to address a more precise target.

Finally, print can reach certain audiences that digital media finds harder to reach (the elderly, for example), or people who live in remote regions and have specific issues of interest. In this last case, local newspapers can address themselves more intimately to inhabitants of municipalities where they are distributed.

To conclude, choosing magazines or newspapers depends largely on the objectives and parameters of your campaign. In every case, print can be a very flexible solution to reach your targets through a channel they particularly like.

Source: Vividata, Spring survey 2021, Base: Province of Québec, A25+

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