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Audience attitude survey finds most trust established news brands

By Rahul Sethi

As appearing on the INMA blog on March 8, 2020.

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 behaviors beyond simply mirroring age, gender, income, and so on. Certain behaviour is simply dictated by personal preference. Those who have a shared preference, behaviour, or a way of thinking may share some demographic qualities, but this is not always the case. And so, if we just stick to looking at the demographic make-up of who audiences are, and disregard why audiences engage with certain media the way they do, we miss an opportunity for building deeper relationships with them. Vividata’s attitudes toward media segments were built to better understand these media preferences.

Traditionalists, Digital Content Conscious, and Media Obsessive

Out of the six segments presented in Figure 1, 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. And 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 strategize their content and advertising.


  • 70% are over 50 years old (an index of 144).
  • Have $206k in securities and savings (32% higher than the national average).
  • Are more likely to agree with the statements: “I feel it is important to pay for news and information to feel truly informed”.
  • 2 in 5 intend to vacation outside Canada in the next year.
  • 81% own their home; the highest of any of the segments.

Media Obsessive:

  • 52% are under 50 years old.
  • Just over 40% earn a household income over $100k (an index of 132).
  • Are the highest educated of any of the segments. 47% have an undergrad or postgrad degree (an index of 131).
  • Are the most likely segment to change their principal home in the next year.
  • 1 in 3 agree with the statement: “Advertising influences my purchase decisions”.

Digital Content Conscious:

  • 1 in 3 are under 35 years old (an index of 125).
  • Earn an average household income higher than the general adult Canadian population.
  • Nearly 1 in 4 report that the love to buy new gadgets.
  • Are the most likely segment 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”.

And perhaps the most important thing to note is that a significant percentage of these segments notice and respond to newspaper ads. Among every segment, 1 in 4 searched online for a product, brand or service advertised, and just over 1 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. While Traditionalists want their news in one place in a printed copy; and the Digital Content Conscious want the efficiency of digital access from any device; and the Media Obsessive want newspaper brands to be just one news source (though their most preferred) out of many, 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 recognized for in-depth, trusted coverage.


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