More people are turning to the Brandon Sun as their source for daily news coverage. And the numbers are there to prove it.
A 2013 readership study conducted by Newspaper Audience Databank Inc., (NADbank), released Monday, shows that the Sun’s total audience grew from 29,900 per week in 2010 — the time of the previous NADbank report — to a total weekly readership of 33,718 in 2013.
That’s a readership increase of six per cent in those three years.
"I think that when I look at something like this, what’s most gratifying is that we’ve continued to be able to serve people in the community," Brandon Sun publisher Eric Lawson said. "We have to thank our readers for continuing to turn to us as their leading source for information."
The newspaper’s reader demographic has also changed somewhat. The number of men who read the Sun declined by four per cent, but the number of women increased by 15 per cent in terms of total weekly readership.
The Sun is also reaching younger readers — about 88 per cent of people aged 18-34 had read the Sun either online or in print, over the course of a week.
"The first thing I thought of when I saw the numbers ... was that’s good news for advertisers," said Glen Parker, the Sun’s sales and marketing director. "It means that that many more people each week are going to see our advertisers’ message. There’s that many more people who are likely to shop at their business.
"The second thing that came to mind was that we must be doing something right. Overall as a team, everybody has done a pretty good job."
National readership trends have been declining somewhat in terms of print readership, compared to online readership, which is growing. But overall, the NADbank study showed that Canadians continue to value and read daily newspapers.
About 15.8 million Canadians, (more than three in four) read newspaper content each week, across a variety of platforms, according to a press release. Though digital readership numbers are climbing, printed newspapers remain the choice of nearly six of every 10 readers.
More than one in three Canadians now read newspaper content online each week, with about 5.6 million Canadians reading digital newspaper content in an average week. That upward trend has also been felt here in Brandon, where the number of people who read the Brandon Sun online jumped from 4,200 per week to 7,555 in that three-year span.
Between print and online, Lawson says the Sun has done well compared to newspapers in larger markets.
"Our trend line has been a little bit stronger than the national trend, in the sense that we’ve been able to hold on to and even grow our total weekly audience," Lawson said.
"In some of the small to mid-size markets they have performed more closely to our trend line. I think some of the markets where it’s been felt a little bit more in terms of decline has been in larger markets. I think in community-sized markets, which we are, there’s still a tendency to rely on the local newspaper."
But Lawson said the Sun cannot rest on its laurels, noting that it will take a lot of hard work "if we want to keep that trend going on."
The NADbank study compiled data collected in the spring and fall of last year into readership information in news markets across the country. For the Brandon Sun, the company focused on readership in the region in and around the city known as the Brandon census agglomeration.
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