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radio stations, the Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club and Rogers Centre, Canada’s largest sports and entertainment facility. The company is part of Rogers Communications, which also has significant interests in wireless telephone and cable television services. TC Media is the second largest player, and a major force in the market with magazine media assets including Canadian Living, Style at Home, Elle Canada, Elle Quebec, Coup de pouce and The Hockey News. However, subject to Canadian Competition Bureau approval, Quebec’s TVA Group will purchase the lion’s share of TC Media’s magazine brands this year. Upon completion, this move will make

TVA, the television and media arm of Quebecor Media and the largest magazine publisher in the Quebec market, a major player on the Canadian national scene. Rounding out the top three is St. Joseph Media Group, publisher of Toronto Life, Fashion Magazine, Wedding Bells and others. In total, Canada’s magazine media sector publishes some 2,000 consumer and business media magazines (including almost 800 business titles). There are hundreds of cultural magazines (arts and literary). Together, the magazine media sector employs 14,000 people and is worth C$2 billion. There are eight key wholesalers/ distributors in Canada, including Coast to Coast, Disticor, LMPI, The News Group, Metro News, Dynamique (in Quebec), News West and CMMI.

The audience

The top 25 print magazines in Canada reach more adults and teens than the top 25 regularly scheduled primetime TV shows, with readership consistent across generations, seeing less fluctuation among


age groups than TV, internet and radio. Average issue magazine readership of publications measured by the country’s Print Measurement Bureau is approximately one million readers per PMB-measured title. Approximately four out of five Canadians

have read a PMB-measured magazine in the past three months, with that number consistent across all demographics, including digitally-savvy teenagers and young adults. On average, readers spend more than 40 minutes per issue reading their chosen magazines. Approximately 88 per cent of Canadian magazines are purchased via subscription, with the remaining 12 per cent purchased at newsstand. Canadian newsstands have

AT A GLANCE Population: 34.8 million GDP (Per Capita): $43,100 (2013 est) GDP Real Growth: 1.6 per cent (2013 est) Unemployment: 7.1 per cent (2013 est) Capital: Ottawa

Languages: English (58.7 per cent); French (22 per cent)

Source: CIA World Factbook

traditionally been dominated by US titles. As reported by, the 2012 Canadian Newsstand Boxscore released by Coast to Coast Newsstand Services shows that Canadian magazine media publishers are increasing their share of English titles sold on newsstand, increasing market share by almost three per cent from 2008 to 2012, to a level of 16.2 per cent.

We have gone through the most accelerated shift in history, but we’re about to go through a period of change that is even faster

The advertising market Advertising spending in Canadian print magazines has been on a downward trend, following the 2008 economic downturn. Initially, Canadian print magazines appeared to have weathered the recession better than their US counterparts, but by late 2014, magazine ad spending in both countries had declined by approximately 40 per cent. Ad spending in Canadian magazines in 2014 is expected to sit at approximately C$571 million. The top ten magazine advertising categories account for three

Four out of five Canadians have read a PMB-measured magazine in the past three months, including digitally-savvy teenagers

quarters of total magazine ad spending. Toiletries and toilet goods were the largest category in 2013, followed by retail stores, business and consumer services, food and food products, and drugs and remedies. Leading advertisers included Procter & Gamble, L’Oreal Canada, Unilever Canada, Johnson & Johnson, Coty Canada, Kraft Canada, Dairy Farmers of Canada, Breck’s, Chrysler Group and Laboratoires Garnier.

Online and tablet publishing Most Canadian magazines have evolved their multi-platform strategies with online and mobile platforms, and a large number of magazines also have digital editions for tablets and e-readers. In 2013, Rogers Media launched Next Issue Media in Canada, with a monthly all-you-can-read digital model. (Next Issue Media started in 2009 in the US as a collaboration between five US-based publishers.)

The road ahead Canadian brands continue to evolve to meet new challenges. And those challenges are real, says Knight. “As an industry, we all think we have gone through the most accelerated shift in history, but we’re about to go through a period of change that is even faster,” he says, as ad dollars shift to mobile. “Today, 11 per cent of ad dollars go to mobile, but by 2018, estimates are that it will be over 70 per cent.” By 2018, half of all video content

viewed will be on mobile, and Knight sees this combination as “unbelievably transformative” to the media landscape. “We have to evolve and transform, re-engineering our brands for each platform, not just reconfiguring them. We have to leverage our core skill sets as storytellers within a media ecosystem geared to engaging with communities of interest.”

Kim Pitaway is a journalist, educator and consultant. She is the former editor-in-chief of Chatelaine, an eight-time National Magazine Award finalist, and an instructor in the journalism program at the University of King’s College in Halifax.

Magazine World | Issue 86_2014 45

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