Readership numbers difficult to predict

The Times has always been a paid subscription newspaper for Clearwater and area residents. We believe that makes for a better newspaper

We had a local businessperson inquire recently about how many people read the Times. That has never been an easy number to figure out, and with the coming of the Internet it’s become even more difficult.

According to Canadian Community Newspaper Association our Verified Circulation is 1,117. You can look up the number at www.newspaperscanada.ca/database/member/718.

Verified Circulation includes our subscriptions, newsstand sales, etc. There is a long list of rules that we follow in figuring it out. You can see them at www.circulationaudit.ca/download/CMCA-Manual_200906.pdf.

It is important to notice that circulation is not the same as readership, because each newspaper likely gets read by several people. According to BC Stats, there are 1,235 families in Local Health Area 26 (Clearwater, Area A and Area B) plus 625 individuals living on their own, for a total of 1,860 households. (go to www.bcstats.gov.bc.ca/StatisticsBySubject/SocialStatistics/SocioEconomicProfilesIndices/Profiles.aspx, select region type Local Health Area and click on 26).

That means our Verified Circulation is about (1,117/1,860 =) 60 per cent of the total number of households in our readership area. That isn’t bad, especially when you consider how much a subscription costs (and many newspapers wish they did as well). However, it used to be close to 80 per cent before the days of the Internet.

Where have those missing readers gone?

We get up to nearly 500 unique visitors to our website www.clearwatertimes.com each Monday. For example, on April 16 we had 488 unique visitors, according to Google Analytics. That number tapers off to 100 – 200 per day by Thursday and Friday. It’s broken down by day so we don’t know how many are repeats or how many unique visitors we get over the week.

It would be interesting to know how many of those online readers are subscribers who read the newspaper online as well as in print, how many are local residents who read it online instead of buying the newspaper, and how many live elsewhere and read it online because a subscription would not be affordable.

Recently we announced that people would need a subscription to read the local content at www.clearwatertimes.com.

The changeover was to happen last Monday but seems to have hit a glitch. The technical people are working on it and possibly by the time you are reading this it will have been fixed.

The Times has always been a paid subscription newspaper for Clearwater and area residents.

We believe that makes for a better newspaper. If people are going to pay money for what we produce, then we had better be sure that they get something worthwhile.

 

Times are changing and the Times is changing with them. We value all feedback, positive and negative, as we move ahead.