WEB USERS INCREASE, NEWSWEEK GOES DIGITAL

Published On October 18, 2012 | By | News

Canadians spend an average of 45 hours a month online.
Photo by Bianca Bykhovsky

By: Bianca Bykhovsky

Newsweek magazine is going to become an online-only publication, after 80 years in the print field.

Tina Brown, editor-in-chief and founder of The Newsweek Daily Beast, announced in New York today that the all-digital publication will be called Newsweek Global. The last print issue of Newsweek will be the December 31 issue.

The announcement came  just days after an Ipsos Reid study, conducted for the Canadian Journalism Foundation,  suggested most Canadians still cling to traditional media — primarily broadcast and newspapers — for news coverage. Weakest of the traditional providers, however, was the magazine sector, with around 20 per cent of Canadians confirming that they still regularly consult the print and online versions of magazines.

Darrick Li says he is not surprised by the Newsweek decision — or the findings of the Canadian poll.

“We have found that Canadians spend more time online than any other country,” Li, an account manager with  ComScore, a Virginia-based web research firm, told Humber News.  ComScore, which specializes in the digital world, released a 2012 study in March that  concluded  Canada continues to be number one in online engagement. Canadians are spending an average of 45 hours a month online, while their southern cousins follow with 40 hours.

Li says the results of studies such as ComScore’s — and that of Ipsos Ried — may influence a lot of media companies to focus more on the online platform.

“This probably has a lot to do with Newsweek going digital,” said Li “We are also beginning to see a lot more traditional news, like CBC,  going online.”

Research also shows the growth of mobile apps being used for reading the news, Li added.

That doesn’t mean that traditional sources are about to disappear overnight.

“We have more print subscribers than online,” said Sheila Hemsley, associate publisher of OHS Canada, a Toronto-based magazine published by business information group eight times a year.

But Peter Boxer, publisher of OHS Canada, said he expects the trend towards the web to increase as more and more magazines follow the Newsweek example. One reason for this is the explosion of apps on tablet and other mobile platforms as  go-to sources for news, he said.

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