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It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

By October 26, 2016 No Comments

Robert Stephens | October 6, 2016

This week, we discover love in shared Netflix addiction, coffee beans in our Toronto Star home delivery, what Canadian consumers really care about, and the true state of the magazine industry. Read on …

I think I love you. Pass the popcorn.

A new study has found that couples can have deeper, more meaningful relationships by expanding their shared ‘media time’, like binge-watching Netflix or going to more movies together.

Conducted by university researchers in the U.K., U.S.,  and Canada, the study is aptly titled Let’s stay home and watch TV: The benefits of shared media use for close relationships.

“Activities that allow couples to expand their sense of shared identity are crucial to fostering love and intimacy,” the research notes. “Likewise, sharing a fictional social world in media may enhance relationship quality.”

So if you really care, forget about the romantic dinner. Now it’s popcorn and streaming video.

And speaking of binge-watching, Netflix’s members are currently viewing more than 125 million hours of TV shows and movies per day.

Are they glued to their screens because they’re working hard at building better relationships with their partners? We suspect it has more to do with the addictive quality of the programming.

Netflix knows exactly how many episodes it takes for any particular show to become addictive (that is, when it keeps 70% of viewers watching through a first season’s end).

For Stranger Things, viewers were hooked by episode 2, while addiction to Gilmore Girls didn’t kick in until episode 7.

Source: Netflix


Sign of the Times

Newspapers are so desperate for revenue that they are now selling coffee, wine, gourmet meals, access to special events, and conference space.

The Toronto Star recently launched Headline Coffee, which delivers a new bag of coffee beans to subscribers’ doors for $20 a month.

Source: Headline Coffee, a division of Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd.


The Globe and Mail has been hosting events and renting out space for conferences and meetings.

The New York Times and Wall Street Journal both ship curated bottles of wine to customers, and the Times was hawking meal kits filled with ingredients to make recipes from its cooking section.

How the mighty have fallen.

And what happens when the Star has to report on a new study about coffee’s adverse effects on our health? Might the story get spiked? D’ya think?


Stupid is as stupid does

Canadian consumers are such hypocrites. They claim they care about small businesses and neighbourhood enterprise. Yet when they actually open their wallets, they’re probably in a Walmart.

They pay lip service to buying locally, but they put their money down at Costco and Home Depot.

According to a survey by Yellow Pages, 82% of Canadians recognize that by taking their business to small merchants, they can support the local economy. And two-thirds say they prefer to shop locally.

In spite of these fine sentiments, six in ten continue to shop at large retail establishments because of lower prices. Our miserly consumers won’t spend a dime more than they have to, even though they know a little largesse in the ‘hood means more local jobs and a stronger community.

So next time you hear people grumbling about the closure of a local business, lamenting the loss of employment, or bewailing the boarded-up storefronts, ask them: Are you living better because of all the cheap crap you’re buying?


Source: Walmart

Gutenberg grows old

Magazines, like newspapers before them, are now feeling the pinch as advertisers continue to shift marketing dollars to digital.

Rogers Media announced sweeping changes to its magazine lineup last week. Four of its properties – Flare, Sportsnet, MoneySense and Canadian Business – will become online-only publications beginning in January.

Maclean’s, Chatelaine and Today’s Parent will be published less frequently (Maclean’s will go from a weekly to a monthly, while Chatelaine and Today’s Parent will be published six times a year).

In addition, Rogers will sell all of its business-to-business magazines, along with French-language titles Châtelaine, Loulou and L’actualité.

Rogers Media VP Steve Maich noted in an interview with the Canadian Press (as reported in Marketing Magazine) that print advertising revenue for the group plunged more than 30% this year compared to last. “The magazine business held up relative to the newspaper business quite well for a long time, but in recent years what we’ve found is the advertising dedicated to Canadian magazines has started to drop off quite rapidly,” he said.


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