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National Newspapers - UK - March 2009

National newspapers are currently generating volume sales of an estimated 3.9 billion a year, down by 15% on 2003, with that decline further entrenched by increasing media diversity. But change has also brought new opportunities to publishers, many of whom are seizing the chance to offer readers more in print and online.

Although total volume decline will continue and some current titles will very likely close, there can be a future for print in combination with other media formats with quality journalism at their core.

This report looks at the main market developments since Mintel last reported on this sector in October 2007 and, within the context of a longer perspective, asks, “What it is that keeps people picking up papers?”

Main issues
  • Who are the keenest readers of national newspapers?

  • What do current readers’ attitudes and behaviour imply for the future?

  • What are the implications of teens’ attitudes for future sales of newspapers in the longer term?

  • How can titles best lock in loyalty?

  • Will that loyalty be confined to print only, or could it combine print and digital?

  • Should we be redefining what is meant by ‘newspaper’ when so much of their content is now available in digital format?

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Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Main issues
        • Definition
          • Abbreviations
          • Future Opportunities

            • Refreshing the page
              • Mintel Inspire
                • Opportunities
                  • How to read a newspaper
                    • Mintel Inspire
                      • Opportunities
                        • UGC in the mainstream media
                          • Mintel Inspire
                            • Opportunities
                            • Market in Brief

                              • A market in decline
                                • Innovations bring immediate and future benefits
                                  • A more demanding newspaper consumer
                                    • Bulking up
                                      • How companies are performing
                                        • Looking forward
                                        • Internal Market Environment

                                          • Key points
                                            • Share of attention
                                              • Online from strength to strength
                                                • Figure 1: Internet penetration at home/work/place of study or elsewhere, by demographic sub-group, 2003-09
                                              • How is the internet used?
                                                • Figure 2: Types of websites browsed for information purposes in the last three months, October 2008 and January 2009
                                              • Bringing opportunities to the old world of print
                                                • Figure 3: Multi-platform data*, March 2008 and January 2009
                                              • Getting the paper in front of readers
                                                • Figure 4: Where newspapers are purchased, 2008
                                              • The price issue
                                                • Figure 5: Basic UK cover prices for national dailies and Sundays, February 2009
                                            • Broader Market Environment

                                              • Key points
                                                • Ageing is good news – for the present at least
                                                  • Figure 6: Age structure of the UK population, 2003-13
                                                • The rise and rise of the middle classes
                                                  • Figure 7: UK population, by socio-economic group, 2003-13
                                                • Education is another aspect
                                                  • Figure 8: Higher education qualifications obtained in UK, by level of study, 1996/97-2006/07
                                                • Cash in hand
                                                  • Figure 9: Trends in GDP, PDI and consumer expenditure, 2003-13
                                              • Competitive Context

                                                • Key points
                                                  • A snapshot of consumer views
                                                    • Figure 10: Agreement with attitudes to news and newspapers, 2008
                                                  • Significance for print
                                                    • A brief look at online competitors
                                                      • Figure 11: Selected examples of websites and blogs, by topic*, March 2009
                                                    • Print competition – the freesheets
                                                      • Figure 12: Average daily distribution of audited free dailies, 2005-09
                                                    • More on the print front
                                                      • Figure 13: Total number of regional newspaper titles, by type, 2009
                                                  • Strengths and Weaknesses in the Market

                                                      • Strengths
                                                        • Gives depth and detail
                                                          • Great mix of topics in one package
                                                            • Can read anywhere, any time
                                                              • Newspapers offer more content than ever before
                                                                • The look and feel is appealing
                                                                  • Weaknesses
                                                                    • Too busy to read
                                                                      • Why pay when I can get it free?
                                                                        • Cover prices are too high
                                                                          • The news is out of date
                                                                            • Tired of sensationalism
                                                                            • Who's Innovating?

                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                • Increasing readership
                                                                                  • Just a few examples here
                                                                                    • How to make digital pay?
                                                                                      • Another money spinner?
                                                                                        • Print initiatives
                                                                                          • Seizing opportunities
                                                                                          • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • Growing pressures take their toll
                                                                                                • Figure 14: Total annual sales of national daily and Sunday newspapers, by volume, 2003-13
                                                                                              • Average circulation
                                                                                                • Figure 15: Trends in average circulation/issue for national daily and Sunday newspapers, 2003-09
                                                                                              • Future prospects
                                                                                                • Factors used in the forecast
                                                                                                • Segment Performance

                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                    • A snapshot view of the sectors
                                                                                                      • Figure 16: Trends in average circulation/issue for popular, mid-market and quality newspapers, 2003, 2006 and 2008
                                                                                                    • The titles in figures
                                                                                                      • The dailies
                                                                                                        • Figure 17: National daily newspaper circulation*, 2006-08
                                                                                                      • The Sundays
                                                                                                        • Figure 18: National Sunday newspaper circulation*, 2006-08
                                                                                                      • Special notes on sales performance
                                                                                                        • Keeping the title fresh
                                                                                                          • They don’t always succeed
                                                                                                            • Even more changes in the qualities
                                                                                                              • Cover prices play their part…
                                                                                                                • …as do price promotions
                                                                                                                  • Subscriptions come into their own
                                                                                                                    • Looking behind the curtain
                                                                                                                      • Figure 19: Lesser-rate and prepaid subscriptions sales, bulk copies, and sales outside UK and RoI as percentage of average circulation, February 2009
                                                                                                                  • Companies and Products

                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                      • Section introduction
                                                                                                                        • Market share and recent performance
                                                                                                                          • Figure 20: Market shares of national newspaper publishers, by total volume, 2006-08
                                                                                                                        • News International
                                                                                                                          • Associated Newspapers
                                                                                                                            • Trinity Mirror Group
                                                                                                                              • Express Newspapers
                                                                                                                                • Telegraph Group
                                                                                                                                  • Guardian Media Group
                                                                                                                                    • Independent Newspapers
                                                                                                                                      • Financial Times Ltd
                                                                                                                                        • Other publishers
                                                                                                                                        • Brand Elements

                                                                                                                                            • Brand map
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 21: Attitudes and usage of national newspaper brands, January 2009
                                                                                                                                            • Financial Times
                                                                                                                                              • What the brand is trying to achieve
                                                                                                                                                • What the consumer thinks
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 22: Attitudes towards the Financial Times brand, January 2009
                                                                                                                                                • METRO
                                                                                                                                                  • What the brand is trying to achieve
                                                                                                                                                    • What the consumer thinks
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 23: Attitudes towards the METRO brand, January 2009
                                                                                                                                                    • The Sun
                                                                                                                                                      • What the brand is trying to achieve
                                                                                                                                                        • What the consumer thinks
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 24: Attitudes towards The Sun brand, January 2009
                                                                                                                                                        • Daily Mail
                                                                                                                                                          • What the brand is trying to achieve
                                                                                                                                                            • What the consumer thinks
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 25: Attitudes towards the Daily Mail brand, January 2009
                                                                                                                                                            • The Guardian
                                                                                                                                                              • What the brand is trying to achieve
                                                                                                                                                                • What the consumer thinks
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 26: Attitudes towards The Guardian brand, January 2009
                                                                                                                                                                • The Sunday Times
                                                                                                                                                                  • What the brand is trying to achieve
                                                                                                                                                                    • What the consumer thinks
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 27: Attitudes towards The Sunday Times brand, January 2009
                                                                                                                                                                    • Brand qualities of national newspaper brands
                                                                                                                                                                      • The Financial Times most authoritative, popular press for entertainment
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 28: Personalities of various national newspaper brands, January 2009
                                                                                                                                                                      • Experience of national newspaper brands
                                                                                                                                                                        • The Sun and Daily Mail most frequently read, METRO least known
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 29: Consumer usage of various national newspaper brands, January 2009
                                                                                                                                                                        • Brand intentions for national newspaper brands
                                                                                                                                                                          • Express beats Sun for consideration
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 30: Consideration of various national newspaper brands, January 2009
                                                                                                                                                                          • Brand momentum for national newspaper brands
                                                                                                                                                                            • METRO gaining most ground, but Mirror lagging behind
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 31: Momentum of various national newspaper brands, January 2009
                                                                                                                                                                            • Brand satisfaction for national newspaper brands
                                                                                                                                                                              • Quality titles most satisfying
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 32: Satisfaction with various national newspaper brands, January 2009
                                                                                                                                                                              • Brand commitment to national newspaper brands
                                                                                                                                                                                • Independent among the most recommended
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 33: Commitment to various national newspaper brands, January 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                • Round up
                                                                                                                                                                                • Brand Communication and Promotion

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Reinforcing dominance
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 34: Main monitored media adspend for national newspapers, by publisher, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Reaching bigger audience numbers
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 35: Main monitored media adspend for national newspapers, by medium, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Recent campaigns big and smaller
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Is this a final farewell to the DVD?
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Newspaper Readership

                                                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Shifting balance
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 36: Type of newspaper regularly read, 1999-2008
                                                                                                                                                                                          • The rise of the Saturdays
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Mixed blessings
                                                                                                                                                                                              • And the downs
                                                                                                                                                                                                • The variations
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Lack of multiple reading
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 37: How many different types of newspapers people regularly read*, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Favoured Content

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Priority topics
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 38: Important factors when choosing a national newspaper to read, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Consistent differences ease targeting
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 39: Important factors when choosing a national newspaper to read, key demographic groups, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Shifting interests reflecting media change
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 40: Newspaper topics adults are ‘very interested’ in, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Attitudes towards National Newspapers

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Word of warning on content
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 41: Attitudes towards national newspapers, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Paper still well to the fore…
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • …but change is likely
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Delivering the news
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • What of the next generation?
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 42: Agreement with selected lifestyle statements, 7-10s and 11-14s, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • The under-20s online
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 43: 11-19s who use the internet for newspapers/news, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Targeting Opportunities

                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Variety an essential formula for nationals
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 44: How many different types of newspaper subject areas people regularly read, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Who wants the widest choice
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 45: How many different types of newspaper subject areas people regularly read, by demographic sub-group, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Identifying targets
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • How the groups differentiate attitudinally
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 46: How target groups differ on key statements, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Old school (21% or 11 million adults aged 15+)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Turned off by tat (41% or 21 million adults aged 15+)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Fickle (37% or 19 million adults aged 15+)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Old school readers boost all sectors
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 47: Newspaper target groups, by which types they read, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Summary of each group’s importance to market
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 48: Newspaper target groups, by how many types they read, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Different priorities
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 49: Newspaper target groups, by which types of newspaper subject areas people regularly read, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Summary of each group’s importance to market
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 50: Newspaper target groups, by how many newspaper subject areas people regularly read, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Competitive Context

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 51: Agreement with newspaper lifestyle statements, by demographic sub-group, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Newspaper Readership

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 52: Regular newspaper readership, by demographic sub-group, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 53: How many different tpes of newspapers people regularly read, by type, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 54: How many different tpes of newspapers people regularly read, by demographics, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Favoured Content

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 55: Important factors when choosing a national newspaper to read, by demographic sub-group, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 56: Further important factors when choosing a national newspaper to read, by demographic sub-group, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 57: Further important factors when choosing a national newspaper to read, by demographic sub-group, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Attitudes towards National Newspapers

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 58: Attitudes towards national newspapers, by demographic sub-group, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 59: Further attitudes towards national newspapers, by demographic sub-group, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 60: Youths who use the internet for newspaper/news, by demographic sub-group, 11-19s, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 61: Agreement with selected lifestyle statements, by demographic sub-group, 11-14s, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 62: Agreement with selected lifestyle statements, by demographic sub-group, 7-10s, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Targeting Opportunities

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 63: How many different types of newspaper subject areas people regularly read, by demographic sub-group, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 64: Newspaper target groups, by demographic sub-group, December 2008

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Aldi Stores Ltd (UK & Ireland)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Amazon.co.uk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Asda Group Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Associated Newspapers Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Audit Bureau of Circulations
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • British Market Research Bureau (BMRB)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • British Sky Broadcasting Group plc (BSkyB)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Channel 4
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Cisco-Linksys, LLC
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Co-operative Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Daily Express
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Daily Mail
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Daily Mail and General Trust Group plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Daily Mirror (The)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Daily Record & Sunday Mail
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Daily Star (The)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • DC Thomson & Co Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Economist Group Limited (The)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Emap plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Evening Standard
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Express Newspapers plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Financial Times Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Formula One Administration Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Google UK
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Guardian Media Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Guardian Newspapers Limited
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • HarperCollins Publishers Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Higher Education Statistics Agency
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Hitwise Pty. Ltd.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Home Office
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Independent News & Media PLC
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Independent Newspapers (UK) Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • IPC Media Ltd.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • ITV plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • J. Sainsbury
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • John Lewis Partnership
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Johnston Press plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • LEGO Company
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Lidl (UK)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Liverpool Echo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Manchester Evening News
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Market & Opinion Research International (MORI)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Marks & Spencer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Metro (The)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • MySpace.com
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Netto Foodstores Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • News Corporation (The)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • News International PLC
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Newspaper Society (The)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Newsquest Media Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Northcliffe Newspapers Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Northern & Shell plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Observer (The)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Ocado
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Office for National Statistics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Office of Fair Trading
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Orange plc (UK)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Pearson plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Picture House Cinemas/ City Screen Limited
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • PizzaExpress Limited
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Prezzo PLC
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Racing Post
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Research in Motion Uk Ltd.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Reuters Group PLC
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Safeway Stores
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • SMG plc (Scottish Media Group)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Somerfield
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Sony (UK) Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Strada
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Telegraph Group Limited
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Tesco Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • The Herald
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • The People
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • The Scotsman Publications Ltd.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • The Sun
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • The Sunday Post
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • The Sunday Times
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • The Times Newspaper
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Time Out London
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Tiscali UK
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Trader Media Group Ltd.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Trinity Mirror plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Waitrose
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Waterford Wedgwood Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Wm Morrison Supermarkets
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • World Advertising Research Center
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Yahoo! UK & Ireland
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Yellow Pages Association
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Yorkshire Post Newspapers Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • YouTube, Inc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    National Newspapers - UK - March 2009

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