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News Consumption - Print, Online and Social - UK - February 2016

“Facebook and Apple are looking to step up the role they play in news discovery and consumption with the introduction of aggregators that keep news readers within their eco-systems. In order to adapt to the potential impact these aggregators can have, publishers need to work to maintain control over content branding and utilise the premium data of Facebook and Apple to boost advertising revenue.”
– Rebecca McGrath, Media Analyst

This report examines the following areas:

  • Ad blockers worry the news industry
  • New news aggregators present challenges and opportunities

Media giants such as Facebook, Apple and Twitter are looking to expand the role they play in regards to news consumption and discovery, with features such as Instant Articles and Twitter Moments. These developments could potentially negatively impact individual news brands as people remain within Facebook or Apple’s eco-systems. Publishers partnering with these features should look to take advantage of the advertising and data possibilities, while also maintaining strict control over content design to mitigate damage to the strength of their news brand.

This report examines the ways in which people in the UK consume news, with primary focus given to print and online news sources. News is considered to be regional, national or international issues and stories. Methods of news consumption considered in this report include:

  • National and regional newspapers in both print and online formats.
  • Other online news sources, such as BBC News, BuzzFeed and vice.com.
  • Social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

          • The consumer
            • Nearly half of people read news online
              • Figure 1: News consumption methods, December 2015
            • Brand is still central as three quarters go directly to a news website/app
              • Figure 2: Access method, December 2015
            • Social media is first news stop for many
              • Figure 3: Attitudes towards social media, December 2015
            • Many are willing to accept adverts
              • Figure 4: Attitudes towards online news, December 2015
            • Over a fifth are interested in using news aggregators
              • Figure 5: Interest in news services, December 2015
            • What we think
            • Issues and Insights

              • Ad blockers worry the news industry
                • The facts
                  • The implications
                    • New news aggregators present challenges and opportunities
                      • The facts
                        • The implications
                        • The Market – What You Need to Know

                          • Mobile device ownership continues to grow
                            • Cover prices rise
                              • The Sun drops its paywall
                                • Apple supports Ad blockers
                                  • IPSO turns a year old
                                  • Market Drivers

                                    • Mobile device ownership continues to grow
                                      • Figure 6: Household ownership of selected digital devices, October 2014 and September 2015
                                    • Cover prices rise
                                      • Figure 7: Basic UK cover prices for national newspapers, January 2016
                                    • The Sun drops its paywall
                                      • Apple supports Ad blockers
                                        • IPSO turns a year old
                                        • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                          • The Times is the only national newspaper to grow circulation
                                            • Despite circulation declines The Sun remains the UK’s largest print newspaper
                                              • Mail Online dominates among online newspapers
                                                • The BBC leads the way on social media
                                                  • Major media players focus on news aggregators
                                                    • City AM bans ad blockers
                                                      • The Sun launches political SunNation website
                                                      • Market Share

                                                        • The Times is only national newspaper to grow circulation
                                                          • Figure 8: National newspapers’ average print circulation per issue, 2014 and 2015
                                                        • Despite circulation declines The Sun remains the UK’s largest print newspaper
                                                          • Figure 9: Average UK print circulation per issue, November 2014 and November 2015
                                                        • Sunday People sees largest declines
                                                          • Figure 10: National Sunday newspapers’ average print circulation per issue, 2014 and 2015
                                                        • Mail Online dominates among online newspapers
                                                          • Figure 11: Average daily unique visits to national newspaper websites, November 2014 and November 2015
                                                        • The BBC leads the way on social media
                                                          • Figure 12: Social media presence of select major online news sources, January 2015
                                                        • The Guardian is the most followed national newspaper
                                                          • Figure 13: Social media presence of select major UK newspapers, January 2015
                                                      • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                        • Major media players focus on news aggregators
                                                          • Facebook launches Instant Articles
                                                            • Apple updates its News app
                                                              • Moments collates most important news stories on Twitter
                                                                • Tipsy allows readers to pay what they wish for content
                                                                  • City AM bans ad blockers
                                                                    • The Sun launches political SunNation website
                                                                    • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                      • Preferred news format varies across age groups
                                                                        • Daily Mail remains the most popular online newspaper
                                                                          • BBC News is the most popular online news source
                                                                            • Most are still going straight to a news site/app
                                                                              • Friends are influencing the news people read
                                                                                • Younger people do not mind adverts on news websites/apps
                                                                                  • Over a fifth are interested in using news aggregators
                                                                                  • News Consumption Methods

                                                                                    • Nearly half of people read news online
                                                                                        • Figure 14: News consumption methods, December 2015
                                                                                      • Traditional media still used by most older people
                                                                                        • Figure 15: Weekly use of traditional media to consume news, by age, December 2015
                                                                                        • Figure 16: Weekly use of online news sources, by age, December 2015
                                                                                    • Paid and Free News Sources

                                                                                      • Two fifths of news consumers pay to read national newspapers
                                                                                        • Figure 17: News sources, December 2015
                                                                                      • Over-55s are the group that is paying
                                                                                        • Figure 18: Use paid national newspapers in a typical week, by age, December 2015
                                                                                    • Access Method

                                                                                      • Brand is still central as three quarters go directly to a news website/app
                                                                                        • Figure 19: Access method, December 2015
                                                                                      • 16-24s are the most likely to use social media to access news
                                                                                        • Figure 20: Access news websites/apps via social media in a typical week, by age, December 2015
                                                                                    • National Newspaper Websites/Apps Visited

                                                                                      • Daily Mail remains the most popular online newspaper
                                                                                        • Figure 21: National newspaper websites/apps visited, December 2015
                                                                                      • Women prefer Mail Online
                                                                                        • Figure 22: Websites/apps accessed in a typical week, by gender, December 2015
                                                                                      • Nearly a third of people only regularly use one website/app
                                                                                        • Figure 23: Repertoire of online news sources used weekly, December 2015
                                                                                    • News Websites/Apps Used

                                                                                      • BBC News is most popular online news source
                                                                                          • Figure 24: Online news sources used, December 2015
                                                                                        • Huffington Post and BuzzFeed appeal to women
                                                                                          • Figure 25: Visit news website/app in a typical week, by gender, December 2015
                                                                                        • 16-24s use a new form of news site
                                                                                          • Figure 26: Visit BuzzFeed in a typical week to consume news, by age, December 2015
                                                                                      • Social Media

                                                                                        • Facebook is important for news consumption
                                                                                          • Figure 27: Use of social media sites or apps to find out about news in a typical week, December 2015
                                                                                      • Attitudes towards Social Media

                                                                                        • Social media is first news stop for many
                                                                                          • Figure 28: Attitudes towards social media, December 2015
                                                                                      • Attitudes towards Online News

                                                                                        • Free online news is impacting print sales
                                                                                            • Figure 29: Attitudes towards online news, December 2015
                                                                                          • Younger people are willing to accept adverts
                                                                                              • Figure 30: Do not mind seeing adverts on news websites/apps if they are free, by age, December 2015
                                                                                            • There is also a willingness to pay for in-depth content
                                                                                              • Online Guardian and Telegraph readers are put off by exaggerated headlines
                                                                                              • Interest in News Services

                                                                                                • Over a fifth are interested in using news aggregators
                                                                                                  • Figure 31: Interest in news services, December 2015
                                                                                                • Younger people are more interested in a personalised feature on social media
                                                                                                  • Figure 32: Interest in feature on social media that gathers news content, by age, December 2015
                                                                                                • Men are more interested in video news and virtual reality
                                                                                                  • Figure 33: Interest in features, by gender, December 2015
                                                                                              • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                  • Definition
                                                                                                    • Abbreviations
                                                                                                      • Consumer research methodology

                                                                                                      Companies Covered

                                                                                                      To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                      News Consumption - Print, Online and Social - UK - February 2016

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