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Regional Newspapers - UK - May 2009

When Mintel last reported on this market in November 2007 the trade was confident that sound strategies were in place to maintain readership across different formats, but it is still not clear whether they have succeeded overall or not. In a market with around 1,270 titles there are inevitably great variations in performance as well as style and size, but there have been some successes despite tough market conditions. For instance, the shift of some titles to a part-paid, part-free distribution model has done much to maintain reader numbers.

Nevertheless, sales of the paid-fors (which account for around half of titles) are estimated to be down by 18% between 2004 and 2009. This volume decline is not very different from that seen in the nationals sector as both face greater media diversity and changing patterns of consumer behaviour. In practice, another issue is now receiving greater attention, and that is reduced profitability.

Despite the decline in sales and profitability, print will certainly remain integral to the regional newspapers market as one component together with other formats. This is the case even though some individual titles may not survive. What is still more certain is that investment and creativity are more necessary now than ever. This is the time for new thinking and a number of different approaches are beginning to be considered as discussed in this report.

The report looks at the main market developments and asks, “The regional press – still the pillar of the community?”

Main issues

  • Why do local newspapers appear more at risk now than nationals?

  • Are people less interested in their local community?

  • How are people accessing local news and information?

  • How do regional, local and national newspapers’ priorities vary?

  • Could other business models represent a valuable alternative or addition to the existing stock market model for regional publishing?

  • What are the best strategies for survival?

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Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Main issues
        • Definition
          • Abbreviations
          • Future Opportunities

            • Harness expertise
              • Slow news
              • Market in Brief

                • The current market
                  • Adding value and quality
                    • Consumer views
                      • How companies are performing
                        • Figure 1: Top ten regional newspaper publishers, by circulation, 2005-09
                      • Looking ahead
                      • Internal Market Environment

                        • Key points
                          • Regionals more exposed
                            • Time for a more radical approach?
                              • The opposing view
                                • New tools for advertisers
                                  • Capturing change
                                    • More consolidation?
                                      • Diversity for consumers
                                        • Figure 2: Types of websites browsed for information purposes in the last three months, October 2008 and January 2009
                                      • Accessing the world
                                        • Figure 3: Internet penetration at home/work/place of study or elsewhere, by demographic sub-group, 2003-09
                                      • Online and print opportunities
                                        • Figure 4: Selected newspaper features adults are ‘very interested’ in, 2004-08
                                        • Figure 5: Other newspaper topics adults are ‘very interested’ in, 2004-08
                                      • More scope for home delivery?
                                        • Figure 6: Where newspapers are purchased, 2008
                                    • Broader Market Environment

                                      • Key points
                                        • Breathing space
                                          • Figure 7: Age structure of the UK population, 2004-14
                                        • The other plus point
                                          • Figure 8: UK population, by socio-economic group, 2004-14
                                        • Economic slowdown
                                          • Figure 9: Trends in GDP, PDI and consumer expenditure, 2004-14
                                        • Property ads suffer
                                          • Figure 10: Trends in the housing market, 2004-14
                                          • Figure 11: Number of UK households, by size, 2004-14
                                      • Competitive Context

                                        • Key points
                                          • Consumers and their media
                                            • Figure 12: Agreement with attitudes to news and newspapers, 2008
                                          • Online options
                                            • Figure 13: Selected examples of websites and blogs by topic*, 2008
                                          • But newspapers compete strongly
                                            • Figure 14: Selected examples of multi-platform data*, June-Dec 2008
                                          • Competition from a newer source
                                          • Strengths and Weaknesses in the Market

                                              • Strengths
                                                • Unmatched focus on local news and events
                                                  • Local sports in detail
                                                    • Can read anywhere, any time
                                                      • Newspapers offer more – in print and online
                                                        • The look and feel is appealing
                                                          • Weaknesses
                                                            • Lack of interest
                                                              • Local papers are too parochial
                                                                • Why pay?
                                                                  • Newspapers are too slow
                                                                    • Too little time
                                                                    • Who’s Innovating?

                                                                      • Key points
                                                                        • Going hyperlocal
                                                                          • Hyperlocal – the next step?
                                                                            • Another impetus to growth?
                                                                            • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                • The structure of the regional press
                                                                                  • Figure 15: Free and paid-for titles, 2005-09
                                                                                • The paid-for component
                                                                                  • Figure 16: Annual sales of paid-for regional newspapers, by volume, 2004-14
                                                                                • Overall loss cloaks a mixed picture
                                                                                  • Are regionals being hit harder than nationals?
                                                                                    • The profit factor
                                                                                      • Figure 17: Selected regional and other publishers, turnover and profit, 2008
                                                                                    • Future prospects
                                                                                      • A smaller complementary future in print
                                                                                        • Working with other media
                                                                                          • Considering other business models
                                                                                          • Segment Performance

                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • Ad revenue overview – a grim picture
                                                                                                • Figure 18: Regional newspaper advertising revenue, by type of advertisement, at current prices, 2004-09
                                                                                              • One bright spot
                                                                                                • All classified sectors hit
                                                                                                  • Figure 19: Regional newspaper classified advertising revenue, by type, 2005-09
                                                                                                • The weeklies feel the crunch
                                                                                                  • Figure 20: Regional total weekly circulation and titles, by type, 2005-09
                                                                                                • Can the dailies provide a way forward?
                                                                                                  • An overview of the leading paid-for titles
                                                                                                    • Figure 21: Top daily paid-for titles, by circulation*, July to December 2006-08
                                                                                                  • Wide variations
                                                                                                    • The Manchester Evening News
                                                                                                      • All change at the Evening Standard
                                                                                                      • Market Share

                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                          • Concentration of ownership
                                                                                                            • Figure 22: Summary of market share, by circulation and titles, 2009
                                                                                                          • Comparisons are a little tricky
                                                                                                          • Companies and Products

                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                              • Who’s who at the top
                                                                                                                • Figure 23: Total top ten uk regional newspaper publishers’ number of titles and weekly circulation, 2005-09*
                                                                                                              • Trinity Mirror
                                                                                                                • Newsquest Media Group
                                                                                                                  • Johnston Press
                                                                                                                    • A&N Media – Associated Newspapers
                                                                                                                      • Evening Press
                                                                                                                        • A&N Media – Northcliffe Media
                                                                                                                          • Guardian Media Group
                                                                                                                            • Archant
                                                                                                                              • The Midland News Association
                                                                                                                                • DC Thomson
                                                                                                                                  • Tindle Newspapers
                                                                                                                                  • Newspaper Readership

                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                      • Downward trend with one exception
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 24: Type of newspaper regularly read, 2003-08
                                                                                                                                      • Do local, regional and national readerships vary?
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 25: Key demographic differences, by newspaper sector, December 2008
                                                                                                                                      • How newspapers fit into lifestyles
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 26: Agreement with local newspaper lifestyle statements, 2008
                                                                                                                                      • What about the next generation?
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 27: Agreement with selected lifestyle statements, 7-10s and 11-14s, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                      • The under 20s online
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 28: The 11-19s who use the internet for newspapers/news, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                    • Favoured Content

                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                        • Regional and local priorities
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 29: Important sections when choosing a regional/local newspaper to read, December 2008
                                                                                                                                        • Consistent differences over time
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 30: Important factors when choosing a regional/local newspaper to read, key demographic groups, December 2008
                                                                                                                                      • Views of Newspapers

                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                          • What to avoid!
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 31: Views on reading and buying newspapers, December 2008
                                                                                                                                          • The strength of print…
                                                                                                                                            • …alongside the shift to digital
                                                                                                                                              • Regional versus national readers
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 32: Views on reading & buying newspapers, by type of newspapers regularly read, December 2008
                                                                                                                                            • Who are the Keener Readers?

                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                • Don’t jump to conclusions
                                                                                                                                                  • Regional and national views on newspapers
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 33: Views on reading & buying newspapers, byregional/local and national readers, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                  • Regional and national priorities
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 34: Important sections in reading a regional/local newspaper and a national newspaper, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                  • Breadth of interests and commitment
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 35: Newspapers read regularly by repertoire of important sections in reading a regional/local newspaper, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                  • Commitment and discrimination
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 36: Views on reading & buying newspapers, by repertoire of important sections in reading a regional/local newspaper, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Broader Market Environment

                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 37: Trends in unemployment, 2004-14
                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Segment Performance

                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 38: Total number of regional newspaper titles, grouped by type, 2005-09
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 39: Circulation by type, 2005-09
                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Companies and Products

                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 40: Circulation distribution summary, by publisher and type of title, 2009
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 41: Title distribution summary, by publisher and type of title, 2009
                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Newspaper Readership

                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 42: Type of newspaper read, by demographic sub-group, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 43: Trends in agreement with newspaper lifestyle statements, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 44: Agreement with newspaper lifestyle statements, by demographic sub-group, 2008
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 45: Agreement with newspaper lifestyle statements, by demographic sub-group, 2008
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 46: 11-19s who use the internet for newspaper/news by demographic sub-group, 2008
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 47: Agreement with selected lifestyle statements, by demographic sub-group, 11-14s, 2008
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 48: Agreement with selected lifestyle statements, by demographics, 7-10s, 2008
                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Favoured Content

                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 49: Important sections in reading a regional newspaper, by type of newspapers regularly read, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 50: Important sections in reading a regional/local newspaper, by demographic sub-group, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 51: Other important sections in reading a regional/local newspaper, by demographic sub-group, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Views of Newspapers

                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 52: Views on reading & buying newspapers, by demographic sub-group, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Who are the Keener Readers?

                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 53: Number of types of newspapers read, by demographic sub-group, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 54: Views on reading & buying newspapers, by number of types of newspapers regularly read, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 55: Important sections in reading a regional/local newspaper by repertoire of type of newspapers regularly read, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 56: Important sections in reading a national newspaper, by number of types of newspapers regularly read, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 57: Number of important sections in reading a regional/local newspaper, by demographic sub-group, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 58: Newspapers read regularly, by readership of regional/local newspaper, December 2008
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 59: Important sections in reading a national newspaper, by type of newspapers regularly read, December 2008

                                                                                                                                                Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                • Amazon.co.uk
                                                                                                                                                • Apax Partners
                                                                                                                                                • Archant
                                                                                                                                                • Asda Group Ltd
                                                                                                                                                • Associated Newspapers Ltd
                                                                                                                                                • Aston Villa Football Club
                                                                                                                                                • Audit Bureau of Circulations
                                                                                                                                                • Beano (The)
                                                                                                                                                • Belfast Telegraph (The)
                                                                                                                                                • Berrow's Worcester Journal
                                                                                                                                                • Birmingham Post & Mail Ltd
                                                                                                                                                • British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
                                                                                                                                                • British Market Research Bureau (BMRB)
                                                                                                                                                • British Retail Consortium
                                                                                                                                                • Channel 4
                                                                                                                                                • Claverley Co.
                                                                                                                                                • Co-operative Group
                                                                                                                                                • Council of Mortgage Lenders
                                                                                                                                                • Daily Express
                                                                                                                                                • Daily Mail and General Trust Group plc
                                                                                                                                                • Daily Post
                                                                                                                                                • Daily Star (The)
                                                                                                                                                • DC Thomson & Co Ltd
                                                                                                                                                • Dundee Courier & Advertiser
                                                                                                                                                • Eastern Daily Press
                                                                                                                                                • Edinburgh Evening News
                                                                                                                                                • Evening Standard
                                                                                                                                                • Exchange & Mart
                                                                                                                                                • Gannett Co., Inc.
                                                                                                                                                • Glasgow Evening Times
                                                                                                                                                • Google UK
                                                                                                                                                • Guardian Media Group
                                                                                                                                                • Independent Newspapers (UK) Ltd
                                                                                                                                                • ITV plc
                                                                                                                                                • J. Sainsbury
                                                                                                                                                • John Lewis Partnership
                                                                                                                                                • Johnston Press plc
                                                                                                                                                • Leicester Mercury
                                                                                                                                                • Liverpool Echo
                                                                                                                                                • Manchester Evening News
                                                                                                                                                • Market & Opinion Research International (MORI)
                                                                                                                                                • Marks & Spencer
                                                                                                                                                • MEN Media
                                                                                                                                                • Metro (The)
                                                                                                                                                • Midland News Association Ltd (The)
                                                                                                                                                • Newcastle Chronicle & Journal
                                                                                                                                                • News International PLC
                                                                                                                                                • Newspaper Society (The)
                                                                                                                                                • Newsquest Media Group
                                                                                                                                                • Northcliffe Newspapers Group
                                                                                                                                                • Northern Echo (The)
                                                                                                                                                • Observer (The)
                                                                                                                                                • Office of Fair Trading
                                                                                                                                                • Orange plc (UK)
                                                                                                                                                • Pearson plc
                                                                                                                                                • Reading Post
                                                                                                                                                • Research in Motion Uk Ltd.
                                                                                                                                                • Reuters Group PLC
                                                                                                                                                • Shropshire Star
                                                                                                                                                • SMG plc (Scottish Media Group)
                                                                                                                                                • Somerfield
                                                                                                                                                • Surrey & Berkshire Media Ltd
                                                                                                                                                • TEAMtalk Media Group
                                                                                                                                                • Teesside Evening Gazette
                                                                                                                                                • Tesco Plc
                                                                                                                                                • The Herald
                                                                                                                                                • The Irish News Ltd
                                                                                                                                                • The New York Times Company
                                                                                                                                                • The Scotsman Publications Ltd.
                                                                                                                                                • The Sunday Post
                                                                                                                                                • Time Out London
                                                                                                                                                • Tindle Newspapers Limited
                                                                                                                                                • Tiscali UK
                                                                                                                                                • Trader Media Group Ltd.
                                                                                                                                                • Trinity Mirror plc
                                                                                                                                                • Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                • Washington Post Company (The)
                                                                                                                                                • Western Daily Press
                                                                                                                                                • Western Morning News
                                                                                                                                                • Wm Morrison Supermarkets
                                                                                                                                                • World Advertising Research Center
                                                                                                                                                • Yahoo! UK & Ireland
                                                                                                                                                • Yellow Pages Association
                                                                                                                                                • Yorkshire Post Newspapers Ltd
                                                                                                                                                • YouTube, Inc.

                                                                                                                                                Regional Newspapers - UK - May 2009

                                                                                                                                                £1,995.00 (Excl.Tax)