2022
9
UK National Newspapers Market Report 2022
2022-04-29T04:05:52+01:00
OX1101871
2195
150885
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Report
en_GB
“Although Mintel research indicates that there will be a core group of loyal print national newspaper readers for many more years to come, the trend toward digital could accelerate further…

UK National Newspapers Market Report 2022

£ 2,195 (Excl.Tax)

Report Summary

The UK National Newspapers report identifies consumer attitudes towards rising inflation, newspaper circulation, and digital newspaper subscribers in the UK. This market report covers the market size, market forecast, market segmentation and industry trends for the National Newspapers market in the UK.

Current Market Landscape

The ongoing decline in print circulation is causing national newspapers to become more reliant on digital subscription and membership-based models. However, just over half of these individuals subscribed for the first time in the 12 months to February 2022, indicating growing acceptance of this type of business model.

  • 31% of online national newspaper readers have a paid digital subscription.
  • 54% of digital subscribers subscribed for the first time in the 12 months to February 2022.
  • 50% of UK online newspaper readers say they trust the national newspapers they read to give them the full picture of a news story.

Rising inflation is having a significant impact on UK national newspaper publishers, with increasing operational costs negatively impacting margins on the sale of print editions. This is causing publishers to consider additional cover price increases, which will dissuade more consumers from purchasing print editions and further accelerate the trend toward digital.

Future Market Trends in National Newspapers

Scepticism about the trustworthiness of national newspaper titles could hurt consumer demand for their content, and cause people to become even more reliant on other types of online news sources like the BBC.

Male readers of online newspapers are more likely than women to be registered with a national newspaper for free (39% vs 28%) and nearly twice as likely to have a paid digital subscription (40% vs 22%). This indicates there is a considerable opportunity for publishers to boost overall digital subscriptions and membership rates by incorporating more content and features that would appeal particularly to female audiences.

Read on to discover more details or take a look at all of our UK Media market research

Quickly understand

  • The impact of rising inflation on the national newspaper market.
  • How the national newspaper market will evolve in a post-pandemic environment.
  • National newspaper readership and purchasing behaviour.
  • Number of paid digital national newspaper subscribers.
  • Level of interest in online newsletters from national newspaper titles.
  • Attitudes and behaviour towards online national newspapers.

Covered in this report

Newspapers: The Daily Telegraph, Financial Times, Daily Mail, The Guardian, The Independent, i, The Times, Daily Express, Independent on Sunday, The Observer, The Sunday Telegraph, The Sunday Times, iWeekend, The Mail on Sunday, Sunday Express, The Sunday Post, Daily Star, Daily Record, The Sun, The Sun on Sunday, Daily Star Sunday, Sunday People, Sunday Mail, Sunday Mirror, BBC News, Sky News, The Mirror, HuffPost, Reach, TalkTV.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

This report, written by George Zaborowski, a leading analyst in the Retail sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Although Mintel research indicates that there will be a core group of loyal print national newspaper readers for many more years to come, the trend toward digital could accelerate further over the next several years. The expansion of the proportion of people comfortable with consuming news online, the rising cost of producing print titles, the decline in print advertising, and the forthcoming introduction of new pro competition laws that will reduce the dominance of Google and Facebook in digital advertising will act as incentives for national newspaper publishers to focus more heavily on the development of digitally based content and business models.

George Zaborowski
Senior Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

      • Key issues covered in this Report
        • Market context
          • Products covered in this Report
          • Executive Summary

              • The five-year outlook for UK national newspapers
                • Figure 1: Category outlook, 2022-27
              • The market
                • Print circulation forecast to decline by a third by 2026
                  • Figure 2: Market forecast for UK national newspaper print circulation, 2016-26
                • Tech giants may soon be required to pay publishers for use of content
                  • Print newspapers becoming increasingly costly for both publishers and consumers
                    • Companies and brands
                      • Independent and News UK look to broaden their appeal via investment in TV media
                        • The Telegraph and the Financial Times launch new apps
                          • The consumer
                            • Fewer than half of UK consumers have bought a print title in the past year…
                              • Figure 3: Print national newspaper purchases, 2020 and 2022
                            • …however, most existing regular print buyers plan to stick with the format
                              • Figure 4: Expected print national newspaper buying habits in two years’ time, 2022
                            • Preference for the format the top reason for buying print newspapers
                              • Figure 5: Main reason for buying a print national newspaper in last three months, 2022
                            • BBC the go-to online news source
                              • Figure 6: Online news sources, 2018-22
                            • Smartphone the top device used to access national news online
                              • Figure 7: Devices used to access national news online in last three months, 2018-22
                            • Nearly a third of online national newspaper readers have a paid subscription
                              • Figure 8: Number of online national newspaper paid digital subscriptions, 2022
                            • Most online national newspaper readers express interest in newsletters
                              • Figure 9: Interest in select types of online national newspaper newsletters, 2022
                            • Half of readers trust national newspapers to deliver the full picture
                              • Younger people most willing to engage with national newspaper digital offerings
                                • Figure 10: Agreement with select statements about online national newspapers, 2022
                            • Issues & Insights

                              • Rising inflation threatens more than just print circulation for national newspapers
                                • Online newsletters can be a key piece of a ‘digital-first’ strategy
                                • Market Size and Performance

                                  • Print newspaper circulation in continual decline
                                    • Figure 11: Market size for UK national newspaper print circulation, 2016-21
                                    • Figure 12: Market size for UK national newspaper print circulation, 2014-21
                                • Market Forecast

                                  • The inevitable shift to digital has gathered pace
                                    • Figure 13: Category outlook, 2022-27
                                  • Print circulation projected to decline by a third by 2026
                                    • Figure 14: Market forecast for UK national newspaper print circulation, 2016-26
                                    • Figure 15: Market forecast for UK national newspaper print circulation, 2016-26
                                  • Market drivers and assumptions
                                    • Figure 16: Key drivers affecting Mintel’s market forecast, 2016-26
                                  • Forecast methodology
                                  • Market Drivers

                                    • Print cover prices continue to rise
                                      • Figure 17: Basic UK cover price for national newspapers, 2020 vs 2022
                                    • Inflation is the key concern for 2022 for consumers, brands and the economy
                                      • Rising inflation placing pressure on production costs
                                        • Retailer margins on print copy are being squeezed
                                          • Digital ad spend soars after initial COVID-19 induced decline
                                            • Print advertising expenditure declines further
                                              • Figure 18: Advertising spend on print press, 2017-21
                                          • Regulatory and Legislative Environment

                                            • Government to establish a new digital markets regulatory regime…
                                              • …which will likely require tech giants to pay for news content
                                                • CMA supervising the development of Google’s Privacy Sandbox plans
                                                • Market Share

                                                  • FT the sole national title to see growth in circulation in 2021
                                                    • Figure 19: Daily print national newspapers’ average print circulation per issue, 2017-21
                                                  • Sunday title circulation experiences another across-the-board decline
                                                    • Figure 20: Sunday print national newspapers’ average print circulation per issue, 2017-21
                                                  • Digital circulation has grown throughout the pandemic
                                                    • Figure 21: Average circulation and active views of national newspaper digital editions/publications, Jan-Dec 2020, and Jan-Dec 2021
                                                  • Guardian has the biggest overall social media presence
                                                    • Figure 22: National newspapers’ social media followings, 2022
                                                  • Results from national newspaper publishers
                                                    • DMGT’s Mail businesses experience modest revenue growth
                                                      • Financial Times posts loss in 2020 but is optimistic about 2021 performance
                                                        • Guardian digital readership revenues rise strongly
                                                          • The Independent posts record profits
                                                            • News UK revenues rise along with growth in digital subscriptions at The Times
                                                              • Reach ahead of schedule with digital growth strategy
                                                                • The Telegraph experiences strong growth in digital subscription revenue
                                                                • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                  • The Independent executes successful first-party data strategy…
                                                                    • …and has plans to make its Independent TV hub an OTT media service
                                                                      • Telegraph streamlines its app offering…
                                                                        • …and revamps its weekend print editions with special focus on puzzles
                                                                          • FT unveils 99p app-only edition to broaden its appeal
                                                                            • Reach launches email innovation lab with Google financial backing
                                                                              • TalkTV from News UK due to launch in Spring 2022
                                                                                • News UK exploring how NFTs may fit into its newspaper business
                                                                                • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                  • Little change in overall adspend by national newspaper publishers
                                                                                    • Figure 23: Total above-the line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure by national newspapers, 2017-21
                                                                                  • FT Group adspend skyrockets with launch of new campaigns
                                                                                    • Figure 24: Top 10 advertisers in the national newspaper market, 2017-21
                                                                                  • Brands transition to TV and digital advertising during pandemic
                                                                                    • Figure 25: Proportion of total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on national newspapers, by media type, 2019-21
                                                                                  • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                                  • Brand Research

                                                                                      • Brand map
                                                                                        • Figure 26: Attitudes towards and usage of selected brands, 2022
                                                                                      • Key brand metrics
                                                                                        • Figure 27: Key metrics for selected brands, 2022
                                                                                      • Brand attitudes: Daily Mail offers good value
                                                                                        • Figure 28: Attitudes, by brand, 2022
                                                                                      • Brand personality: The Sun is seen by many as unethical
                                                                                        • Figure 29: Brand personality – macro image, 2022
                                                                                      • The Guardian and Daily Telegraph are viewed as intelligent and sophisticated
                                                                                        • Figure 30: Brand personality – micro image, 2022
                                                                                      • Brand analysis
                                                                                        • The Guardian is the most recommended brand
                                                                                          • The Daily Telegraph is seen as credible
                                                                                            • The Daily Mail is the most widely read title
                                                                                              • The Daily Mirror is entertaining and accessible
                                                                                                • The Daily Express struggles to stand out
                                                                                                  • The Sun splits the crowd
                                                                                                  • Print National Newspaper Readership and Purchase Activity

                                                                                                    • National newspaper print readership continues to dwindle
                                                                                                      • Figure 31: National newspaper print readership, 2020 and 2022
                                                                                                    • Less than half of UK consumers bought a print title in the past year
                                                                                                      • Figure 32: Print national newspaper purchases, 2020 and 2022
                                                                                                    • Most existing regular print buyers plan to stick with the format
                                                                                                      • A third of readers under-45 plan to buy more print newspapers
                                                                                                        • Figure 33: Expected print national newspaper buying habits in two years’ time, 2022
                                                                                                    • Reasons for Buying a Print National Newspaper

                                                                                                      • Affinity for the format the top factor driving print newspaper purchase
                                                                                                        • Figure 34: Main reason for buying a print national newspaper in last three months, 2022
                                                                                                      • Younger adults have more nuanced reasons for buying print editions
                                                                                                        • Puzzles in print appeal to both young and old
                                                                                                          • Figure 35: Main reason for buying a print national newspaper in last three months, by age, 2022
                                                                                                      • Online News Sources

                                                                                                        • BBC the dominant online news source
                                                                                                          • Figure 36: Online news sources, 2018-22
                                                                                                        • Over half of online news readers only visit one or two online sources
                                                                                                          • Figure 37: Repertoire of online news sources, 2022
                                                                                                          • Figure 38: Repertoire of online news sources, 2022
                                                                                                        • Pandemic has boosted readership of online news sources…
                                                                                                          • …with the Daily Star, Financial Times and Telegraph benefiting most
                                                                                                            • Figure 39: Change in reading habits of online news sources, 2022
                                                                                                        • Devices Used to Access National News Online

                                                                                                          • The smartphone now central to the consumption of national news
                                                                                                            • Figure 40: Devices used to access national news online in last three months, 2018-22
                                                                                                            • Figure 41: Repertoire of devices used to access national news online in last three months, 2022
                                                                                                            • Figure 42: Repertoire of devices used to access national news online in last three months, 2022
                                                                                                          • The smartphone plays a less dominant role for over-55s
                                                                                                            • Figure 43: Devices used to access national news online in last three months, by age, 2022
                                                                                                        • Paid Digital National Newspaper Subscribers

                                                                                                          • 31% of online national newspaper readers have a paid subscription
                                                                                                            • Under-35s most likely to have a paid digital subscription
                                                                                                              • Women are an untapped target market for subscriptions
                                                                                                                • Figure 44: Number of online national newspaper paid digital subscriptions, 2022
                                                                                                              • Most are paying for access to just one or two online national newspapers
                                                                                                                • Figure 45: Number of online national newspaper paid digital subscriptions, 2022
                                                                                                              • Over half have subscribed for the first time in the past year
                                                                                                                • Figure 46: Proportion of digital subscribers who subscribed for the first time in the past 12 months, 2022
                                                                                                            • Interest in Online National Newspaper Newsletters

                                                                                                              • Most online national newspaper readers express interest in newsletters
                                                                                                                • Figure 47: Interest in select types of online national newspaper newsletters, 2022
                                                                                                              • Topic-specific and curated newsletters appeal most to younger readers
                                                                                                                • Figure 48: Interest in select types of online national newspaper newsletters, by age, 2022
                                                                                                              • Newsletters as a key tool for boosting paid digital subscriptions
                                                                                                                • Figure 49: Interest in select types of online national newspaper newsletters, by paid digital subscription to a national newspaper, 2022
                                                                                                            • Attitudes and Behaviour towards Online National Newspapers

                                                                                                              • Over half think it’s vital to read papers with politically opposing views
                                                                                                                • Figure 50: Level of agreement with select statements about online national newspapers, by gender and age, 2022
                                                                                                              • Half of readers trust national newspapers to deliver the full picture
                                                                                                                • Figure 51: Level of agreement with select statements about online national newspapers, by gender and age, 2022
                                                                                                              • Under-45s most engaged with online national newspapers
                                                                                                                • More still needs to be done to improve engagement among women
                                                                                                                  • Figure 52: Agreement with select statements about online national newspapers, by gender and age, 2022
                                                                                                              • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                  • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                    • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                    • Appendix: Forecast Methodology

                                                                                                                      • Market forecast and prediction intervals
                                                                                                                        • Figure 53: Market forecast UK national newspaper print circulation, 2021-26
                                                                                                                      • Market drivers and assumptions
                                                                                                                        • Forecast methodology

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