2021
9
UK National Newspapers (Including Impact of COVID-19) Market Report 2021
2021-04-09T04:13:43+01:00
OX1042519
2195
136444
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Report
en_GB
“While the pandemic has been very difficult for the market, reliable reporting throughout the crisis has enabled national newspapers to reassert their importance to a society bombarded with fake news.

UK National Newspapers (Including Impact of COVID-19) Market Report 2021

£ 2,195 (Excl.Tax)

Report Summary

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the UK National Newspapers market, including the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

While the COVID-19 pandemic saw a 15% decline in print circulation for national newspapers, the sector has also seen an increased online subscriber readership. With increasing tension between newspaper publishers and tech giants supplying news, readers are increasingly looking for quality and reliable sources for their news.

The pandemic has allowed newspapers to reassert their importance in supplying accurate news, with 60% of readers being satisfied with their coverage of the COVID-19 crisis. Despite ad revenue initially decreasing, online readership has been boosted across the pandemic, with 1 in 10 reading online newspapers more. However, as economic hardships begin to be felt more strongly heading out of the pandemic, online subscriptions are expected to fall as people cut back on spending.

The increasing interest in online readership, as well as expansions into radio and TV will help newpapers to boost their engagement across age groups. While online subscription models similar to Netflix is a flawed concept, there are potentials for innovation into other forms of media subscription.

Read on to discover more details or take a look at all of our UK Media, Books and Stationary market research.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on the national newspapers market.
  • Forecast for the UK print circulation for national newspapers.
  • National newspaper readership and purchasing behaviour.
  • The main reasons people subscribe to a national newspaper online.
  • The national newspaper topics people spend the most time reading about online.

Covered in this report

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

Online News Sources: BBC News, Sky News, Mail Online, HuffPost, Mirror Online.

Newspaper Advertisers: News UK & Ireland, Dmg Media, Property News, Raconteur Media, Guardian News & Media, Mediaplanet, Telegraph Newspapers, Reach Plc, Express Newspapers, Financial Times Group.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Rebecca McGrath, a leading analyst in the Media sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

While the pandemic has been very difficult for the market, reliable reporting throughout the crisis has enabled national newspapers to reassert their importance to a society bombarded with fake news. As print continues to decline in importance, publishers are exploring more opportunities across media sectors, including social media, radio and TV, further broadening the concept of what a newspaper can offer.
Rebecca McGrath
Senior Media Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • COVID-19: market context
    • Economic and other assumptions
    • Products covered in this Report
  2. Executive Summary

    • Impact of COVID-19 on national newspapers
      • Figure 1: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on national newspapers, prepared 20 February 2021
    • The market
    • 2020 saw a 15% decline in print circulation
      • Figure 2: Market size for UK national newspaper print circulation (prepared on 5 March 2021), 2015-25
    • Battle in Australia highlights ongoing tension between tech giants and news publishers
    • Some publishers criticised for cutting margins for retailers
    • Companies and brands
    • Introductions from tech giants offer more support to news publishers
    • National newspapers expand into more media sectors
    • The consumer
    • Four in 10 reading online newspapers more
      • Figure 3: Change in online national newspaper readership, November 2020
    • People have been buying fewer print titles
      • Figure 4: National newspaper print readership, November 2020
      • Figure 5: Print national newspaper purchases, November 2020
      • Figure 6: Change in purchasing of print national newspapers, November 2020
    • Altered lifestyle is the primary reason people are buying fewer print newspapers
      • Figure 7: Reasons bought fewer print national newspapers, November 2020
    • Long-term impact on print purchasing is a mixed bag
      • Figure 8: Expectations of purchasing print national newspapers in the future, November 2020
    • Most are satisfied with national newspaper reporting on the outbreak
      • Figure 9: Satisfaction with COVID-19 reporting in national newspapers, November 2020
    • Growth in different devices used for news
      • Figure 10: Devices used for online news, November 2017-20
    • BBC’s dominance boosted by pandemic
      • Figure 11: Online news sources, November 2017-20
    • Many older people are open to getting a digital subscription
      • Figure 12: Online national newspaper behaviour, November 2020
    • People are keeping with their print newspaper when they subscribe online
      • Figure 13: Reasons for paying for an online national newspaper, November 2020
    • COVID-19 dominates the time people have spent reading online national newspapers
      • Figure 14: National newspaper topics, November 2020
  3. Issues and Insights

    • As COVID-19 accelerates print declines, national newspaper publishers explore more multimedia opportunities
    • Redefining a national newspaper
    • Exploring digital subscription options
    • Effectively targeting discounts
    • Netflix-for-newspapers won’t work but smaller bundles could
  4. The Market – Key Takeaways

    • Print circulation declines 15% in 2020
    • The digital advertising market is rebounding well but the print advertising market will continue to struggle
    • More regulation expected on tech giants to help news publishers
  5. Market Size and Forecast

    • COVID-19 hastens print decline as publishers put more focus on digital subscriptions
      • Figure 15: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on national newspapers, prepared 20 February 2021
    • 2020 saw a 15% decline in print circulation
      • Figure 16: Market size for UK national newspaper print circulation (prepared on 5 March 2021), 2015-25
      • Figure 17: Market size for UK national newspaper print circulation (prepared on 5 March 2021), 2015-25
    • Market drivers and assumptions
      • Figure 18: Key drivers affecting Mintel’s market forecast (prepared on 5 March 2021), 2015-25
    • Learnings from the last recession
      • Figure 19: Trends in total UK print national newspaper circulation, 2005-12
    • Forecast methodology
  6. Market Drivers

    • The CMA wants stronger regulations to be introduced to curb dominance of Google and Facebook
    • Battle in Australia highlights ongoing tension between tech giants and news publishers
    • What the conflict means for the UK
    • Google defends algorithm
    • Many titles increase cover prices
      • Figure 20: Basic UK cover price for national newspapers, December 2019-20
    • Some publishers criticised for cutting margins for retailers
    • Digital advertising market to rebound well
      • Figure 21: Forecast of digital advertising expenditure in the UK (prepared September 2020), 2015-25
    • Advertisers invest less in print
      • Figure 22: Advertising spend on print press, 2017-20
    • Newspaper deliveries boom during pandemic
    • Duke and Duchess of Sussex win cases against UK newspapers
    • News UK appeals to Supreme Court to claim digital newspapers should have been VAT exempt for years
  7. Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

    • National titles see large drops in print circulation but report strong growth in browser and subscription figures
    • Tech giants make introductions offering greater support to news publishers
    • National newspapers explore radio and TV
  8. Market Share

    • Significant circulation declines across national titles
      • Figure 23: Daily print national newspapers’ average print circulation per issue, 2017-20
    • Sunday titles’ circulation declines slightly better than dailies
      • Figure 24: Sunday print national newspapers’ average print circulation per issue, 2017-20
    • There was significant digital growth in 2020
      • Figure 25: National newspaper digital editions/publications, Jan-Dec 2020
    • Guardian still way out in front on social media
      • Figure 26: National newspapers’ social-media followings, 15 February 2020
    • Results from national newspaper publishers
    • Reach reports recovery in digital advertising revenue
    • Mail Online a bright spot for DMGT
    • The Telegraph returns furlough money as digital subscribers surge
    • Guardian cuts jobs but reports growth in subscribers and contributors
    • News UK’s revenue drops significantly in first half of 2020
  9. Launch Activity and Innovation

    • Introductions from tech giants offer more support to news publishers
    • New Facebook News platform introduced in the UK
    • Google launches curated news feed service
    • National newspapers expand into more media sectors
    • Times Radio launches
    • News UK moves into TV as the UK’s TV news market is set for shake-up
    • The Independent launches Independent TV
    • Newspapers make the environment a greater priority
    • Guardian
    • Daily Express
    • Financial Times
    • Readly adds more national newspapers
    • Joint digital subscription used by Financial Times to encourage new subscribers
    • Newspapers introduce virtual events, which have potential beyond the pandemic
    • Scottish Sun launches a children’s version highlighting potential gap in the market
  10. Advertising and Marketing Activity

    • Significant drop in adspend by national newspaper publishers
      • Figure 27: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on national newspapers, 2017-20
      • Figure 28: Top 10 advertisers in the national newspaper market, 2017-20
    • Adspend shifted towards TV and Digital
      • Figure 29: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on national newspapers, by media types, 2017-20
    • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
  11. Brand Research

    • Brand map
      • Figure 30: Attitudes towards and usage of selected brands, January 2021
    • Key brand metrics
      • Figure 31: Key metrics for selected brands, January 2021
    • Brand attitudes: The Times is associated with quality
      • Figure 32: Attitudes, by brand, January 2021
    • Brand personality: The Guardian is considered the most ethical
      • Figure 33: Brand personality – macro image, January 2021
    • The Daily Mail is strongly associated with being biased
      • Figure 34: Brand personality – micro image, January 2021
    • Brand analysis
    • The Guardian readers are the most satisfied
      • Figure 35: User profile of the Guardian, January 2021
    • The Times stands out the most to people
      • Figure 36: User profile of The Times, January 2021
    • The i still has comparatively low awareness
      • Figure 37: User profile of the i, January 2021
    • The Daily Telegraph has a less positive brand image than other quality titles
      • Figure 38: User profile of The Daily Telegraph, January 2021
    • People are more likely to think the Daily Mail offers good value than other titles
      • Figure 39: User profile of the Daily Mail, January 2021
    • The Daily Express is well behind the Daily Mail for trust
      • Figure 40: User profile of the Daily Express, January 2021
    • The Sun is viewed as the most entertaining but intrusive
      • Figure 41: User profile of The Sun, January 2021
    • Focus on satire could help the Daily Star to stand out
      • Figure 42: User profile of the Daily Star, January 2021
  12. The Consumer – Key Takeaways

    • The pandemic has boosted online readership and most have been satisfied with reporting on the topic
    • Many are willing to subscribe to national newspapers online
    • People are buying fewer print newspapers but some remain committed to the format
  13. Impact of COVID-19 on Consumer Behaviour

    • Four in 10 reading online newspapers more
    • Daily Star’s satire likely to have been particularly appreciated
      • Figure 43: Change in online national newspaper readership, November 2020
    • People have been buying fewer print titles
      • Figure 44: National newspaper print readership, November 2020
      • Figure 45: Print national newspaper purchases, November 2020
      • Figure 46: Change in purchasing of print national newspapers, November 2020
    • Altered lifestyle is the primary reason people are buying fewer print newspapers
      • Figure 47: Reasons bought fewer print national newspapers, November 2020
    • Long-term impact on print purchasing is a mixed bag
      • Figure 48: Expectations of purchasing print national newspapers in the future, November 2020
    • Most are satisfied with national newspaper reporting on the outbreak
      • Figure 49: Satisfaction with COVID-19 reporting in national newspapers, November 2020
  14. Online News Sources and Devices

    • Growth in online news consumption and devices used will aid multimedia expansion
      • Figure 50: Devices used for online news, November 2017-20
      • Figure 51: Repertoire of devices used for online news, November 2017-20
    • BBC’s dominance boosted by pandemic
      • Figure 52: Online news sources, November 2017-20
      • Figure 53: Repertoire of online news sources, November 2020
    • Collaboration with new news platforms could help increase penetration
  15. Online National Newspaper Behaviour

    • Many older people are open to getting a digital subscription
      • Figure 54: Online national newspaper behaviour, November 2020
    • Netflix-for-newspapers is unlikely to work
    • Smaller bundles of newspapers could be a better option than larger news subscription services
    • Reducing the gender gap in subscription figures
      • Figure 55: Online national newspaper behaviour, by gender, November 2020
    • Newspapers can feel confident about making registration mandatory
    • Having publisher-based, rather than title-based registration walls
  16. Reasons for Paying for an Online National Newspaper

    • People are keeping with their print newspaper when they subscribe online
    • Discounts are more important than ever
      • Figure 56: Reasons for paying for an online national newspaper, November 2020
    • Many national titles likely to have built trust during the pandemic boosting subscriber numbers
    • Opinion content is an important tool to get people to subscribe
  17. National Newspaper Topics

    • COVID-19 dominates the time people have spent reading online national newspapers
    • National newspapers need to be ready to lessen their COVID-19 coverage
      • Figure 57: National newspaper topics, November 2020
    • Greater coverage of international elections could boost engagement
    • As COVID-19 shifts people’s priorities, lifestyle content gains importance
      • Figure 58: National newspaper topics, by gender, November 2020
    • For young men sport is less of a priority
  18. Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

    • Abbreviations
    • Consumer research methodology

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.

Market

Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.

Consumer

Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.

Brand/Company

Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.

Data

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*databooks not available with UK B2B Industry reports.

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