2020
9
UK Regional Newspapers Market Report 2020
2020-09-16T15:32:54+01:00
OX988904
2195
124926
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Report
en_GB
“The long-struggling regional newspapers market has been hit hard by the outbreak of COVID-19, which has resulted in significant drops in print circulation and advertising revenue, as well as many…

UK Regional Newspapers Market Report 2020

£ 2,195 (Excl.Tax)

Report Summary

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Regional Newspapers: Inc Impact of COVID-19 – UK market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

Although 58% of regional newspaper readers read free digital versions of their local or regional newspaper, only 6% read paid digital versions. With the COVID-19 crisis highlighting the unreliability of digital advertising revenue, it is vital for regional newspapers to boost this figure if they are to create a sustainable digital model.

All reports purchased from the Mintel Store now come with free access to our COVID-19 Global Insights Hub, allowing you to understand how industries and consumer behaviour is changing worldwide.

What does the COVID-19 Global Insights Hub give you access to?

  • Over 450 pieces of research (with more published each week) addressing markets across the globe.
  • Discover how people in countries at different stages of the crisis are adjusting to the ‘new normal’.
  • Trending industries which have seen growth due to the changes in circumstance.
  • Our latest consumer research surveys, allowing you to see customers views right now.

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.

The long-struggling regional newspapers market has been hit hard by the outbreak of COVID-19, which has resulted in significant drops in print circulation and advertising revenue, as well as many job cuts and the closure of titles. The pandemic has, however, also helped shine a light on the importance of local and community-focused reporting. As situations increasingly differ between areas across the country people are going to turn even more to their local/regional newspapers for information and reassurance Rebecca McGrath
Senior Media Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Key issues covered in this Report
        • Covered in this Report
          • Market Context
            • Economic and other assumptions
            • Executive Summary

                • Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19
                  • Figure 1: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on regional newspapers, prepared 7 August 2020
                • The Market
                  • COVID-19 causes sharp drop in print circulation
                    • Figure 2: Forecast of regional newspaper annual print circulation, 2014-24
                  • Browser numbers surge
                    • Figure 3: Forecast of digital regional newspaper networks’ daily unique browser numbers, 2014-24
                  • COVID-19 highlights issue of blacklist technology for advertising revenue
                    • Government takes actions in response to Cairncross Review
                      • Key Players
                        • Reach announces large-scale job cuts
                          • The Evening Standard cuts a third of jobs
                            • Newspapers ask for online payment through subscriptions and donations
                              • The Consumer
                                • More than half of people read a daily regional newspaper at least once a week
                                  • Local COVID-19 restrictions will increase interest in local reporting
                                    • Figure 4: Frequency of reading daily regional newspapers, May 2018, April 2019 and 9-23 April 2020
                                    • Figure 5: Frequency of reading weekly regional newspapers, May 2018, April 2019 and 9-23 April 2020
                                  • Getting people to subscribe online becomes a more immediate concern
                                    • Figure 6: Types of regional newspapers read, May 2018, April 2019 and 9-23 April 2020
                                  • Nearly a third of digital readers are registered with a local/regional newspaper
                                    • Figure 7: Regional and local online newspaper registration, 9-23 April 2020
                                  • Most people are willing to spend 50-99p on a local/regional newspaper
                                    • Figure 8: Amount willing to spend on local/regional newspapers, 9-23 April 2020
                                  • Most people get their local/regional newspapers from supermarkets
                                    • Figure 9: Location where people typically get print local/regional newspapers, 9-23 April 2020
                                  • Three in four are interested in watching videos on digital local/regional newspapers
                                    • Figure 10: Digital features on regional/local newspapers, 9-23 April 2020
                                  • Nearly a third of people expected to read print local/regional newspapers less frequently at the start of lockdown
                                    • Figure 11: Impact of COVID-19 on frequency of reading print local/regional newspapers, 9-23 April 2020
                                  • Opportunities to broaden appeal and familiarly with online local/regional newspapers
                                    • Figure 12: Impact of COVID-19 on likelihood of reading local/regional newspapers online, 9-23 April 2020
                                    • Figure 13: Impact of COVID-19 on local/regional newspaper online readership, 9-23 April 2020
                                  • What we think
                                  • Issues and Insights

                                    • Tailored hyperlocal news and podcasts will be important elements of digital platforms
                                      • The facts
                                        • The implications
                                          • Sense of community and duty central to getting people to pay
                                            • The facts
                                              • The implications
                                              • COVID-19 and Regional Newspapers

                                                • Impact on the market
                                                  • COVID-19 outbreak causes significant print circulation declines
                                                    • Drop in digital advertising revenue despite increased browsers
                                                      • The government urges people to buy newspapers
                                                        • Impact on key players
                                                          • Publishers furlough and lay off staff to reduce costs
                                                            • Regional newspapers introduce paywalls and ask for donations
                                                              • Newspapers prioritise delivery options
                                                                • Impact on consumers
                                                                  • Local COVID-19 restrictions will increase interest in local reporting
                                                                    • People more likely to feel it is their duty to support local/regional newspapers
                                                                    • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                                      • COVID-19 causes sharp drop in print circulation
                                                                        • Browser numbers surge
                                                                          • COVID-19 highlights issue of blacklist technology
                                                                            • Government urges public to buy newspapers
                                                                              • VAT cut on online newspapers early
                                                                                • Government takes actions in response to Cairncross Review
                                                                                  • Conflict between newspapers and retailers
                                                                                  • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                    • COVID-19 causes sharp drop in print circulation
                                                                                      • Figure 14: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on regional newspapers, prepared 7 August 2020
                                                                                    • Lockdown
                                                                                      • Re-emergence
                                                                                        • Recovery
                                                                                          • Print circulation to drop significantly in 2020
                                                                                            • Figure 15: Forecast of regional newspaper annual print circulation, 2014-24
                                                                                            • Figure 16: Forecast of regional newspaper annual print circulation, 2014-24
                                                                                          • Learnings from the last recession
                                                                                            • Figure 17: Annual sales of paid-for regional print newspapers, 2004-07
                                                                                            • Figure 18: Yearly print circulation of regional newspapers, 2007-12
                                                                                          • Browser numbers surge
                                                                                            • Figure 19: Forecast of digital regional newspaper networks’ daily unique browser numbers, 2014-24
                                                                                            • Figure 20: Forecast of digital regional newspaper networks’ daily unique browser numbers, 2014-24
                                                                                          • Forecast methodology
                                                                                          • Market Drivers

                                                                                            • COVID-19 highlights issue of blacklist technology
                                                                                              • Newspapers join forces for ‘Back don’t block’ campaign
                                                                                                • Publishers need technology that can reassure advertisers
                                                                                                  • UK government advertises across newspapers
                                                                                                    • Government urges public to buy newspapers
                                                                                                      • VAT cut on online newspapers early
                                                                                                        • Google offers funding to regional newspapers
                                                                                                          • Government takes actions in response to Cairncross Review
                                                                                                            • Conflict between newspapers and retailers
                                                                                                            • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                              • COVID-19 hits regional print titles hard
                                                                                                                • 2019 declines in weekly circulation show the pre-COVID struggles
                                                                                                                  • Browser numbers continue to grow
                                                                                                                    • Views of Metro digital publication up following outbreak
                                                                                                                      • Reach and the Evening Standard in large-scale job cuts
                                                                                                                        • Reach expands digital network
                                                                                                                          • Publishers promise support to readers following COVID-19 outbreak
                                                                                                                            • Newspapers ask for online payment through subscriptions and donations
                                                                                                                              • The Metro creates video-embedded cover-wrap advertising campaign on print newspapers
                                                                                                                              • Market Share

                                                                                                                                • COVID-19 hits regional titles hard
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 21: Average print circulation of leading daily regional newspapers, 2018-20
                                                                                                                                • Note
                                                                                                                                  • 2019 declines in weekly circulation show the pre-COVID struggles
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 22: Average print circulation of leading free weekly regional newspapers, 2018 and 2019
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 23: Average print circulation of leading paid-for weekly regional newspapers, 2018 and 2019
                                                                                                                                  • Browser numbers continue to grow
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 24: Average daily unique browsers at regional newspapers, 2018 and 2019
                                                                                                                                  • Views of Metro digital publication up following outbreak
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 25: Average active views of Metro digital publication, 2018-June 2020
                                                                                                                                  • Reach announces large-scale job cuts
                                                                                                                                    • Some Reach titles to close permanently
                                                                                                                                      • The Evening Standard cuts a third of jobs
                                                                                                                                        • JPI Media suspends many print titles
                                                                                                                                          • Archant reveals it is talking to investors
                                                                                                                                          • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                                                            • Reach expands digital network
                                                                                                                                              • Reach puts environmental concerns front and centre
                                                                                                                                                • Publishers promise support to readers following COVID-19 outbreak
                                                                                                                                                  • Regional titles make a collective pledge to readers in response to COVID-19
                                                                                                                                                    • Fundraising efforts will further boost brand image
                                                                                                                                                      • Newspapers ask for online payment through subscriptions and donations
                                                                                                                                                        • Newsquest introduces digital subscriptions across all daily titles
                                                                                                                                                          • JPI Media introduces metered paywall
                                                                                                                                                            • Archant titles ask readers for donations
                                                                                                                                                              • The Metro creates video-embedded cover-wrap advertising campaign on print newspapers
                                                                                                                                                              • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                                                • More than half of people read a daily regional newspaper at least once a week
                                                                                                                                                                  • Free digital is the most popular local/regional newspaper format
                                                                                                                                                                    • Local COVID-19 restrictions will increase interest in local reporting
                                                                                                                                                                      • Getting people to subscribe online becomes a more immediate concern
                                                                                                                                                                        • Nearly a third of digital readers are registered with a local/regional newspaper
                                                                                                                                                                          • Most people are willing to spend 50-99p on a local/regional newspaper
                                                                                                                                                                            • Most people get their local/regional newspapers from supermarkets
                                                                                                                                                                              • Delivery options will remain important
                                                                                                                                                                                • There is high interest in listening to regional newspaper podcasts
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Nearly a third of people expected to read print local/regional newspapers less frequently at the start of lockdown
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Opportunities to broaden appeal and familiarly with online local/regional newspapers
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Regional Newspaper Readership

                                                                                                                                                                                      • More than half of people read a daily regional newspaper at least once a week
                                                                                                                                                                                        • COVID-19 puts more emphasis on local community
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 26: Frequency of reading daily regional newspapers, May 2018, April 2019 and 9-23 April 2020
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 27: Frequency of reading weekly regional newspapers, May 2018, April 2019 and 9-23 April 2020
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Regional Newspaper Formats

                                                                                                                                                                                        • Free digital is the most popular local/regional newspaper format
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 28: Types of regional newspapers read, May 2018, April 2019 and 9-23 April 2020
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 29: Types of regional newspapers read, by age, 9-23 April 2020
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Getting people to subscribe online becomes a more immediate concern
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Asking for voluntary donations is an alternative to a paywall
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Nearly a third of digital readers are registered with a local/regional newspaper
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Personalised hyperlocal news services could boost registrations
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 30: Regional and local online newspaper registration, 9-23 April 2020
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Amount Willing to Spend on Regional Newspapers

                                                                                                                                                                                              • Most people are willing to spend 50-99p on a local/regional newspaper
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 31: Amount willing to spend on local/regional newspapers, 9-23 April 2020
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 32: Amount willing to spend on local/regional newspapers, by format of regional newspaper read, 9-23 April 2020
                                                                                                                                                                                              • COVID-19 recession could limit people’s willingness to pay
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Where People Get Regional Newspapers

                                                                                                                                                                                                • Most people get their local/regional newspapers from supermarkets
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 33: Location where people typically get print local/regional newspapers, 9-23 April 2020
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 34: Repertoire of locations where people get print local/regional newspapers, by age, 9-23 April 2020
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Fewer commuters has large impact on free papers
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Delivery options will remain important
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Interest in Digital Features

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Three in four are interested in watching videos on digital local/regional newspapers
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Livestreaming plays greater role in COVID-19 world
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 35: Digital features on regional/local newspapers, 9-23 April 2020
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • There is high interest in listening to regional newspaper podcasts
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Outbreak to boost importance of podcasts
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 36: Listening to podcasts on regional newspapers, by age, 9-23 April 2020
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • COVID-19’s Impact on Regional Newspaper Habits

                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Nearly a third of people expected to read print local/regional newspapers less frequently at the start of lockdown
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 37: Impact of COVID-19 on frequency of reading print local/regional newspapers, 9-23 April 2020
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Opportunities to broaden appeal and familiarly with online local/regional newspapers
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 38: Impact of COVID-19 on likelihood of reading local/regional newspapers online, 9-23 April 2020
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 39: Impact of COVID-19 on local/regional newspaper online readership, 9-23 April 2020
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Local COVID-19 restrictions will increase interest in local reporting
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Consumer research methodology

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