It is no secret that the news industry in the UK and various other European markets has faced considerable challenges over the past few years. Due to ever-increasing online penetration rates and consumers’ insatiable appetite for free online news content, various publishers have had to scale back print publication volumes or go out of business entirely. Data on European news consumption showed that most British consumers only read news that can be accessed for free . And seeing that not even the most popular weekly print publication has an audience reach of 50 percent, it makes sense for news agencies and publishers to adapt their strategies.

Top players are fighting an uphill battle

The Daily Mail was the top national newspaper in the UK based on circulation in 2021. Looking at data on regional publications, Aberdeen – Press & Journal stands out as the top daily title, followed by the Irish News. Both newspapers have seen circulation numbers shrink in recent years, a downward trend that is also mirrored in the revenues of major news publication companies such as Reach Plc and Daily Mail and General Trust Plc (DMGT). Consumers spend less money on print newspapers than ever, and even though interest in current affairs remains high, the ways in which such content is accessed have fundamentally changed. Not only that, but other winds of change are also gathering speed behind the scenes. Over the past 10 years, the number of journalists and newspaper editors employed in the UK has almost doubled. Data on the diversity of the UK news industry also suggested that the number of female employees and the share of young journalists is increasing steadily.

The digital wave is leaving an imprint on UK news media

The UK’s news industry has been heavily impacted by the advances of social media and consumers’ growing demand for online content. Staying up to date with the latest developments from around the world is now easier than ever, and thanks to 24-hour news cycles and instant pop-up notifications, print newspapers are losing their appeal more rapidly each year. While some smaller publications have yet to embrace the digital future, others have already started offering their content via web editions to maintain relevance and combat subscriber loss. In 2021, some of the UK’s leading online newspaper brands drew an average daily audience of up to four million readers. At the same time, the BBC, which has moved several of its radio and television broadcasts online in recent years, also managed to amass nearly 670 thousand monthly visits via its two websites in 2021. This shift towards online news reporting has not gone unnoticed by advertisers either. While total news brand advertising spending in the UK has declined for years, investments in digital news outlets continue to flourish.

Interesting statistics

In the following 4 chapters, you will quickly find the 28 most important statistics relating to "News industry in the United Kingdom".


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