What you need to know

National newspaper print circulation continues to decline at a significant rate, with a further 10% drop in 2018 to 1.8 billion. Meanwhile online, national newspapers have had to contend with new issues such as Facebook deprioritising news and the implications of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Publishers will hope that the upcoming Cairncross Review can outline a path that challenges the current digital advertising duopoly of Facebook and Google.

One of the more positive stories for national newspapers is a growing willingness to pay for newspaper content, particularly among younger people. This has led to an increase in subscriber numbers at multiple titles and more national newspapers feeling emboldened to introduce a variety of payment options.

People’s perception of national newspapers and their trustworthiness varies considerably, with The Sun considered the most factually inaccurate, while the FT is the most trusted. As media platforms such as Facebook and Google feel greater responsibility and pressure to promote trustworthy news, significant differences in the level of traffic these platforms direct to different national newspapers could develop.

Products covered in this Report

For the purposes of this Report, national newspapers are defined as those newspapers that are circulated throughout the UK (United Kingdom) and their digital operations. In most respects this Report adheres to ABC (Audit Bureau of Circulations) practice when determining which newspapers are national.

The term ‘circulation’ refers to the number of copies of a print newspaper that are sold or delivered to consumers.

The Report uses the ABC classifications of Popular, Mid-market and Quality throughout.

Currently, as monitored by ABC, the three sectors include the following titles:

Popular: Daily Mirror, Daily Star, Daily Record, The Sun, The Sun on Sunday, Daily Star Sunday, Sunday People, Sunday Mail, Sunday Mirror.

Mid-market: Daily Mail, Daily Express, The Mail on Sunday, Sunday Express, The Sunday Post.

Quality: The Daily Telegraph, Financial Times, The Guardian, The Independent, i, The Times, Independent on Sunday, The Observer, The Sunday Telegraph, The Sunday Times, iWeekend.

Specialist national sports papers such as the Racing Post are excluded.

Mintel classifies the London Evening Standard and the Metro titles as regionals. These titles are explored in Mintel’s Regional Newspapers – UK, July 2018 Report.

For a broader perspective on how people consume news see Mintel’s News Consumption – TV, Print, Online and Social – UK, November 2018 Report.

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