What you need to know

The continuing migration of readers from print to digital media means annual regional newspaper circulations are expected to fall by 9.6% in 2019 to around 1,150 million, but also that their digital platforms’ daily unique browser numbers will grow 12.5% to more than 12 million.

This means that, in print and online, regional newspapers continue to reach more than two thirds of the adult population – yet they still struggle to monetise these audiences, who remain largely opposed to paying for digital access especially.

While consumers will remain resistant to paywalls online, distinctive print products and specialist digital platforms could have subscription potential, with newspapers’ free platforms becoming better geared to their promotion.

Covered in this Report

For the purposes of this Report, regional newspapers are defined as non-national mornings, evenings, weeklies and Sundays, whether paid for or distributed free. A loose distinction is made between local and regional newspapers.

Regionals are normally published daily (for instance, the morning Eastern Daily Press or the Manchester Evening News) and cover a specific region/urban centre.

Locals are usually published weekly or, occasionally, bi-weekly and their coverage is more geographically restricted, but the distinction is not a formal one.

Throughout the Report the term regional newspapers is often used to cover all non-national newspapers (including regionals and locals, as defined above).

The terms ‘circulation’ and ‘distribution’ refer to the number of copies of a newspaper that are sold or otherwise delivered to consumers. ‘Readership’ refers to the number of consumers who read a newspaper, which will be higher with the addition of pass-on readers. ‘Unique browsers’ refers to the number of individuals who visit a particular website in a given period.

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