Brighter Thinking

Shifting Sands Set to Change The UK Media Landscape for 2018

The coming year could see some seismic shifts in the UK media landscape if the developments of the past two years are to continue into 2018.

The Independent became the first British national newspaper title to move to a digital-only future in March 2016 and since then has gone from strength to strength.

Rapid digital growth over the previous three years had made The Independent’s website the UK’s fastest-growing quality newspaper site. Its monthly audience grew by 33.3% in the 12 months before it went all digital with nearly 70 million global unique users visiting the website.

Despite closing its print edition, The Independent website had, in 2017, a higher monthly readership than the Daily Express, Daily Star, London Evening Standard or The Times.

Meanwhile, the free daily newspaper, Metro, became the most read print newspaper in the UK in 2017 with a monthly reach of 10.6million readers and looks set to continue to hold this position in 2018.

The Daily Telegraph overtook The Guardian in 2017 to become the most-read “quality” newspaper brand in the UK, according to data released by the Publishers Audience Management Company (Pamco).

The Telegraph/Telegraph.co.uk is on 24.6million readers versus The Guardian on 24.2million readers per month.

The latest data puts Daily Mail/Mail Online top in circulation terms with 31.1million UK readers per month: 9.1million print, 7.7million PC (desktop) and 22.7million via mobile devices.

The Sun is in second place with 28.8m readers per month in print and online followed by the Daily Mirror on 26.1 million

Television And Radio

According to OfCom’s latest report, the UK’s TV landscape evolved rapidly in 2017 and that trend looks set to continue too.

Subscription library services like Netflix and Amazon Prime are becoming as important as live TV for family time; eight in ten adults have watched multiple episodes of the same programme back-to-back in one siting; and nearly four in ten adults watch programmes and films outside the home.

The online services of the mainstream players (BBC iPlayer, All4, ITV Hub, My5) are used by 67% of British adults according to regulator OfCom, with subscription libraries such as Netflix and Amazon Prime used by 45% of adults.

Ninety-one per cent of UK consumers watch broadcast TV at least once during a typical week, and spend an average of 3 hours 32 minutes a day watching broadcast TV on conventional TV sets in 2016, down just four minutes since 2015.

However, there is a growing gap between the viewing habits of older and younger viewers: over-64s watched an average of 5 hours 44 minutes a day in 2016, up 50 minutes from 2006, whereas 16-24s watched an average of 1 hour 54 minutes, 41 minutes less than in 2006.

The Disrupters and The Emerging Media Players in 2018

Buzzfeed, has become an increasingly influential and mainstream media player on the UK media landscape over the past 12 months. It now has a weekly reach similar to some of the largest online newspaper and broadcast platforms in the UK.

During the 2017 UK General Election the traditional battle over election night coverage between BBC, ITV and Sky News was disrupted by Buzzfeed’s live coverage on Facebook, which attracted over 2 million viewers. 

According to the Reuters 2017 Digital News Report Buzzfeed now has “strong political coverage aimed at millennials”.

The Huffington Post also looks like being a disrupter in the 2018 media landscape.

The 12-year-old news site has a new name –HuffPost - new logo and new website design that aims to resonate better with its audience and help restore trust in news, which editor-in-chief Lydia Polgreen says is “at a historic low”.

In Britain the HuffPost, which first started a dedicated site for the UK in 2011, has become increasingly influential supplying the news to many e-mail platforms such as TalkTalk and AOL. And in the 2017 UK General Election HuffPost was seen as increasingly mainstream with its political editors appearing on main news TV and radio channels giving analysis.

So get ready to see 2018 usher in a whole new set of media influencers!

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