Population 5m
Internet 79%
Trust in news 46%
(6th out of 12)
Interest in news 71%
(5th out of 12)

Ireland’s media environment is buoyant and competitive, with new private media launched in the past year particularly in the broadcast sector. Public service broadcaster RTÉ dominates in both the digital and traditional news markets while Independent News and Media (INM) titles have seen extensive restructuring to meet digital first strategies.

The television sector has seen the most dramatic changes, with new competitors entering the market. UTV Ireland launched in early 2015, while another new channel, Irish TV aimed at the Irish diaspora, launched on Sky channels and was approved for an Irish broadcasting license. TV3 has refocused its efforts on home-grown content.


TV, radio, print

Digital reach

Newspapers 53%
Broadcasters 54%
Pure players 51%


Cross-platform reach

Newspapers 79%
Broadcasters 92%


Traditional (offline) reach

Newspapers 69%
Broadcasters 90%

The media diet is diverse, with national news being the central interest followed by international. In online news, eight of the seventeen most popular brands have a global scope – BBC and Sky being the most prevalent. New online-only news titles such as the Huffington Post 8% and Buzzfeed 6% are capturing growing sections of Ireland’s digital news market.

Local news shows a lower level of engagement than national news, with 8% engaging digitally and 23% through local newspapers and 15% listening to local radio. Johnston Press Group exited Ireland with the sale of their regional titles. Their competitors at a local level INM also experienced much change with increased competition for advertising from local free sheets and new local websites.

In digital, only one national daily news title, The Irish Sun, has moved behind a hard paywall. This was later followed by a very soft paywall from the Irish Times aimed at only its most active users. However, the Irish say they are reluctant to pay for online news, while RTÉ as well as INM have committed to offering online content free and expanding across digital platforms.

Apple devices vs the rest (news usage)

Top social networks*

* Use weekly for news

Over the past year social media played a central role in the protest campaign against the introduction of water charges. Facebook is Ireland’s most popular social network but Irish journalists are some of the heaviest Twitter users in the world according to recent research.1 While talking among friends is the most common way of engaging with the news, 21% shared news via social media and 19% commented on news in social media.