United Kingdom

Pop 63m
Internet 84%
Smartphone 62%
Tablet 42%
Interest in news 64%
(10th= out of 10)

The media environment is characterised by a vigorous and highly competitive national press – including a strong tabloid sector accounting for the majority of newspapers sold daily – and the best-known public broadcaster in the world. BBC News reaches more than three-quarters of all consumers each week across radio, TV, and online.



Digital developments

BBC News continues to dominate online news usage across all platforms, with more than half of its traffic now coming from smartphone or tablet. Mail Online is the largest newspaper website in the UK and along with the Guardian is pursuing a bold (global) strategy of free access supported by advertising. Both charge for tablet editions and are considering adding more premium services.

The Sun and the Telegraph adopted paywalls in 2013 with The Times reporting more than 150,000 paying digital subscribers. The Telegraph’s metered model has not significantly affected reach but the Sun’s overall traffic is down considerably from last year. Both the Huffington Post and Buzzfeed run UK editions with a tone and style that appeals particularly to younger audiences.

Social networks and digital participation

Twitter is widely used by journalists, PR, and media in the UK and is heavily promoted by television and newspapers. It is particularly popular with young people. Facebook is more important for referrals to news sites overall and Reddit also provides significant traffic on particular stories. News organisations are beginning to experiment with new chat based networks such as WhatsApp.


Top social networks*

* Use weekly for news