United Kingdom

Population 64m
Internet 90%
Trust in news 51%
(5th out of 12)
Interest in news 70%
(6th out of 12)

The media environment is characterised by a vigorous and highly competitive national press – including a strong tabloid sector. BBC News reaches more than three-quarters of all consumers each week across radio, TV, and online. The Mail and the Guardian have invested heavily in digital and have had success taking UK journalism to international audiences.


TV, radio, print

Digital reach

Newspapers 39%
Broadcasters 54%
Pure players 27%


Cross-platform reach

Newspapers 73%
Broadcasters 88%


Traditional (offline) reach

Newspapers 63%
Broadcasters 83%


Top digital subscriptions

  • Times
  • Economist
  • Telegraph
  • Sun

The BBC continues to dominate online news usage in the UK on all devices. Half of smartphone news users (51%) regularly use the BBC News app and partly as a result apps are more heavily used in the UK than elsewhere. BBC apps were relaunched in early 2015 as part of a major new initiative around personalisation. The Guardian has revamped its website and mobile offerings, introduced a membership scheme, developed a branded content studio, and expanded paid events. It continues to win awards for digital innovation – but faces a year of transition with a new editor and chief executive.

Both Telegraph and Mail have moved further into sponsored and branded content (so-called native advertising) amid a row (and one resignation) at the Telegraph over the blurring of the line between editorial and advertising. Meanwhile Buzzfeed UK and the Huffington Post have been hiring investigative reporters and developing long-form journalism.

News UK operates hard paywalls for both the Sun and The Times. As a result both have sacrificed online reach for profitability and engagement. The Times and Sunday Times have reported over 170,000 digital subscribers (+12%) and an unexpected rise in print sales. The Financial Times has surprisingly abandoned its much-lauded metered approach in favour of a hard(er) paywall with low-cost trials. Local newspaper groups like Johnston Press and Trinity Mirror continue to struggle but digital advertising revenues are up.

Apple devices vs the rest (news usage)

Top social networks*

* Use weekly for news

Facebook is most important for referrals to news sites overall but Twitter is widely used by journalists and politicians and is where news is found first. Social media played a significant role in the Scottish Referendum in September 2014, with those supporting independence much more likely to participate online. WhatsApp and Snapchat are fast growing networks for the young but are still only marginally used for news.