Introduction and Background
The printed newspaper, regional or national, delivers news,
current affairs at home and abroad, and expert opinion. Readers expect
content to be well-written, informative and authoritative. Newspapers are
well suited to the online environment. Not only do they have a wealth of
content, but generally they have that content in a digital form which is
relatively easy and viable to re-purpose for digital platforms.
Britains are heavy consumers of media. The percentage of the
adult population in the UK which reads at least one national daily paper is
55% and 60% read at least one Sunday paper. In response, newspapers have
expanded to provide a broad range of services going way beyond the
traditional territory of news, sport or features to create supplements with
the look and appeal of magazines, directories of classified advertising and a
growing range of specialist titles. UK consumers clearly have a good appetite
for news and the Internet provides another effective news-service medium
which can reach the consumer easily at work and is instantly and frequently
The UK national newspaper market is a substantial segment of
the overall media industry. In 2000, some 4 billion national newspapers were
sold. Only television and the substantial regional newspaper industry
received more advertising spend than national newspapers.
National newspapers remain an extremely effective way of
reaching a large number of consumers with the style and content of the
political and editorial stance of the different papers allowing targeting of
different consumer demographics. The increasing use of newspaper supplements
also allows further consumer targetting via advertising.
The UK national newspaper market has been in volume decline
for several years. The number of daily newspapers sold per annum has declined
by 20% from 5.0 billion in 1962 to 4.0 billion in 2000. For Sunday newspapers
the decline is even more severe - a drop of 44% over the same period.
Until recently, advertising revenues had been growing at a
healthy rate, partially offsetting the ovedrall decline in circulation
volumes. However, the national newspaper industry, like other media sectors,
has been severely affected by an overall fall in advertising expenditure. A
number of national newspaper groups reported falling advertising revenues
during 2001, and reacted with cost-cutting measures including job losses and
reductions in online activities. On the whole, the national newspaper sector
has been more severely affected than local and regional newspaper groups.
Customer Needs and Wants - Defining the Segmentation
Any segmentation analysis must taken account of customer
needs and wants, since markets will define themselves around the way in which
customers "consume" the newspaper product. These needs and wants
change over time. Successful newspapers respond to such changes in the design
and delivery of their product. The table below identifies eight main types of
customer segmentation and how they may apply to the national newspaper
|Customer Segmentation Type
||In what physical format do
customers prefer their newspapers? Size, colours, type of paper;
layout and style? In the UK the main physical differentiation between
newspapers has centered on whether the paper is "broadsheet"
or "tabloid". All national newspapers carry colour content
and display advertising.
||Where do national newspaper
readers live? Is there difference in demand by UK region; or between
city and rural populations? How can or should newspaper content by
amended to take account of regional differences? This is an important
issue. The UK has a thriving regional and local newspaper industry
that provides competition to national titles, particularly in Scotland
and the North of England.
||How does newspaper readership differ by
socio-economic grouping? Do lifestyle characteristics (e.g internet
usage) influence consumer demand? To what extent do different
demographic factors (level of disposable income, educational
background etc) influence factors such as cover price, editorial style
and content format?
||Where are newspapers read, for
what purpose, at what time? Is the daily national newspaper primarily
a source of news or should it be positioned more as a source of
information and/or entertainment?
||What are the key benefits that
consumers require from newspapers? To be better informed? To be
entertained? To be challenged? Having identified these, how shoiuld a
newspaper best address the different benefit areas of the target buyer
|Financial Factors (inc
||Which consumers pay for
national newspapers? How much are they asked to pay? Who else funds
the creation of the paper? What are the key price-points? Are
consumers responsive to changes in price
("price-elasticity") or they generally loyal to a particular
title and, therefore, relatively price-inelastic?
||Who are the loyal newspaper
readers as compared with "casual" readers? How often do
readers switch newspaper titles? How can new readers be recruited? Is
there a significant difference between buyers and readers (in other
words - those who read, but do not buy!)
|Characteristics of related products
||How is the extension of other media
channels (e.g. digital tv and radio, Internet) impacting the demand
for newspapers and their content and style? How should the online
versions of each newspaper title differ from the printed version?
How the UK National Newspaper Market Segments Itself
Using the segmentation types set out above, it is possible to
identify certain segmentation variables that are considered most important in
the UK national newspaper market. The market is broadly divided into three
types of newspaper:
|Newspaper Type / Segment
The readership of the popular mass-market newspapers is male biased
and predominantly from the C2DE socio-economic grouping. Daily
newspaper titles in this segment include The Sun, The Mirror, the
Daily Record and the Daily Star. The predominant physical format for
the popular mass-market is "tabloid" style. In terms of price
points, there is relatively little difference between the main
titles. The Sun and the Daily Star are both priced at 30 pence,
whereas The Mirror and the Daily Record have a 32 pence cover price.
There are five main popular mass-market titles published on a
Sunday, the largest of which are the News of the World, the Sunday
Mirror and the Sunday People. Each of these three is published in
tabloid format at a 65 pence price point.
Readers of popular mid-market titles are mainly from the ABC1
socio-economic grouping with a bias towards C1. There are only three
daily titles in this segment - the Daily Mail, the Daily Express and
the Evening Standard (an evening paper distributed around London).
These titles also publish in tabloid format with a cover price of 40
pence for the Daily Mail and 35 pence for the Daily Express.
The Mail and Express both publish Sunday editions with a cover
price of £1.10 (Mail) and £1.00 (Express).
|Quality / Up-Market
Quality or Up-Market titles also draw their core readership from
the ABC1 socio-economic grouping, but with a higher proportion of A's
and B's than a popular mid-market title..
There are six national quality daily newspapers all of which
publish in "broadsheet format": The Daily Telegraph (cover
price: 50p); The Times (40p); The Guardian (50p); The Scotsman (40p);
the Financial Times (£1.00) and the Independent (50p).
The Times and the Telegraph are the leading Sunday Quality
newspapers, followed by The Observer and the Independent on Sunday./
We have provided recent data and a brief commentary on the
circulation performance of each Daily and Sunday national newspaper in a
supporting page to this revision note. Click here
for the data.