World Media in 2005: UK

Reality TV still rules in homes where more and more people are turning to personal video recorders to take control of their viewing, while glossy magazines go down the weekly route.

Tony Blair is expected to win this year's general election, albeit with a reduced majority. Then, a referendum on the European Union Constitution is slated for 2006. Expect to hear a resounding "no".

The larger part of the UK press opposes the EU and the press holds considerable sway in a kingdom in which nearly half the population read a daily paper, and national and regional papers claim 40 per cent of adspend.

Terrestrial channels are struggling to maintain audience share as multichannel households grow: the industry's new regulatory body, Ofcom, estimated in 2004 that more than half of all UK households now have digital TV. The BBC has made its digital channels available on Freeview, a one-off set-top-box purchase, although Sky is unlikely to take this route.

Meanwhile, Sky+, the most popular personal video recorder (PVR), is now in almost half-a-million homes and estimates are that there will be eight million ad-busting PVRs in UK homes by 2010.

The BBC faces charter renewal in 2006. It's likely to be tempestuous, considering that the last clash between the Government and the BBC - the Hutton enquiry - ended in the resignation of the BBC's director-general, Greg Dyke. Mark Thompson and a renewed commitment to the Beeb's public service remit replaced Dyke.

Reality TV is still popular and shows such as I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here! and Celebrity Big Brother continue to provide water-cooler TV moments. New formats for 2005 include The Apprentice and Families at War.

Newspapers have been downsizing: The Independent and The Times are now fully compact and The Guardian will relaunch in a Berliner format in 2006.

The Daily Telegraph remains steadfastly broadsheet.

Magazine launches have been buoyed by an upturn in the economy. There has been a particular resurgence in weekly magazines. Notable new titles in 2005 include Grazia, a glossy women's weekly from Emap, and B Happy, from Northern & Shell. And following the success of the men's weekly titles, Nuts and Zoo, 2005 sees IPC and Emap going head to head with weekly film launches.

Meanwhile, the UK media market is typified by seemingly endless consolidation.

The TV companies Carlton and Granada merged and, in radio, Capital and GWR joined forces, sparking rumours about other mergers.


USdollars million at current prices. All years based on US$1=

£0.61 *Estimated

News- Mag-

Total papers azines TV Radio Cinema Outdoor Internet

1992 9,158 3,883 1,692 2,929 197 62 395 0

1993 9,514 4,078 1,623 3,081 248 68 417 0

1994 10,525 4,455 1,793 3,411 306 74 486 0

1995 11,416 4,718 1,996 3,705 376 96 525 0

1996 12,311 4,960 2,234 3,991 429 101 595 0

1997 13,563 5,402 2,465 4,377 491 122 695 11

1998 14,808 5,853 2,679 4,759 575 134 782 26

1999 15,716 6,216 2,685 5,101 646 172 827 70

2000 17,329 6,966 2,819 5,438 744 178 968 216

2001 16,567 6,807 2,765 4,920 677 227 941 230

2002 16,586 6,688 2,602 5,139 683 252 959 265

2003 17,043 6,788 2,545 5,186 726 250 1,059 490

2004 18,400 7,178 2,620 5,541 770 245 1,144 902

2005* 19,206 7,451 2,682 5,773 804 252 1,239 1,005

2006* 20,097 7,737 2,739 6,055 843 258 1,329 1,135

2007* 20,896 7,969 2,795 6,309 886 266 1,422 1,249


1) Excludes 15% agency commission (10% agency commission for consumer

magazine classified)

2) Newspapers, magazines, television, radio exclude production costs.

Outdoor to 1998 and cinema include production costs

3) Includes classified advertising

4) After discounts

5) Magazines excludes directories

6) Radio and TV sponsorship not included

7) The Advertising Association's TV revenue differs from the total of

our own channel-by-channel estimates that appear in UK TV forecasts. The

AA will not itemise the components of its figure

8) Internet includes most banners, interstitials and paid-search

pop-ups, and some sponsorship and rich media



Newspaper: The Sun (daily, 3,298,000)

Business magazine: The Economist (weekly, 147,000)

Consumer magazine: Take a Break (weekly, 1,217,000)

Most-watched TV programme (2003): Coronation Street

Best new TV format: Wife Swap


Circulation: Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC)

Readership: National Readership Survey (NRS)

TV viewing: Barb


Television: BBC (public), ITV, BSkyB, RTL

Newspapers: News International (national)/Trinity Mirror (regional)

Magazines: IPC (consumer) Emap (consumer, business), Reed (business)


Media topic du jour - How people's increasing ability to edit out the daily dross of a large proportion of television's content will affect advertising.

Reigning media guru - Anyone with a personal video recorder.

Media mogul to be seen dining with and why - Simon Fuller of 19 Management. He has made reality shows and content "platforms" such as Pop Idol a global reality.

Car to drive - Pretty much anything that has appeared on MTV's Pimp My Ride.

Top-selling beer brand - Stella Artois.

Phone to carry - A Vertu.

Whatever you do, don't say ... "What's a 'chav'?"

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