News brands’ enduring appeal for Ireland consumers

Interest in news, noticing ads in newspapers and embracing news online are all strong in Ireland.
19 October 2020
IE news brands
James Powell

Senior Marketing Manager, Media Division, UK & Ireland

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In good news for news brands in the Republic of Ireland, the appetite for news amongst consumers there remains solid. Our recently released Republic of Ireland TGI consumer data for 2020 reveals that 30% of adults there say that they rely on newspapers to keep them informed, compared to 22% in Britain. In addition, 31% of Irish adults claim to read a newspaper most days, compared to 27% of those in Britain.

Noticing ads in newspapers and magazines holding up well

Noticing adverts in news brands has stayed robust in recent years. Indeed, the proportion of adults who today say they rarely notice the adverts in newspapers and magazines stands at 39%, down slightly from 42% in 2016.

National and local news remain by far the stand-out topics of interest

The topics in newspapers that attract the most interest are Irish news and local news, with 47% and 42% of adults respectively claiming to be very interested in these, considerably higher than the third placed topic for popularity, film & video, on 24%.

Accessing newspaper brands online – and willingness to pay – becoming more prevalent, with Millennials and Gen Z-ers leading the way

Readiness to pay to access news brands online has risen in recent years, with 14% of adults claiming they are willing to pay to access content on a newspaper website today, up from 12% in 2016 - and higher than the 11% figure in Britain. Similarly, 11% of adults today would be willing to pay to access content on a magazine website, up from 8% in 2016. Millennials (aged 25-39) are a little less likely than the average adult to say they read a (print) newspaper most days (27% vs 31%  of all adults), but they are over a third more likely to say they are willing to pay to access content on newspaper websites than the average adult (20% willing to do so).

Almost three-quarters of adults claim to have visited a newspaper website ‘in the past 12 months’ and 56% a magazine site. This is up from 65% four years ago for newspapers and up from 30% for magazines over the same period. Millennials again are particularly likely to claim to have visited newspaper websites, with 82% having done so – more than Gen Z-ers (15-24 year olds) on 76%. 

Whilst Millennials are 24% more likely to claim to visit national newspaper apps on a mobile than the average adult (33% do so vs 24%) and Gen Z-ers (27%), this is reversed when it comes to tablets, with Gen Z-ers 29% more likely to visit national newspaper apps on a tablet than both the average adult (14% do so vs 11%) and Millennials (also 11%).

Of those who have visited a newspaper website, the main reason for doing so is to catch up on news/current affairs, cited by 62%, whilst 21% do so to find out practical information (weather, traffic etc.) and 13% do so to read entertainment and showbiz stories.

It is these Gen Z-ers who are especially likely to be politically engaged online. 19% of them claim to have posted comments or reviews online ‘in the last 12 months’ (compared to 13% of adults as a whole).

Accessing news digitally growing in other ways

Digital consumption of news is evolving in other ways too. Our latest Republic of Ireland TGI consumer data reveals that today, 24% of adults say they like watching the news on digital screens in public places – up from 21% in 2016.

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