6 April 2021 — Media Reform Coalition
We produced our first comprehensive report on media ownership in the UK back in 2015 when we argued concentrated ownership was a significant problem for any modern democracy. In 2019, we produced an updated version that suggests that, not only does concentrated ownership persist but that the problem may be getting worse. Sadly, the situation has deteriorated since then so make sure you read our very latest report on UK Media ownership – available HERE.
The key findings of this short report demonstrate the endemic problem of concentrated ownership across the UK media landscape:
Just three companies—DMG Media, News UK and Reach—dominate 90% of the national newspaper market, up from 83% in 2019. When online readers are included the same companies control a four-fifths market share amongst the major newspaper groups, giving these publishers a strong position for setting the agenda for the rest of the news media.
83% of UK local newspapers are controlled by just six companies. The three largest local publishers—Newsquest, Reach and JPI Media—each control a fifth of local press market, more than the share of the smallest 50 local publishers combined.
Facebook controls three of the top five social media services used to access online news in the UK. Traditional news organisations account for 48% of Facebook users’ news sources, expanding the online market reach of a few already-dominant publishing companies.
While Sky remains the UK’s dominant pay-TV provider with 8.3 million customers, across all households with at least one SVOD subscription 87% are Netflix customers (14.2 million) and more than half subscribe to Amazon Prime Video (9.1 million).
Two companies—Bauer Radio and Global Radio—own 70% of the UK’s 279 local commercial analogue radio stations—a 20% increase in concentration since 2018. Similarly, three-quarters of the national commercial DAB market is controlled by Bauer, Global and Wireless Radio.