This is Ofcom’s third annual Media Nations, a research report for industry, policy makers, academics and consumers. It reviews key trends in the TV and online video sectors, as well as radio and other audio sectors. Accompanying this report is an interactive report that includes an extensive range of data. There are also separate reports for Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
This year’s publication comes during a particularly eventful and challenging period for the UK media industry. The Covid-19 pandemic and the ensuing lockdown period has changed consumer behaviour significantly and caused disruption across broadcasting, production, advertising and other related sectors. Our report focuses in large part on these recent developments and their implications for the future. It sets them against the backdrop of longer-term trends, as laid out in our five-year review of public service broadcasting (PSB) published in February, part of our Small Screen: Big Debate review of public service media. Media Nations provides further evidence to inform this, as well as assessing the broader industry landscape.
We have therefore dedicated two chapters of this report to analysis of Covid-19 media trends, and two chapters to wider market dynamics in key areas that are shaping the industry:
The consumer behaviour chapter examines the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on media consumption trends across television and online video, and radio and online audio.
The industry impact and response chapter assesses how the operations and performance of broadcasters, and other providers of audiovisual and audio services, have been affected by Covid-19, and how they have responded to the crisis.
The production chapter takes a detailed look at programming trends in the UK and how they are shaping the sector.
The advertising chapter provides detailed analysis of the factors influencing advertising spend across media, including Covid-19 impacts and wider market shifts, with a particular focus on broadcast and online.
Ofcom’s Media Nations report addresses the requirement to undertake and make public our consumer research (as set out in Sections 14 and 15 of the Communications Act 2003). It also meets the requirements on Ofcom under Section 358 of the Communications Act 2003 to publish an annual factual and statistical report on the TV and radio sector.