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November 29, 2023

Most popular news apps in the UK in October: Strong growth at Money Saving Expert and GB News

Press Gazette's quarterly ranking of the most popular news apps in the UK, using data from Ipsos iris.

By Aisha Majid

GB News had the fastest-growing news app in the UK in October, according to Press Gazette’s latest apps ranking.

Audience to the broadcaster’s app was up 57% year-on-year to 272,049,  according to data from Ipsos iris. Its growth echoes the fast growth of the GB News brand online overall in Press Gazette’s recent top 50 newsbrand rankings.

It was followed in the annual growth charts by the Daily Express (audience of 208,486, up 42% year-on-year) and The Sun (295,509, up 39%).

Samsung news app Upday (audience of 1.8 million, down 43%) and Google News (1.8 million, down 31%) saw the biggest year-on-year falls in audience.

  1. Apple News (13,495,986)
  2. BBC News (12,602,597)
  3. Sky News (2,866,748)
  4. The Guardian (2,261,402)
  5. Google News (1,802,316)
  6. Upday for Samsung (1,797,684)
  7. Money Saving Expert (1,736,362)
  8. Daily Mail (1,711,358)
  9. AOL – News, Mail & Video (1,183,349)
  10. The Telegraph UK (869,185)

Money Saving Expert, which we included in our ranking for the first time in July in ninth place, was fastest-growing in the three months since our last update. The app saw its audience increase 69% quarter-on-quarter to climb to seventh place this month (1.7 million users).

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Second for quarter-on-quarter growth was Buzzfeed (251,193 people, up 34% compared to July), while the Mirror (287,720, up 17%) was third.

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The Daily Mail’s Mail+ was fourth-fastest growing (316,286 people, up 13% quarter-on-quarter). It recently revealed it has around 160,000 subscribers, 90,000 of which are digital-only (Mail print subscribers get access to Mail+ as part of their subscription).

To draw up our ranking, Press Gazette used Ipsos' list of the top 1,000 apps in the UK by audience size and selected those that, in our view, have a reasonable general or specialist journalistic offering, whether that content is original or aggregated from other sources. Sports news apps were ranked separately (see below).

BBC News closes gap on Apple News

While Apple News remains the UK’s biggest news app by audience size, second-placed BBC News narrowed the gap on the iPhone’s default news app. The Apple News app was used by 13.5 million people in October, no change on the last time we reported on this data in July, while the BBC News app grew by 2% quarter-on-quarter to reach 12.6 million people.

Both the BBC News app and Apple News apps were refreshed earlier this year. The BBC News app's refresh in July, its first significant update since 2015, led to complaints from some users although the corporation said it was necessary to "modernise its look and feel". Apple News’ updates included changes to the app navigation and the addition of a sports news tab. 

The Apple News app reached 27% of people in the UK aged over 15 while the BBC News app reached 25%.

The third most popular news app was again Sky News, used by 2.9 million people in October. Reaching 6% of UK adults, it was a significant way behind the leading two apps. Its audience was down 8% quarter-on-quarter, although its audience held steady year-on-year.

It was followed by The Guardian's app (2.3 million users) and Google News (1.8 million). Samsung app Upday (1.8 million users, rank six) fell one more place in October compared to July (it was fourth in March).

The New York Times crossword app, which allows users to play some of the newsbrand’s most popular puzzles including Wordle, Spelling Bee, and The Crossword, was a new entrant in our ranking (191,998 million users, rank 25). 

Engagement increased for many news apps

A number of news apps saw increases of over 100% year-on-year in total time spent with their content. Top was GB News (18.6 million, up 360%), followed by Mail+ (131.8 million minutes, up 356%) and Times Radio (27.6 million, up 280%). 

LBC saw the biggest fall in minutes spent with its app compared to October 2022 (18.8 million minutes, down 90%). 

Topping the list for overall time spent was BBC News (1.5 billion minutes) although the public broadcaster’s app saw a sizeable fall in time spent both year-on-year (down 30%) and quarter-on-quarter (down 37%). As a result its lead over Apple News (1.3 billion minutes) on this metric was much reduced compared to July.

Three paywalled apps again led for time spent per user. Users spent 562 minutes on average across October with The Times and The Sunday Times (562 minutes) followed by The Telegraph (477 minutes) and Mail+ (417 minutes). 

UK sports news apps ranked: BBC Sport and Sky top

Among sports news apps, the BBC Sport app reached the largest audience (4.3 million users), more than twice as many as Sky Sports (1.9 million) and Sky Sports Scores (1.4 million).

Although many users utilise sports apps to stream matches and sporting events and therefore not just get the latest news, we have included all apps that, in our view, have a reasonable sports journalism offering.

Ipsos iris replaced Comscore as the industry-recognised data standard in 2021. Ipsos iris data is partly derived from a panel of 10,000 people aged 15 and over that is designed to be nationally representative. The participants have meters installed across 25,000 personal devices to measure website and app usage passively.

This data is combined with data from participating websites that are tagged so all devices visiting the site can be identified and logged.

This is the latest in a quarterly series from Press Gazette that tracks the audience and reach of the UK’s leading news apps.

Email pged@pressgazette.co.uk to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
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