How Britain cheers itself up

This explains a lot of things:

  • Almost half of people (46%) with incomes in excess of £50,000 per year will take a holiday to cheer themselves up when they’re feeling down vs. 22% amongst those living in households with an income of less than £15,500.
  • The only type of product that lower income households are more likely to buy to cheer themselves up is cigarettes: a third (32%) of those living in households with an income of less than £9,500 buy cigarettes as a treat compared to an average of fewer than one in five (19%) of all adults – despite the price of cigarettes jumping by almost 50% in the last five years.
  • And when feeling blue – an estimated 31 million (77%) Brits turn to food. Sweets and chocolate also rate highly as comfort foods with almost two thirds (around 24 million) turning to these treats to pick themselves up. Although many have cut down on their restaurant outings (the market for Eating Out and Takeaways grew by a sluggish 1.6% between 2007 and 2010) and started cooking more from home, more than half (52%) will treat themselves to a night out with friends or a partner and almost half (47%) will pick up a takeaway.

More in British Lifestyles @ Mintel


Mind of man. And medicine.

I popped into a gallery on my way home from Euston one day – the Wellcome Collection in London had an interesting panoply of medical items and the likes, so figured it would be a nice addition to having read quite a bit on body, bodily transformations and the way cultures across the world view it.

They seemed to have had an event that invited people to draw stuff around a given theme (saw a lot of unicorns) but it is funny what people will draw based on whatever is on their mind at any given time. As pseudo-scientific research, this is fascinating:





Guardian & New journalism

In light of this, which ends on a ‘web, print, tablet, mobile’ note…


I quite like the advert for one big reason. There was a figure a while ago that claimed newspapers lose readership at a rate of more than 5% annually (not verified) and yesterday this US chart showing advertising revenues adjusted for inflation came along:

Print newspaper advertising revenue adjusted for inflation

Click onwards for a bigger picture & better explanation @ The Atlantic

Newspaper brands have one big problem, which isn’t new or unfamiliar: print readers are dying off and are not being replaced by younger demographic groups.

So far, online versions of newspapers haven’t been building a separate audience because they have an online content model that emulates the print one. This we know.

It’s a shame because if you don’t know how your content is accessed, you don’t know how to make the most of it (eg release certain types of things daily and others weekly is alignment with mobile user media consumption habits).

On that note, this asos magazine bugs me for instance. It’s 229 MB – imagine wanting to download this in an airport over 3G or wifi. May you not grow old. Of course it’s full of rich and interesting content, but 229MB of space for something you read in 15 minutes seems like a big ask. Guardian have done well – the content downloads automatically every day before you wake up and it’s not as big (50-80MB max)

asos iPad magazine

asos - 229MB!

Few online-only websites have turned up to do good journalism – without going into ‘is blogging considered journalism?’ – but names do spring to mind: Huffington Post, The Daily Beast (both run by women), ProPublica (doing investigative journalism and have won a Pulitzer since the prize was updated in 2008 to include online-only news websites) and so on. Not many though.

If you ask people where they get their news from, it’s likely to be TV these days (something like ~60% of the population) but good news for journalism is that people aren’t exactly rushing to read the AP or Reuters news wires and I don’t want my journalist friends to kill me. They’re not irrelevant so please let’s stop talking about that for a minute. And back to the Guardian and their multi-platform strategy.

Andrew Miller from The Guardian seems like a very intelligent man:

“The main thing I’ve learnt is that if anyone tells you that the future of the world in 18 months time will be X, don’t listen to them.

A good example of that is the Facebook app we launched in November. Over 5m people have downloaded it. This takes us to a new audience of 18-30-year-olds and we haven’t been there before, which we think is really exciting.

[The audiences that don’t read print? Check]

The Guardian iPad edition is in fact behind a quasi paywall, as is the Kindle edition. It’s about defining where people will pay for content. On iPad, people will pay for content if it is design led and if it has an enhanced feel about it, but on a Facebook platform, I think it’s highly unlikely people would pay for content.

This is likely to cause people to grumble – why is my article free on Facebook but I have to pay for it on the iPad? It’s free, but it’s also highly unlikely you’ll sit and read your entire paper on Facebook.  And if you’re worried about the £10 you’re spending on the iPad sub, perhaps you should ponder why you spent £500 on the tablet itself – though tablet owners are usually more likely to agree with the statement ‘I am happy to pay for quality content’, with some 10% of US ones willing to pay $10 per month. Would be interesting to know what that figure is for the UK

The Guardian is also different on each platform. An error I think many newspapers have made in the past is to assume that there is just one offering no matter what device or platform consumers are viewing it on. The reality is, each of those platforms will be interacted with in a different way and needs a different interface.

Which is great – the app got 145,000 downloads in the first week and September’s circulation was around 200,000, peaking Saturday with about 400,000 editions opened. Not bad given in Nov 2011 4% of the UK owned a tablet – though not necessarily an iPad.

Part 1, 2 and 3 [£/sub/some articles free for 1st time visitors]