The British public predicts Taylor at Glasto, a gold rush at Paris 2024 and a new occupant in Number 10, according to research revealed by Newsworks at Adwanted’s Year Ahead event on Thursday
2024 is set to be a bumper news year for readers. While many have their eyes on the approaching general election or the continuing state of the economy, there’s also plenty coming up from the worlds of sport, culture, technology and the media. What does the country expect to see in the next 12 months? In our latest trends study, the Newsworks insight team asked Brits about the good, the bad and the media in 2024.
The good: sport, Swift and Sunak vs Starmer…
Whether it’s global sporting spectacles or unmissable music, the country is optimistic for some fantastic entertainment this year. With our athletes training hard for Olympic glory in Paris this summer, Brits back home have high hopes for a gold rush: 42% believe Team GB will make the top five in the medal table.
Sporting events across the Channel might keep us occupied in the summer holidays but in June all eyes will turn to Worthy Farm for another blockbuster Glastonbury line-up. While rumours may be rife about which stars will take to the Pyramid Stage, Brits are certainly no secret Swifties.
Despite her impossibly hectic schedule, Taylor Swift is not only the artist respondents most expect to see at this year’s Glastonbury, but also who they most want to see, ahead of Madonna and Dua Lipa.
Elsewhere, in the world of fashion, 2024 could be the year of electric blues and neon greens. While brown has recently ruled the style roost, more than three in 10 of 18–24s believe we’ll see the emergence of bright colours across the high street this year.
There’s cause for brightness in politics, too, with engagement set to be high in an all-important election year. Our data suggests that voter turnout will be strong, with 40% of respondents preferring a poll in the spring rather than the autumn. An overwhelming 72% said they are ‘definitely going to vote’ against just 5% claiming they ‘definitely will not’.
53% already know who will earn their vote, with Labour leader Keir Starmer well ahead in our poll. Nearly half believe he will be the next prime minister compared to just 14% who think Rishi Sunak will stay on in Downing Street. Interestingly, one in 10 young people (18–24 years olds) would like to see TV presenter Alison Hammond in Number 10 after the election!
The bad: money worries linger and Trump behind bars?
Across the pond, Brits believe the political outlook is looking less than rosy for Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump. Almost four in 10 want to see him behind bars, with the same figure believing he will still be in court by November’s election. Nearly a quarter think Trump will be back in the Oval Office, while only 13% think he will be found guilty. Under US law, he may well be president and in the dock at the same time…
Back in the UK, despite a rise in engagement with politics, Brits are less optimistic about the country’s fortunes. 43% think 2024 will be ‘just another terrible year’, with respondents most likely to describe the mood of the nation as ‘divided’, ‘chaotic’ and ‘intense’.
They see the economy and the cost-of-living crisis as the UK’s biggest challenges over the next 12 months, followed by the NHS and the state of the nation’s health. Meanwhile, a fifth of Brits believe fake news and misinformation are the greatest challenge we face in 2024.
The poor economic mood of the nation is also reflected in people’s own sources of stress, with personal finances coming out top for a third of respondents.
The media: innovation driving opportunity
While consumers are more spoilt for media choice than ever before, there’s a growing tension between how Brits spend their time and how they ideally want to. Four in 10 say they would like to spend less time with social media — rising to half of 25–34s. Meanwhile, three in ten Brits want to spend more time with quality journalism, rising to over a third of 18–24s.
With these preferences in mind, publishers are ready to build on readers’ strong relationships with quality journalism as the cookie’s demise approaches.
First-party data comprising of millions of registered users puts them in a position of expertise, targeting and understanding of their readers at an intimate level. This provides advertisers a perfect opportunity to get directly involved with these audiences.
In addition, news brands have content partnerships to meet the demands of their diverse readerships. 2024 will see further investment from publishers into quality non-news editorial and political journalism, such as sport, culture, lifestyle and travel.
As such, news brands will continue to lean into content partnerships to meet the demands of their diverse readerships in 2024, with a focus on social, video and podcasting content to ensure news brands speak to audiences of all ages. A record number of submissions in the content partnerships category at the 2023 Newsworks Awards means we predict they will continue to flourish for advertisers in the year ahead.
Finally, what will 2024 bring for last year’s most dominant trend, AI? The public believes it will be likelier than anyone to spark change in the UK, even more than politicians or activists. For the industry, AI will be useful in the ad space, offering more commercial opportunities for publishers through tools that deliver personalised content, contextual targeted, brand safety and content recommendations.
If you’d like more insights on the year ahead or from the world of news brands, please get in touch.