The top publishers in Singapore, Canada, and the UK in 2021

September 27, 2021

Written by Benedict Nicholson

Once a month we publish a snapshot of the top publishers on Facebook, and while this is a great way of seeing what’s trending month to month, it can be somewhat US-driven due to the nature of media consumption. 

Given that, we occasionally like to check in on the publishers making waves in their local markets, and in this blog we’ll be doing exactly that, looking at the biggest publishers in the UK, Canada, and Singapore respectively.

The top publishers in the UK in 2021

Regular readers of our publisher rankings will not be surprised to see that the two publishers that dominated the rankings from the UK so far this year are the Daily Mail and the BBC, who are consistently among the top global publishers.

Chart showing the top publishers in the UK in 2021

The two are neck and neck with around 300 million engagements this year so far, though the Daily Mail is slightly in the lead with 307 million interactions with its content compared to the BBC’s 297 million. 

These two are well ahead of the competition, with The Guardian the only other UK publisher to top 100 million engagements. Even with 100 million engagements, the newspaper had less than half the engagement that its top competitors had. 

It is no surprise that the top publishers in the UK are the ones that have cultivated an international audience. The BBC is an institution, while The Guardian and The Daily Mail both have established operations in the US and Australia too. 

The top stories were a mix of national and international. The BBC, for example, saw its top stories be driven by the deaths of celebrated britons. Captain Sir Tom Moore — who captured the nation’s hearts raising money for frontline workers during the pandemic — was the most prominent example (1.4M), and was the publication’s only piece to receive more than a million engagements this year. Other top stories included the deaths of comedian Sean Lock (989k) and Prince Philip (844k).

The Daily Mail’s top stories were much less obviously British, with their top piece about the Philippines winning its first ever gold medal at the Olympics (928k). It also had a story about Mitch McConnell’s home being vandalized (852k) and a whale popping out of the ocean behind unsuspecting watchers (745k). The Guardian too was America-centric, with articles about Joe Biden (759k), Donald Trump (541k), and the Texan lawyer with the cat filter on Zoom (658k). 

Perhaps the most notable inclusion in this list is the Manchester Evening News, which is the only regional publication to feature in the top ten, and outperformed a number of national news organizations in terms of their Facebook engagement. The outlet was driven up the rankings by its coverage of the city’s two soccer giants — Manchester City and Manchester United. The top articles had tens of thousands of engagements, with one story even having more than 100k interactions. 

Top publishers in Canada 

There was one clear top publisher in Canada, and that was the CBC, which had more than 60 million engagements.

Chart showing the top publishers in Canada, ranked by engagement

The other biggest publishers were Global News and CTV News, which both had around 40 million engagements. These top three were the only ones that even come close to the levels of engagement achieved by the top British publishers. 

Most of the Canadian publishers had between 10 and 20 million engagements and were a mix of English and French language content. The Journal de Quebec and the Journal de Montreal were two of the top performers for Quebecois publications. Blog TO edged out the Globe and Mail to take a place in the top ten, with the latter just missing out in eleventh place. 

The top stories for CBC were about things of national interest to the country, with a story about the cancelation of the Keystone XL pipeline (610k), and two about the discovery of the unmarked graves of indigenous children at a former residential school (225k and 203k respectively.) 

Global News’s articles were markedly different. Their top piece looked at Iceland testing a four-day workweek (283k), and the other most successful pieces were about psychedelic microdosing for healthcare (192k), and two workers in Calgary rescuing a moose calf from drowning (149k). 

For CTV News the top stories were about a black bear sighting in Ontario (215k), Pink offering to cover bikini fines for the Norwegian handball team (104k), and a drunk driver who killed multiple people seeking full parole (90k).

Top publishers in Singapore

The situation in Singapore was similar to that in Canada, with three publishers significantly ahead of the rest of the competition.

Chart showing the top publishers in Singapore, ranked by engagement

Channel News Asia edged out Mothership and Straits Times to take the top spot, but the other two were relatively not far behind. The rest of the top publishers had far less engagement though, with only the top eight having more than a million engagements. 

The top stories for Channel News Asia all focused on news from the region, but were not all about Singapore alone. The top story was about calls for Myanmar’s military to stop using lethal force on protestors (149k), while stories about dining party size in Singapore (63k) and the Philippines’ first Olympic gold medal (50k) were the other top performers.

Mothership’s articles were much softer in tone, being about a baby owl (149k), a cute Shiba Inu (118k), and someone who made it to law school after spending 10 years behind bars (62k). For Straits Times the articles that did well were more similar to Channel News Asia, with two articles about Myanmar (140k and 129k) and one about the Olympics (90k).

While the UK clearly has the biggest market of the three, our research shows that there is still significant engagement about local stories in Canada and Singapore, while the UK’s top publications were at least somewhat influenced by what is happening in the USA and beyond. That’s why it’s crucial to be able to monitor the local trends, as each market has its own unique features and niches that these publishers fill. 

If you’d like to read the latest edition of the top publishers on Facebook from around the world, you can do that here.

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