Greenland: Highest media consumption in the Nordic region

NEWS | 14 January 2019

In Greenland, the population spends far more time on TV and radio than in the rest of the Nordic region. But Internet use is lagging behind. This is according to a unique research report on the media in Greenland.

For the first time, a detailed mapping of the Greenlandic media landscape, media use, and the content of the news media is available. The report, Tusagassiuutit 2018, is published by the University of Greenland (in Greenlandic and Danish).

Below we highlight some of the results, mainly concerning media use.

Small population and few media outlets
With 56,000 inhabitants, Greenland's media landscape is characterised by only a few, relatively small, media outlets. The two dominant media companies are KNR, the Greenlandic Broadcasting Corporation; and SermitsiaqAG, publisher of Greenland's two national newspapers. Both companies also publish news online. In addition to the national media, the population has access to free papers and other local media.

Highest media use in the Nordic region – except for online
Greenlanders spend more time on the media than others in the Nordic region do. They listen to the radio an average of five hours a day and watch TV for 230 minutes a day. This can be compared to less than two hours’ radio listening and 140-170 minutes’ TV viewing daily (see graph below)
in the Nordic region.

Daily TV viewing in the Nordic region 2012-2017 (minutes)

Graph TV viewing in the Nordic region

Source: Tusagassiuutit 2018. En kortlægning af de grønlandske medier [A mapping of the Greenlandic media]
Download and compare with Nordicom’s tables (Excel):
Daily TV viewing time in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden 2000-2017
Daily radio listening time in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden 2000-2017

Geographical differences in Internet use
As for the Internet, half of the Greenlanders are online daily, compared to nine out of ten inhabitants in the other Nordic countries (2017)[1]. Place of residence, however, seems to have great importance to the population’s online use.

Among the population in the city of Nuuk, almost seven out of ten use the Internet on a daily basis, compared to just over four out of ten among those living elsewhere in Greenland. Varying access to fast Internet across Greenland, as well as differences in price levels, may explain the geographical differences.

At the same time, data traffic is sharply increasing. According to the report, the use of mobile data was 600 times higher in 2018 than in 2009. Behind the increase, among other things, are large price reductions and expanded infrastructure. But again, there are important geographical differences in online use.

Changing media habits
Those living in the cities have different media habits than the rest of the population, and young people use more digital media than older people do. Younger people also both listen to and watch less of the programming from KNR. The researchers predict that the increase in Internet use will mean less TV viewing, less radio listening, and more streaming in the future. They also believe that the consumption of domestic media content will decrease over time.

Read more about the report and the project in English

Read more and download the report:
Tusagassiuutit 2018 – en kortlægning af de grønlandske medier
Tusagassiuutit 2018 – Kalaallit Nunaanni tusagassiuutinik misissuineq

Read more (Greenlandic versions available on the media sites):
Sermitsiaq.AG: Grønlændernes medieforbrug ligger i top (26 Oct, 2018)
KNR: Medier har svært ved at få eksperter i hus (27 Oct, 2018)


More information about the report: Tusagassiuutit 2018 is published by the Department of Journalism at the University of Greenland (Tusagassiornermut Immikkoortortaq / Ilisimatusarfik). The researchers behind the report are Naja Paulsen, Signe Ravn-Højgaard, Mariia Simonsen, Naimah Hussain and Ida Willig. The survey will be repeated every two years, in order to demonstrate how the Greenlandic media structure and the Greenlandic media content develop.

[1] Data for the other Nordic countries refer to Eurostat data about daily/almost daily internet use. Download the table (Excel) or find it in Nordicom’s table database (choose: Nordic – Internet – Use).



Nordicom: The media in the Faroe Islands and Greenland 1980-2008

Cover NMT Greenland 2008Ten years ago, with the Nordic Media Trends series, Nordicom was proud to release a publication with extensive media statistics from Greenland and the Faroe Islands. The volume examines the trends of the media in the Faroe Islands and Greenland covering almost three decades (from around 1980 to 2007/2008), and offering detailed statistics on a wide range of media – newspapers, periodicals, books and public libraries, radio, television, video, film and cinema, PCs, and the Internet. The author is Ragnar Karlsson.

Read more and download (open access): Faroe Islands and Greenland 2008. Media and Communication Statistics

Nordic Statistics Database provides facts about Greenland

In 2018, the Nordic Council of Ministers moved their statistics to a new digital platform, the Nordic Statistics database. Here you can compare statistics from the Nordic countries in many areas, such as population, geography, culture, education, economy. Find information and links to the Nordic Database and the pocket yearbook Nordic Statistics 2018.