Media revenue in Iceland – new analysis

NEWS | 14 March 2019

In 2017, the Icelandic media revenue decreased by two per cent. Since the market’s all-time high in 2006-2007, the total media revenue has decreased by almost a fifth. This is according to a new report from Statistics Iceland.

In 2017, the revenues for Icelandic media companies amounted to 27,900 million ISK (approx. EUR 230 million), a two per cent decline compared to 2016. Revenues for newspapers and magazines have dropped, while the situation for TV and radio is rather stable.

Compared to the market’s all-time high in 2006-2007, the total media revenue has decreased by almost a fifth (figure below). Dropping by nearly half since 2006, the revenue of newspapers and magazines has suffered a more severe fall than that of other kinds of media. At the same time, radio revenue increased by 13 per cent and television by four per cent, while the web media revenue increased fourfold.

Media revenue in fixed prices (index)

Graph: Islandic media revenue 1997-2017 (index)

Source: Media Revenue 2017, Statistics Iceland (March, 2019)

Another trend highlighted in Statistic Iceland’s report is the growing importance of user payment. In 2017, revenue from users’ fees was nearly 15,000 million ISK and revenue derived from advertisements and sponsoring was over 13,000 million ISK.

This development is mainly due to shrinking advertising revenues. Since 2006-2007, revenue derived from advertisements has fallen 28 per cent in real prices, while revenue from users has increased by only one per cent.

Graph: Media revenue in Iceland - the proportion between public and private media sectorIn Iceland, RÚV, the national public service company, receives approximately one third of its funding from advertising. Of the Icelandic advertising revenues in 2017, the private media sector accounted for 84 per cent while RÚV accounted for 16 per cent. Of the media's total revenue, the private sector captured 78 per cent and RÚV 22 per cent.


Read the analysis: Media Revenue 2017


Media revenue is defined as revenue from users (subscription fees, single-copy sales and pay-per-view, as well as broadcasting fees levied upon all eligible individuals and companies), advertisements and sponsoring. The data does not include foreign media. Information about individual private media is not provided due to rules of confidentiality.

Statistics Iceland’s data on Icelandic media revenue is derived from the media companies’ information to Fjölmiðlanefnd, the Icelandic Media Commission, from 2011 onwards (previously Statistics Iceland), and annual accounts. In instances when information is missing from media operators, revenues are estimated based on VAT reports and other available information.