Norway: Continuing growth of online media use

NEWS | 9 May 2017

Media use online is steadily increasing, according to data from the Norwegian Media Barometer 2016 survey. More Norwegians are reading the newspaper online, and streaming of both sound and video content is growing. At the same time, linear TV and radio remain at the same levels as the year before.

The annual media use survey from Statistics Norway shows that nine of ten Norwegians use the Internet on a daily basis. Among the Internet users, seven of ten use Facebook and half of the group use other social media. The use of both Internet and social media has increased by a few percentage points from the previous year.

For the first time: print papers under 40 per cent
More than seven of ten Norwegians read the newspaper an average day, in paper form and/or online. For printed newspapers, however, for many years there has been a noticeable drop in reading. In 2014, for the first time, less than 50 per cent of the population read a print paper on the average day, while by 2016 daily reading had dropped to under 40 per cent.

Reading online is increasing, on the other hand, and surpassed reading on paper in 2013. According to the 2016 survey, 56 per cent of the Norwegian population read newspapers online, compared to 51 per cent the year before.

Daily newspaper reach: Total, print version and online version (share of population 9-79 years, per cent)

Source: The Norwegian Media Barometer 2016, Statistics Norway

Increase of streaming services
Linear TV viewing and radio listening have been decreasing for several years. However, the results from 2016 are at the same level as the year before: seven of ten watch TV, and six of ten listen to the radio, on a regular day. Not unexpectedly, older people use the linear services more than younger people. At the same time, the streaming of audiovisual content from the web is increasing, especially among young adolescents and young adults.

Almost four of ten (37 per cent) listen to audio media every day. In this group, seven of ten listen to files streamed from the Internet, for which listening via a mobile phone is common. Among the listeners aged 16-24 years, nine of ten use the mobile phone for audio files.

As for video media, a quarter of the population watch video content via online streaming services, DVD/Blu-ray or PVR on a daily basis. In this group, 70 per cent watch content from subscribed streaming services (SVOD), up from 65 per cent in 2015.

More subscribe to SVOD services than to print papers
Year by year, the share of the population with one or more print newspaper subscription in their household is declining. In 2016, 44 per cent of the population had a print subscription, down from 50 per cent the previous year. In just over ten years, subscriptions have decreased from around 70 per cent. Among 67-79-year-olds almost 80 per cent have a print subscription, compared to 15 per cent of 25-34-year-olds.

Fifteen per cent of Norwegians have an online newspaper subscription in the household, up from 12 per cent in 2015. At the same time, just over half the population (53 per cent) subscribe to online video streaming services (SVOD).

Read more in English:
The Norwegian Media Barometer 2016 (abstract in English)
Summary of the results
Basic tables


About the survey: The Norwegian Media Barometer survey provides data on people’s access to and use of different media types and platforms. Media covered are newspapers, magazines & periodicals, books, sound media, video/film media, radio, TV, Internet, digital games and cinema. The survey is conducted through telephone interviews with a representative sample of the total population aged 9-79 years. The first Norwegian Media Barometer was conducted in 1991, and the report is published every year in the spring (open access).