The Norwegian Media Barometer 2018

NEWS | 16 May 2019

Fewer people in Norway are reading newspapers. TV viewing is also dropping – and radio listening is the lowest ever. Meanwhile, video and audio media use holds its place. These are some of the results from the Norwegian Media Barometer 2018.

Statistics Norway has published its annual Media Barometer report, analysing the media use among the Norwegian population.

Downward trend for newspapers
The fall for print newspapers is no news; but now, online editions are also losing readers. Since 2016, the daily reach of newspapers’ online versions on an average day has decreased from 56 to 51 per cent. Looking at all newspapers (print and/or online editions), daily reach decreased from 68 to 64 per cent last year (see figure below).

Newspaper reading an average day in 2002-2018 (share of population 9-79 years, per cent)

Source: The Norwegian Media Barometer 2018, Statistics Norway.

TV continues down
Fewer people are watching linear TV, i.e. programmes on a TV set or simultaneous broadcasts on the Internet. In 2018, six of ten Norwegians watched linear TV broadcasts on a daily basis, down two percentage points since 2017 (see figure below).

Young people are the least eager viewers. Among 20-24-year-olds, only one-third watch linear television, a decrease of ten percentage points from 2017. Meanwhile, TV is still popular among the older population: almost nine of ten (86 per cent) of 67-79-year-olds watch TV on a regular day.

TV viewing, radio listening, and use of audio and video media an average day in 2000-2018 (share of population 9-79 years, per cent)

Source: The Norwegian Media Barometer 2018, Statistics Norway.

Never before has radio listening been so low
Listening to linear radio has been decreasing for several years, and in 2018 only half of Norwegians listened to radio (DAB, FM, online) on an average day. This is the lowest radio listening ever noted in the Media Barometer survey (see figure above).

As of 2018, Norway’s nationwide radio is digital only (DAB and online), while local radio is still transmitting on FM. The decline in radio listening is mainly related to the national channels, while a slight increase is noted for local radio.

Audio and video media: Streaming is the thing
Half of Norwegians listen to audio media[1] on an average day. Of those who listen to audio media, seven of ten stream audio files, and eight of ten listen via mobile phone, on a daily basis. In both cases, the number has doubled in six to seven years. Sixteen per cent of listeners listen to a podcast, while two years ago the corresponding figure was 6 per cent.

Almost four of ten Norwegians watch video[2] content on a daily basis. Content from subscribed streaming services (SVOD) is the most popular, followed by streamed archive programmes.

In 2017, an increased use of streaming audio and video services led to a sharp increase in the use of audio media and video media categories. In 2018, the growth has levelled out, with audio media increasing by only one percentage point, and video media holding stable (see figure above).

No increase for Facebook
Almost all (91 per cent) Norwegians use the Internet an average day, and time spent online is still increasing. Among Internet users, 73 per cent state that they use Facebook, a share that has remained the same for the past three years. Sixty-three per cent say they use other social media (up from 57 per cent in 2017).


Read more in English:
The Norwegian Media Barometer 2018
(abstract and summary in English)

Basic tables (StatBank), in English


[1] Audio media includes CDs, MP3 players, downloadable audio files from the Internet and streamed Internet files, vinyl discs and tapes. Radio listening is not included in this group.

[2] Video media includes VHS, DVD/Blu-ray, PVR and video files downloaded from the Internet, or streamed over the Internet and paid for. TV viewing and cinema going are not included in this group.


About the survey: The Norwegian Media Barometer survey provides data on people’s access to and use of different media types and platforms. The 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). Statistics from the surveys are also available from medianorway’s database.