NEWS | 28 May 2020

The Norwegian Media Barometer 2019

The downward trend that has characterised the reading of newspapers in Norway for many years has stopped. Newspaper reading on paper has decreased, but online reading has increased. An increase for digital platforms is also noticeable for television and radio, where streaming services and podcasts are increasing rapidly. These are some results from the 2019 Norwegian Media Barometer, conducted by Statistics Norway.

Stable morning newspaper reading
Reading of morning newspapers has been declining among the Norwegian people for a long time, but now the trend seems to be turning. The results from the 2019 Norwegian Media Barometer show that the reading is stable from the previous year. Newspaper reading on paper decreased, but reading increased online.

The proportion of readers who read on the paper newspapers’ websites increased from 51 to 55 per cent between 2018 and 2019. Thus, the proportion of readers of newspapers’ websites is twice as high as the proportion who read daily newspapers on paper, 27 per cent. There has also been an increase of readers of online newspapers that do not have a paper edition.

Record low figures for live television
Until 2012, over 80 per cent of Norwegians watched live television on an average day. Live television refers to television programmes that are in a fixed broadcast schedule, in the "traditional way" or on live-streaming television.

In 2019, the proportion of viewers dropped to 48 per cent. The fall from 2018 is as much as 12 percentage points. This means that less than half of the Norwegian population watched live television on an average day. The development of online video and film media is going in the opposite direction. In 2019, the viewership of these media was 43 per cent, which is an increase of 6 percentage points from 2018.

Lowest radio listening ever – but podcasts on the rise
The reach of radio is steadily decreasing. In 2019, 48 per cent of Norwegians listened to radio or Internet radio on an average day. The figure can be compared to 50 per cent in 2018, 54 per cent in 2017 and 59 per cent in 2016. At the same time, the proportion listening to podcasts is increasing. In 2018, 16 per cent of the population said they listened to podcasts on a regular day. One year later, the proportion is 25 per cent.

Facebook is the biggest but not growing
Almost all (90%) of the population use the internet on an average day. Of those, 72 per cent say they visited Facebook. The proportion has been stable over the past five years. The share that has used other social media was at 62 per cent, which is about the same level as 2018; however, the proportion of searched facts and information on the Internet has increased steadily in recent years, from 44 per cent in 2015 to 66 per cent in 2019.

Read the report in Norwegian: https://www.ssb.no/kultur-og-fritid/articles-and-publications/norsk-mediebarometer-2019

Read summary in English: https://www.ssb.no/en/kultur-og-fritid/artikler-og-publikasjoner/norwegian-media-barometer-2019

About the Norwegian Media Barometer: The nationwide survey is conducted by telephone interviews in a random sample of the population aged 9–79 years. The Norwegian Media Barometer was first conducted in 1991 and the report is published in the spring of each year. Media covered are: newspapers, weekly magazines, magazines, books, audio media, video/film media, radio, television, Internet, digital games and cinema. The survey shows figures for media use all weekdays and during different seasons. Statistics from the Media Barometer surveys are available through Statistics Norway's database.

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KARIN HELLINGWERF