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Norwegian Media Barometer 2020: More news and more streaming

NEWS | 29 April 2021

More Norwegians followed the news during the pandemic year 2020. This is shown by the 2020 Norwegian Media Barometer, conducted by Statistics Norway (SSB).

The Covid-19 pandemic, with increased sitting-at-home, an increased need for entertainment and an increased need for news, affected media habits in 2020. The Norwegian Media Barometer presents data on media use in the Norwegian population 9–79 years old during last year and over three decades.

Newspaper reading up

Newspaper reading has long been declining, but now the trend has reversed. In 2019, the fall stopped, and according to this year’s survey, the share of Norwegians reading the newspaper on an average day increased from 73 per cent in 2019 to 77 per cent in 2020. The increase is entirely explained by more people reading newspapers online.

More people watch live TV news

Just under half of the population, 48 ​​per cent, watched linear-TV on an average day, which is the same level as in 2019. Until 2012, more than 80 per cent of Norwegians watched linear-TV on an average day.

On the other hand, the share of TV viewers who watched TV-news increased, from 53 per cent in 2019 to 62 per cent in 2020. News broadcasts is the programme category that reaches the most viewers on an average day.

Radio listening is shrinking – but more people listen to news

In 2020, 49 per cent of Norwegians listened to live radio via FM, DAB or online on an average day. This is the same level as 2019. This can be compared with 50 per cent in 2018, 54 per cent in 2017 and 59 per cent in 2016.

The genres most listened to are popular music and news broadcasts. Compared with 2019, a slight increase in the share of radio listeners listening to radio news is noted in 2020. The share increased from 44 to 47 per cent.

Increase for streaming services

While TV viewing flattened out and radio listening decreased slightly in 2020, streaming services showed a significant increase. In 2020, 51 per cent of the population watched video or film media on an average day, up from 43 per cent in 2019. The majority (83%) of these watched streamed content.

“The number of streaming services have increased in recent years and have become an integrated part of most people's media day. As many as seven of ten Norwegians now have access to at least one paid-for streaming service”, says Emma Schiro, head of statistics for the Norwegian Media Barometer survey.

Facebook largest

Almost all (92%) of the population use the Internet on an average day. Of those, 76 per cent say they have used social media platforms. Most widely used is Facebook, which 63 per cent have visited, down from 72 per cent in 2019. Moreover, 44 per cent of Internet users say they have consumed news on social media.

Cover The Norwegian Media Barometer 2020


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. Statistics from the Media Barometer surveys are available through Statistics Norway's database.