NEWS | 14 Nov 2017

The Norwegian media economy 2016

Payment from users is becoming an increasingly important source of revenue for the Norwegian media industry. This is shown in the Media Authority's report on the Norwegian media economy 2016.

The Norwegian Media Authority’s analysis of the domestic media economy in 2016 focuses on newspapers, television and radio, looking at turnover and profitability at the industry level as well as for individual companies.

Decrease in revenue
In 2016, the revenues for Norwegian newspapers and broadcasters amounted to almost 2.7 billion euro, a decrease by two per cent compared to 2015.

Revenues shrank for the daily press and commercial radio, while they increased for commercial television. The public service broadcaster NRK, funded through license fees, also reported higher revenues in 2016 than 2015.

Profits down by half
Despite the turbulent times, 2016 was yet another profitable year for the Norwegian media industry on the whole – but with significantly weaker profits than the year before. The total operating profit of just under 70 million euro corresponds to a loss of almost 50 per cent compared to 2015.

But the development has had different effects. The downturn mainly hit the TV companies (increased programme costs) and newspapers (large advertising losses), while the radio industry strengthened its profitability and, for the first time, made a bigger profit than the  TV industry.

Reader and viewer payment more important
The balance between the two major sources of revenue for the newspaper and TV companies – sales of advertisements to advertisers and sales of media content to consumers – is changing. Advertising still stands for the largest revenues, but payment from readers and viewers is becoming increasingly important.

For newspapers, which in 2016 lost over 100 million euro in advertising revenue, the readers' share is now 52.5 per cent of their operating revenues. Thereby, newspapers are becoming more dependent on readers’ willingness to pay for their news.

Also for the TV industry, whose advertising sales are increasing, payment from viewers is becoming increasingly important. The 2016 growth in TV revenue was due mostly to growth in payment from viewers (sales of streaming services and channel packages) and to distribution revenues. Together, these two sources accounted for around 42 per cent of the TV companies' operating revenues in 2016, compared with just over 31 per cent in 2012.

In view of the newspapers' advertising losses and the TV industry's increasing revenues from viewers, the Media Authority believes that 2017 is likely to be the year when user revenues become the media industry's most important source of revenue.

Read more and download the report (in Norwegian)
Read about the separate report on newspaper economy (published in June, article in English)


About the report: Økonomien i norske medieverksemder 2012-2016 [Economy in Norwegian media operations 2012-2016] is the Norwegian Media Authority’s annual report on the media industry's economic development, with a focus on news and current affairs media. Data are primarily based on the Authority’s own data collections, plus Norwegian media companies’ official annual accounts and reports. The report is published in Norwegian. Read more about the Media Authority in English.