NEWS | 10 Jun 2014

The Norwegian Newspaper Year 2013

The year 2013 was a less successful year for newspapers in Norway. Their circulation dropped heavily and advertising revenue from print fell even more, as presented in an annual report on the Norwegian newspaper year by media researcher Sigurd Høst.

The total newspaper circulation for 2013 was just over 2.2 million copies, a decrease by almost 8 per cent since 2012. Half of this loss can be attributed to the closure of Aftenposten Aften, but even if Aften is excluded this is the largest drop ever. Those that lost the most were the two single-copy selling newspapers VG and Dagbladet.

Steady number of newspapers

Norway has the highest number of newspapers among the Nordic countries, and even with falling circulation this high number has remained. By the end of 2013, 229 newspapers with at least one issue per week were being published, which is in fact two more titles than the previous year.

More videos on the web

In early 2014, numerous newspapers had locally produced video content on their websites and 70 newspapers published their own videos online at least once a week. The year before, only 45 newspapers were publishing video content as often.

Different strategies for digital payment

With declining circulation and advertising revenue, user payment for web news and e-papers is becoming increasingly common. Which solution to choose in order to receive payment  for digital material is a major ongoing issue for the newspaper publishers.

New for this year’s newspaper report is a review of the various pay models the Norwegian newspapers have chosen. The most common system, which half of the Norwegian newspapers have adopted, offers separate paper and digital subscriptions, with a digital discount for paper subscribers. The next most common model, used by 33 newspapers, is to offer both types of subscriptions but with the same digital price for all. Nineteen newspapers have chosen to place all channels in a single subscription package, so that readers buy all or nothing.


About the report: "Avisåret 2013"[The Newspaper Year 2013]  is the 19th report in order and is published in Norwegian only. The author, Sigurd Høst, is a newspaper researcher associated with Volda University College.

"Avisåret 2013" (report no. 48) can be downloaded here.

The report contributes Norwegian data to Nordicom’s comparative Nordic media statistics (in English).