Small growth in newspaper circulation in Norway

NEWS | 23 May 2018

Last year, for the first time in almost 20 years, there was a growth in the total circulation for Norwegian newspapers. This increase was due to a growing number of digital subscriptions. This is shown in an annual report on the newspaper development in Norway (Avisåret, 2017).

In the last two years, the drop in Norwegian newspaper circulation has reached a plateau. In 2016, the drop stopped at 1 per cent (compared to
a 5 per cent loss in 2015), to even increase slightly in 2017 (plus 0.4 per cent). This development can be explained by increasing sales of digital sub-
scriptions, compensating for the continuing drop in print sales (minus
7 per cent in 2017).

The number of newspapers selling digital subscriptions is increasing. By the end of last year, 175 of 223 Norwegian newspapers were charging for news online. This number refers to almost all daily newspapers and most of the local newspapers issued two to three days per week.

Number of Norwegian newspapers with a paywall for online news 2011-2017

Graph Number of newspapers with digital paymodels

 Source: Høst, Sigurd "Avisåret 2017” (page 36).

Payment models for online content of newspapers – or paywalls – were introduced in 2011 and had a breakthrough in 2015, when the number of newspapers with paywalls for online news more than doubled from 55 to 125.

The most common model for newspaper subscription in Norway is a complete subscription [komplett-abonnement], providing access to the newspaper in both print and digital versions. But even the digital-only subscriptions are growing: in 2017 these accounted for 20 per cent of circulation, an increase from 13 per cent in 2016 and 7 per cent in 2015.

Download "Avisåret 2017" here (in Norwegian)

Some of the report's data on newspaper structure are available via medianorway’s database (in English)


About the report: This report is 23rd in an annual series on Norwegian newspapers, and covers all Norwegian newspapers. The report series documents and analyses newspaper trends such as newspaper circulation, frequency of issues, pricing, ownership, digital payments, and so on. Author Sigurd Høst holds the position of Adjunct Professor at Volda University College.


Nordic newspaper statistics: A recent publication from Nordicom examines the newspaper trends in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. Unique data time series, starting in the year 2000, present the Nordic newspaper landscape, the economy of the newspaper markets, and reading trends. Read more and download a free copy here.