The Swedish media economy 2016

NEWS | 5 December 2017

The Swedish advertising market is growing, but the surplus goes mainly to Google and Facebook. The radio industry shows record results, while the TV industry faces increasing competition and the newspaper industry continues to lose revenues. These are some of the results found in a report on Swedish media economy in 2016.

In cooperation with Nordicom, the Swedish Press and Broadcasting Authority has published its annual analysis of the Swedish media economy in 2016.

It focuses on newspapers, television and radio, looking at turnover and profitability at the industry level as well as for individual companies.

Boost in the Swedish advertising sales
Considering the overall economic situation, 2016 was a favourable year for media companies in Sweden. On the advertising market – which is so important for the media companies – investments increased by over six per cent.

However, almost all growth went to global technology companies like Google and Facebook. In 2016, the advertising investment in global platforms amounted to almost SEK 10 billion, equivalent to 63 per cent of the digital advertising sales in Sweden.

TV and radio in the black
Despite the increasing competition from global streaming services, the TV industry is still making a profit. The television operations of both TV4 and MTG are among the more profitable operations on the Swedish media market.

However, in 2016, advertising sales in traditional television fell by 1 per cent, compared to an increase in the radio industry by 11 per cent. Bauer Media, the largest commercial radio actor in Sweden, reported the highest turnover ever (SEK 595 million) for a privately owned Swedish radio company.

Gains and losses on the newspaper market
The newspaper industry is the sector most affected by the digital competition on the media market. However, in 2016, the decline in industry revenues was limited to just under one per cent. Looking at a longer period, the daily press has lost about a quarter of its revenues during the past decade.

Still, some newspaper companies are earning a great deal of money. Of the country's ten largest newspaper groups, six made a profit and four a loss in 2016.

Spotify now larger than Bonnier
In 2016, Bonnier AB, the almost 180-year-old family company, was pushed down from the top of the list of the largest Swedish-controlled media companies.

The new Number 1 is Spotify, a music service company, which reported a total turnover of almost SEK 28 billion, equivalent to a growth of over 50 per cent in just one year. For Bonnier, sales fell to just under 26 billion.

Read more and download the report (in Swedish)


About the report: Medieekonomi 2016, written by Jonas Ohlsson PhD from NORDICOM, is part of the report series Medieutveckling [Media Development] published by the Swedish Press and Broadcasting Authority. Data are primarily based on Swedish media companies’ official annual accounts and reports. The report, available in Swedish, is published on an annual basis.