The Swedish Newspaper Market During the 21st Century

NEW PUBLICATION | 15 March 2017

The current newspaper market consist of large-scale owners although fewer in number, at the same time the competitive conditions are transforming and the revenue is falling. A report from Nordicom shows that the structural transformation of the Swedish newspaper market during the 21st century has been extensive and has resulted in great changes.  

What has the structural and economic development of the daily press looked like during the 21st century, and what actors are best equipped to meet the challenges that the newspaper market is facing? These are questions that are being considered in the report titled The Swedish Newspaper Market During the 21st Century: Structural Transformation and Economic Development, written by PhD Jonas Ohlsson, media researcher at Nordicom.  

The concentration of ownership
The report shows that the concentration of ownership for the Swedish newspaper market has increased during the 21st century. The eight largest newspaper groups now control 76 out of Sweden’s 93 mid- and high-frequency daily newspapers.

However, this is not a situation unique to Sweden. The concentration of ownership in the country does not differ much in comparison to the rest of the Nordic countries.

A tougher market climate
The report shows that tougher competitive conditions when it comes to users and advertisers have resulted in falling revenue. The numbers show that the total industry revenue during 2015 was the lowest it has been since the beginning of the 1980s. 

A tougher economic situation has forced companies to lower costs. For example, the newspaper industry is not employing as many people anymore, and the number of local editorial offices has decreased. 

Gazing ahead
The report identifies two critical aspects when it comes to the survival of the newspapers companies during upcoming years. These aspects include both the market position of the individual daily newspaper and the economic standards of the individual newspaper company. 

One of the actors that is best equipped for the future is the family-owned NWT Group, who owns all the local newspapers in Värmland and Dalsland. The NWT Group shows a continued profit and financial stability. In addition, the NWT Group has comparatively retained most reporters during the past decades. 


Read and download the report here.

You can also order a print copy of the report here. 

More media statistics regarding the Swedish daily press can be found in Nordicom's table database


About the report:
The report is carried out on behalf of The Swedish Media Inquiry (Ku 2015:01). The analyses are mainly built on data and results collected from the annual accounts of the newspaper companies, and the yearly compilation of structural and economic development of the daily press done by the Press Subsidies Council (nowadays a decision-making organisation serving as part of The Swedish Press and Broadcasting Authority).