In 2015, five media companies, all Nordic, reached a turnover of one billion euros on the Nordic markets. The largest by far is the Swedish Bonnier group, followed by Norway's Schibsted Media Group and the Swedish Stenbeck sphere (MTG/Viasat).
In terms of total corporate revenue, Bonnier also takes the lead. But on such a list, it is the Swedish-owned music service Spotify that ranks second, after having almost doubled its turnover in a year.
For many of the media companies on Nordicom’s top 25 list, revenue decreased in 2015 or stayed at approximately the same level as in 2014. Particularly the companies with a large part of their operations in the newspaper business have seen declining revenues. One company with a sharp increase in media revenue was the Danish telecommunications company TDC, after its acquisition of the Norwegian TV distributor Get.
The most profitable companies on the list are the two Swedish TV distributors Com Hem, with a gross margin of +29%, and Teracom, with a gross margin of +14%.
The 25 largest media companies by revenue on the Nordic market in 2015 (EUR million)
Note: The companies are ranked by their revenue in the Nordic countries, in dark blue. Revenue outside the Nordic market is added in light blue.
Source: Nordicom (based on annual reports and web pages).
Full table including Nordic revenues, company revenues, results and profit margins(excel)
Spotify - large, global, but unprofitable
The four largest companies in the Nordic markets – Bonnier, MTG with its sister companies in the Stenbeck sphere, Schibsted Media Group, and Egmont – all have operations outside the Nordic countries; but the largest share, at 70% or more of their income, is generated within the Nordic countries.
Finland’s largest media company, Sanoma, which is the same size as Schibsted, instead earns more than 60% of its revenues outside the Nordic region, and the rest almost entirely from the domestic market.
The Swedish music service Spotify is typical of the new fully digital businesses, with the world as its market; only 15% of its revenue is generated in the Nordic countries. As for Spotify, the company showed the single worst result among the companies on the Nordic list, with a gross margin of -9% compared with -15% the previous year.
Programme companies, TV distribution and print
The Nordic TV companies are all included on the list, either as subsidiaries of large groups (Bonnier’s TV4 in Sweden and MTV in Finland, Sanoma’s Nelonen in Finland, the Stenbeck sphere’s channels in the Nordic countries, and Egmont’s TV2 in Norway) or as their own units, such as Discovery Networks Nordic with TV channels in all the Nordic countries except Iceland, and TV2 Denmark (partly public service TV), owned by the Danish state. The Nordic public service companies are also on the list, with the exception of RÚV in Iceland.
Four distribution companies are among the top 25, and include cable, satellite, broadband and terrestrial operators. Norwegian Telenor, which distributes TV in the Nordic countries (Canal Digital), and Danish TDC are both parts of major telecom corporations, but are ranked here based on their TV-related activities. Com Hem is active in Sweden, while Teracom (owned by the Swedish state) owns and operates the terrestrial networks in Sweden and Denmark (Teracom’s pay-TV company Boxer was acquired in 2016 by Com Hem). In addition, MTG is also a significant player on the Nordic TV distribution market.
Another group is a number of companies with their core businesses in the print media. The largest is Aller from Denmark, followed by Amedia, JP/Politikens Hus, Stampen, Otava, Alma Media, the Persgroep with Berlingske Media, Gyldendal (Norway), and Jysk Fynske Media.
Nordic ownership, with some exceptions
The Nordic media market is also Nordic concerning ownership structure: only four of the 25 largest companies have owners outside the region. The two distribution companies Com Hem and TDC television (which includes Denmark’s largest distributor, YouSee) are owned by foreign private equity firms. The third is the media group comprising the Nordic subsidiaries of US-based Discovery Communications. The last is the Danish newspaper group Berlingske Media, which was sold by the UK Mecom group to the Belgian media company de Persgroep at the beginning of 2015.
Download Nordicom's tables (Excel):
BY: STAFFAN SUNDIN