During INMA’s European News Media Conference, Fairfax Media's Robert Whitehead (who was also INMA’s conference moderator) interviewed Randi Øgrey, CEO of Norwegian Media Business’ Association, to find out what makes the Norwegian media market so distinctive.

Norway is a specific market, and it is much different for many reasons. But it’s not perfect, Øgrey said. The daily reading reach in Norway is 82%, which means more than four in five people read news on a daily basis. That breaks down to 61% of Norwegians reading online and 46% in print. Additionally, 43% of news in Norway is consumed through mobile, and 24% people say they read magazines.

Randi Øgrey, CEO of Norwegian Media Business’ Association, describes her country's uniquely positioned media industry.
Randi Øgrey, CEO of Norwegian Media Business’ Association, describes her country's uniquely positioned media industry.

Norwegians love to read, and media is an important part of people’s lives, she said. Norway is a mobile country, and to be relevant, media need to be where the people are.

In Norway, people are used to paying for content, and subscriptions are common. Of those who bought subscriptions in 2016, 24% bought print subscriptions, 13% bought digital, and the remainder bought a bundle of print and digital.

Price is important, but Norway has no VAT for either print or digital, a slightly easier arrangement than in other European countries.

Ad revenue share is falling (from 55% in 2010 to less than 45% in 2016), but user revenue share has been growing (from 45% to more than 55% from 2014 to 2016). Facebook and Google’s share of advertising is about 50% in Norway, which isn’t bad considering it is 99% in some countries.

Sweden, Norway’s neighbour market, provides a role model, Øgrey said: “They are ahead. We are looking close to see what they are doing in both digital (such as selling subscriptions) and in terms of running the business.”