New survey: More Norwegians read newspapers during the pandemic

NewspaperPhoto: Berit Roald / NTB
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Newspaper reading has increased through the pandemic, despite a steady decline in paper newspapers. Mobile is the most important platform for following the news.

The growth for Norwegian online newspapers continues at full force, the recent readership figures from the Consumer & Media survey show.

The use of newspapers on digital surfaces increased by 9% in the last six months, and 82% of people read at least one newspaper digitally or on paper daily. 

For the first time, more than seven out of ten Norwegians used digital content from Norwegian newspapers daily – its use has bypassed linear TV.

The largest share of digital consumption takes place via mobile, where six out of ten Norwegians use their mobile phones daily to access content from Norwegian online newspapers. Three out of ten use a PC, and 16% use tablets.

“The figures confirm the development we saw even before the corona pandemic hit Norway, and the development has intensified in the last year,” CEO Randi S. Øgrey of the Media Companies’ National Association said in a press release.

Paper newspapers struggling

Paper newspaper reading had an overall decline of 15% in 2020. With less than 50,000 readers, local and regional newspapers had a decline of 13%, and niche newspapers were down 19.5%.

“Part of the decline can be explained by the fact that fewer people read niche newspapers at work and in public places and that there are fewer readers per copy. Nevertheless, a high proportion, 36% of the Norwegian population, still read at least one paper newspaper on an average day,” Øgrey said.

The biggest media houses

VG is by far Norway’s largest media house, with total coverage for paper and Internet of just over 2.2 million users, followed by Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) with almost 1.6 million, Dagbladet with 1.3 million, and TV 2 with one million users.

Aftenposten, Nettavisen, and E24 all have over half a million users. The majority of news consumption is carried out digitally, and several of the largest news media platforms are also digital-only products.

Aftenposten is Norway’s largest paper newspaper with 282,000 readers for an average edition, followed by VG with 162,000 readers. 

Klassekampen is still Norway’s third-largest paper newspaper with 110,000 readers. Dagbladet has 101,000 and Adresseavisen and Dagens Næringsliv both have 91,000 readers.

Magazines

A total of 23 magazines reported more readers, while 40 have fewer readers. The reading of paper magazines decreased by 4% from 2019 to 2020.

“It is a weaker decline for the magazines than what we have seen in the last three years. This is despite the fact that the pandemic has led to less social contact between people and thus less sharing and exchange of magazines, at the same time as many public places have removed magazines. 21% (of people) now read at least one magazine daily,” Øgrey said.

The magazines that grew the most in 2020 focused on people’s lifestyle changes as a result of the pandemic. The largest percentage growth was registered by titles such as All about fishing, Hunting, and Norwegian Agriculture.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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