After three years’ increase, media revenue declined between the years 2017 and 2018 by seven per cent in real prices. The total revenue of the media was 26,300 million ISK. Revenue from users’ fees was nearly 13,700 million ISK and revenue derived from advertisements and sponsoring was over 12,700 million ISK. The total media revenue was about 18% lower in 2018 than in the year 2007 when at all-time high. Television captured half of the total media revenue and dailies and non-dailies one fourth.

In the wake of the financial collapse in the fall of 2008 there was an appreciable slump in revenue of the media (i.e. newspapers, magazines and other periodicals, radio and television and web media). Between the years 2007 and 2010 the revenue of the media declined nearly 30%, measured in fixed 2018 prices. Since, there has been a slight increase. The decline was more serious in revenue drawn from advertisements than in users’ fees and revenue related to direct sale to customers. Revenue derived from advertisements have fallen 30% in real prices since its peak in 2007. At the same time, revenue from users has decreased 7% (see figure 1).

The fall in the revenue of the media is manifested differently between different kinds of media. Newspapers and magazines have suffered more severe fall in revenue than other media, which can be explained by changes in media consumption. The revenue of newspapers (i.e. dailies and weeklies) has fallen about 17% since 2016, measured in 2018 prices, and halved since they were highest in 2006. Revenue of magazines and other periodicals increased by 14% between 2017 and 2018. Radio revenue increased by one per cent between the years, while revenue of television dropped by 9% and revenue of the web media grew by four per cent (see table 1).

Table 1. Index of media revenue 1997-2018 (index 100=2018)
Mass media, total Dailies and non-dailies Magazines and periodicals Radio Television Web media
199771 125 80 64 57 .
199878 139 89 67 63 2
199987 151 117 75 69 6
200092 151 130 75 76 11
200192 138 135 73 83 8
200289 131 137 70 80 7
200389 137 112 74 79 10
200493 154 114 73 79 16
2005108 188 133 80 89 16
2006119 214 133 82 99 19
2007122 207 141 91 104 24
2008113 177 121 89 102 28
200990 110 105 79 91 26
201086 103 84 76 89 29
201191 114 83 75 92 50
201289 109 81 73 91 48
201389 109 84 71 91 52
201489 106 83 76 90 65
201594 105 85 80 95 88
2016105 120 85 94 104 107
2017107 115 88 99 109 96
2018100100 100 100 100100
Revenue in ISK. mill. 2018 26,284 6,018 1,756 3,777 12,813 1,920

New patterns in media consumption are partly captured in changed share of different media in the media revenue over time as shown in table 2. In 2018, nearly half of the revenue fell to television compared with 39% in 1997. Radio’s share changed only slightly between the years 1998 and 2017 or from 13 to 14 per cent. Magazines and other periodicals retained almost the same share of the market in 2018 and 1997, or seven and eight per cent respectively. Newspapers have suffered most badly of any single medium as their share dropped from 40 to 23 per cent over the same period. The share of the web media increased from one per cent in the year 2000 to 2007 to 7% in 2018.

Table 2. Share of media revenues between different media 1997-2018, %
Dailies and non-dailies Magazines and other papers Radio Television Web media
19974081339 0
199841812390
199940912380
200038912401
2001341011441
2002341011441
200335812431
200438811411
200540811401
200641710411
200739811411
200836711442
200928813502
201027713512
201129612494
201228612504
201328612504
201427612495
201526612497
201626513487
201725513507
201823714497

Of the total revenue of the media in 2018 of nearly 26.3 million ISK, 24% fell to the public broadcaster, the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service. Between 2017 and 2018 the share of the public broadcaster in the total revenue of the media increased two per cent (see figure 2).

The share of the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service in the total advertising revenue of the mass media remained unchanged between 2017 and 2018, or 16%. At the same time the share of the public broadcaster in broadcasting (radio and television) advertising lowered by one per cent, from 41 per cent to 40. In 2018, the public broadcaster retained 34% of the total radio advertising revenue and 32% of the total advertising revenue of television, or with two per cent less shares in both than in the previous year.

In 2018, five media companies and operators (including the public service broadcaster) retained 82% share of the total market. The share of the largest five was 93% in subscription and user fees and 74% of the advertising revenue of the media (see table 3).

Table 3: Share of the five largest in media revenue 2018, %
Media revenue, total Subscription and users fees Advertisements and sponsoring
All media companies*
Five largest829374
Others18726
Private media
Five largest809267
Others20833
Note: Figures refer to share of media owners.
* Including The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service.

If the public service broadcaster is exempted, the five largest private media companies retained 80% of the total revenue of the private media, 92% of subscriptions and user fees and 67% of the advertising revenue.

About the data
Information about revenue of the Icelandic media are derived from information from the media companies to the Icelandic Media Commission since 2011 (before to Statistics Iceland) and annual accounts. In the instances when information is lacking from media operators revenues are estimated from VAT tax reports and other available information. Media revenue is here defined as revenue from users (subscription fees, single copy sales and pay-per view, broadcasting fee levied upon all eligible individuals and companies) and advertisements and sponsoring. The data does not include foreign media. Information about individual private media is not provided due to rules of confidentiality.

Statistics