The revenue of the media declined by two per cent in real prices between the years 2016 and 2017. The total revenue of the media was 27,900 million ISK. Revenue from users’ fees was nearly 15,000 million ISK and revenue derived from advertisements and sponsoring was over 13,000 million ISK. The total media revenue was about 18 per cent lower in 2017 than in the year 2006 and 2007 when at all-time high. Television captured half of the total revenue and dailies and non-dailies one fourth. Private media captured 78 per cent of the total media revenue and 84 per cent of the total advertising revenue in 2017 compared with 22 and 16 per cent market share of the public service broadcaster, the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, respectively.
In the wake of the financial collapse in fall 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 about a quarter, measured in fixed 2017 prices. Since, there has been a slight increase. Today the total revenue of the media is comparable to what it was around the turn of the century. Despite a substantial decline this is somewhat lower than the results are from other countries.1 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 28 per cent in real prices since its peak in 2006 and 2007. At same time, revenue from users has increased only one per cent (see figure 1).
The fall in the revenue of the media is manifested differently between kinds of media. Newspapers and magazines have suffered more severe fall in revenue than other kinds of media, which can largely be explained by changes in media consumption. The revenue of newspapers and magazines has hence dropped nearly half since 2006, measured in 2017 prices. At the same time the revenue of the radio has increased by 13 per cent and television by four per cent while the revenue of the web media has increased fourfold (see table 1).
|Table 1. Index of media revenue 1986-2017 (index 100=2017)|
|Mass media, total||Dailies and non-dailies||Magazines and periodicals||Radio||Television||Web media|
|Revenue in ISK. mill. 2017||27,908||7,043||1,341||3,717||13,876||1,931|
|Note: Daily and non-daily newspapers: Only dailies 1986-1994.|
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 2017, half of the revenue fell to television compared with 39 per cent in 1998. Radio’s share has changed only slightly between the years 1998 and 2017 or from 12 to 13 per cent. At the same time the share of magazines and other periodicals fell from nine to five per cent and the share of dailies and non-dailies dropped from 41 to 26 per cent. The share of the web media increased from one per cent to seven per cent in 2017.
|Table 2. Share of media revenues between different media 1998-2017, %|
|Daylies and non-dailies||Magazines and other papers||Radio||Television||Web media|
|%s difference +/-|
Of the total revenue of the media in 2017 of nearly 28,000 million ISK, 78 per cent fell to private media and 22 per cent to the public service broadcaster, the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service. Between 1997 and 2017, the share of the public broadcaster in the total revenue of the media lowered from 26 to 22 per cent (see figure 2).
During the first decade in the aftermath of the abolition of the monopoly of the public service to broadcasting in 1986, the share of the public service broadcaster in broadcasting revenue declined fast. Since around 2000 its share has been more or less unchanged. In 2017, the public broadcaster retained 58 and 29 per cent of radio and television revenue, respectively, or 35 per cent of total broadcasting revenue. In 2017, private media operators retained roughly 11,000 million ISK of the advertisement revenue of the media compared with some 2,000 million ISK of the public broadcaster. The share of the public broadcaster in advertisement revenue of the media was 16 per cent. At the same time the share of the public broadcaster in advertisement revenue of radio was 34 per cent and of television 48 per cent. Together the share of the public broadcaster in radio and television was 41 per cent (see figure 3).
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.
1 It is estimated that the fall in revenue of the US media in the aftermath of the banking crisis in 2008 was 40 per cent (R. G. Picard, The Economics and Financing of Media Companies. 2. rev. ed. New York: Fordham University Press, 2011).