April 1, 2011
REPORTR.NET: How newspapers in Norway are transitioning to digital
Elvind Thomsen from Norway outlined how the Schibsted Media Group had shifted its financial base from print to digital at the ISOJ.
Newspapers are popular in Norway, with the average user reading 1.3 newspapers a day. But this is declining, from 1.6 newspapers in 2009.
Thomsen said part of the reason for this was virtually universal broadband and mobile penetration, plus the growth of social networking – 64% of Norwegians on Facebook.
But, he added, Norway faces declining circulation of all newspapers after circulation peaked at the end of the century.
As part of its strategy, Schibsted has seized the classified space online, and not just in Norway, rather than let a new entrant such as Craigslist own this area.
Online now accounts for 30% of Schibsted revenue, compared to 3% in 2002. Online display advertising on newspaper sites only brings in 6% of revenue.
Thomsen said Schibsted was succeeding in transition from a print revenue base to being a digital player, and was doing so more successfully compared to media in other countries.
In common with other speakers, Thomsen also highlighted the importance of mobile platforms such as iPhones and iPads.
His advice for the ISOJ: understand how your audience wants and gets the news, experiment, multiple revenue streams rather than relying one business model.