The total revenue of the media in 2022 was some 29 billion ISK. The revenue changed only slightly from the previous year, after some 5% fall in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic which began in 2020. The small increase in the media revenue in 2022 is due to increase in advertising revenue which increased by 3% between years at same time as revenue derived from users declined by 1.5%. Users provide the largest bulk of revenue of the media or 59% (roughly 17 billion ISK) compared with 41% from advertising (12 billion ISK).

The share of the public broadcaster, The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, of the total media revenue increased slightly between years, or from 25% to 26%, while its share in advertisement revenue of the media increased from 19% to 20%. The five largest media operators retain some 88% of the total media revenue.

In the wake of the economic recession following the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 media revenue (i.e. dailies and non-dailies, other papers and magazines, radio and television, web media and podcasts) has increased about 3% measured in fixed 2022 prices. The growth of revenue has been fastest in podcasts (334%) and web media (41%), but in a lesser degree in magazines (6%) and radio (3%). Television revenue decreased by 1% and revenue of daily and weekly newspapers by 5%.

After some increase in the years 2015-2017 media revenue has fallen by 11%. 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 by 26% since 2016 and by 44% since its peak in 2007, calculated in real prices. The reasons for the slump in advertising revenue is to a large extent due to increased flow of advertising money abroad (mainly to social media and search engines) and to somewhat a lesser extent advent of new media (streaming services of music and books).

The fall in the revenue of the media is manifested differently between different kind of media. Newspapers and magazines have suffered more severe fall in revenue than other media. This can be explained by changes in media consumption. The revenue of newspapers (i.e. dailies and non-dailies) has fallen by 64% since 2005. Since 2020, revenue of daily- and weekly press has decreased by 5%. Revenue of magazines and other periodicals increased by 16% between 2020 and 2022, the web media by 41% and podcasts by 334%. At the same time, radio revenue increased by 3% while the television revenue fell by 1%.

New patterns in media consumption are partly captured in changed share of different media in the media revenue over time as shown in the table below. In 2022, 54% of total media revenue was picked up by television compared with 40% in 2000. Radio’s share changed only slightly between 2000 and 2021 or from 12% to 14%. The share of other papers and magazines declined from 9% down to 4%. The web media retained 11% market share in 2020 compared with only 1% in 2000. Newspapers have fared worst in this comparison. In 2000, newspapers retained 38% share compared with only 16% in 2022. Over the period under review, television increased its share from 40% to 54%.

Of total revenue of the media of some 29 billion ISK in 2022, 26% fell to the public broadcaster. Between 2000 and 2022, its share of the total media revenue grew from 22% to 26%. At the same time the share of the public broadcaster in radio revenue has dropped from 66% down to 63% and its share in television has fallen from 34% down to 31%.

The share of the public broadcaster in the total advertising revenue increased slightly between 2021 and 2022, or from 19% to 20%. At the same time its share in radio advertising decreased from 39% to 37% while increasing in television from 50% to 56%. Since 2000 the public broadcaster has increased it share of advertising revenue of the media from 15% up to 20% and in television from 32% up to 56%. Meanwhile, its share in advertisement revenue in radio has plummeted from 43% down to 37%.

In 2022, five media companies and operators (including the public broadcaster) retained 88% share of the total market. The share of the largest five was 94% in subscription and user fees and 80% of the advertising revenue of the media.

Exempting the public service broadcaster, the five largest media companies retained 85% of the total revenue of the private media, 93% of revenue from subscriptions and user fees and 78% of the advertising revenue.

About the data
Information about revenue of the Icelandic media is derived from data from the media companies to the Icelandic Media Commission since 2011 and annual accounts. In the instances when information is lacking from media operators, revenues are estimated from VAT tax reports and other available information.

Mass media are defined as daily and non-daily newspapers, other papers and magazines, radio and television (including streaming and SVOD services) and web media. Information about revenue of other media (i.e. streaming services for music and books, cinema, podcasts, etc.) is provided in the data tables.

Media revenue is 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.


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