Government corona grants increased profits for the media giants

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Published October 20, 2021 at 17.38

You pay. The year 2020 was marked by a pandemic and hit citizens and society hard, but also the media market. But despite the crisis with declining advertising revenues, the daily press still managed to increase its profits thanks to quickly paid contributions from taxpayers. It shows the new state report.

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During the pandemic, interest in taking part in both news and entertainment also increased, which contributed to increased user revenues for the newspaper industry and then mainly from the digital editions.

– I am proud that we managed to pay out the aid quickly so that already hard-pressed news media could continue to convey good news journalism during the pandemic, says Charlotte Ingvar-Nilsson, director general of the grant authority MPRT, which publishes the report, in a press release.

The trend of declining advertising revenues for the news media continued through further transfers of advertising investments to the internet, according to the report. An increasing proportion of digital advertising investments go to non-Nordic players, and this trend has been further strengthened during the year. Advertising investments in the media fell by just over 5 per cent in 2020 and it was the news media that were hit hardest with a loss of revenue of over 20 per cent.

To compensate the news media companies for the loss of revenue, press and media support almost doubled in 2020, to approx. SEK 1.5 billion. During the pandemic, several different types of grants were awarded to support more categories of news media. In addition, many newspapers early in the year reduced their costs in order to meet an expected drop in revenue, says Tobias Lindberg, researcher at Nordicom and author of the report.