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Advertising in the Nordics - statistics & facts

The advertising industry in the Nordics has seen continuous growth but also visible transformation in the past few years. Overall, media advertising spending in Sweden and Norway, as well as ad revenue in Denmark, have all peaked in 2019 before plummeting due to the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in 2020. Another shared trend that could be observed in the Nordic countries for quite some time is the advance of digital advertising. In 2020, the internet accounted for the lion’s share of ad investments and revenues throughout the region, heralding in a new digital era of advertising.

Online advertising is sweeping the region

Online advertising has made big leaps in recent years. Most Nordic countries have internet penetration rates of over 90 percent, and as consumers spend more time with online media than ever before, advertisers are gradually shifting their focus and advertising funds towards digital channels. In 2020, online ad spend in Finland reached an all-time high of 528 million euros, up from just over 200 million a decade prior. Internet ad revenue in Denmark has seen a similar increase in the last 10 years, peaking at 8.61 billion Danish kroner in 2020. So which channels are driving ad spend and revenue? In Denmark, search was the largest contributor to ad revenues in 2020, while Norwegian industry players placed their bets on Google and Facebook.

Audiovisual ad formats no longer attract the big bucks

When it comes to ad investments in audiovisual media formats, a downward trend in television advertising activities can be noticed across the entire region. But while TV ad revenue in Norway only began to fall in 2018, it has declined in Denmark for almost a decade now. Earnings from radio promotion have shared a similar fate, with radio ad revenue in Norway and Denmark starting to plummet in 2015 and 2019, respectively. These two traditional ad formats are no longer the primary sources for information and entertainment, and this trend is reflected in advertising behavior more distinctly every year. While there have been visible variations in cinema ad spend and revenue in the past, all countries saw a sharp decline in investments in 2020.

Print & out of home (OOH) advertising

Print media has fought an uphill battle for the better part of a decade, and a downward trend in readership and advertising funds also shows in the Nordics. Between 2011 and 2020, newspaper ad spend in Sweden fell by over 60 percent, and a continuous decline in ad investments and revenue can also be seen for magazines and most other print media formats in the region. One advertising platform that had witnessed annual growth before the pandemic was out-of-home (OOH) advertising. In 2019, OOH advertising revenue in Norway reached a peak of 778 million Norwegian kroner, up from 481 million a decade prior. Following the pandemic-related series of lockdowns, however, spending on outdoor media visibly plummeted.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 39 most important statistics relating to "Advertising in the Nordics".


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