In 2014, the newspaper publishers started to publish in their annual special issue of the industry magazine Suomen Lehdistö (Finnish Press) two different figures for newspaper circulation: The total circulation and circulation. The total circulation is the amount of sold copies and corresponding digital copies. The circulation figure is the amount of sold copies (subscriptions and single copies) of the print newspaper. However, of all 39 dailies issued 4-7 times a week that have audited their circulations, just 25 papers announced the new total circulation for the year of 2015.
In 2016, newspapers made 10.6 percent of their total sales from digital publishing and 89.4 from print publishing. The proportion of the online sales over the total sales was 7.3 percent for dailies, 2.0 percent for local papers and 1.2 percent for the free papers. Regarding the total digital revenue, web advertising was €61m or 73 percent, and subscriptions were €22m or 27 percent.
According to the Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2016, Finland is still number one in total newspaper reach among the twelve surveyed countries. Combined reach of print and online newspapers was 93 percent. The Finnish National Readership Survey 2015 (NRS) puts the combined reach of 38 print and online newspapers at 90 percent, based on total reach for print and weekly reach for online. These numbers show how strong a role newspapers play in the daily life of Finns.
All online services by newspapers combined reached more Finns weekly than print editions did. In spring 2016, 80 percent of Finns read a printed newspaper every week, 51 percent read newspapers on a computer, 46 percent on a mobile phone and 28 on a tablet (National Readership Survey 2017).
Finns expect to read more newspapers online in five years’ time, but according to the survey, printednewspapers will continue to be a more widely used medium. In five years, 29 percent of Finns expect not to be reading any paid-for newspapers. During the three-year period of the study, this amount steadily increased by a few percentage points year by year.
According to Kantar TNS’s report for 2016, newspapers still receive the largest share of media advertising expenditure. Newspapers published 1-7 times a week received 29.0 percent or €339m of total expenditure. Online advertising was second with 27.8 percent or €324m, of which advertising in online newspapers is about one fifth. The advertising in free newspapers was 5.2 percent of the total media advertising expenditure. In total, the newspapers and free newspapers accounted for 34.2 percent or €400m of media advertising expenditure in 2016. However, the advertising expenditure in the print media ‑ in newspapers and magazines ‑ declined by 5.3 percent compared to 2015. Respectively, the advertising expenditure in the electronic media – in television, the Internet, radio and cinema – increased by 5.9 percent.
Newspaper closures in Finland have so far been rare. More common are reductions in print frequency. During the past five years, more than 30 newspapers have decreased their print frequency, as publishing online has become more common for all papers. However, online advertising revenue has failed to meet the expectations of many papers. Newspapers continue to develop their online presence and there is an increasing interest in reducing the amount of content online for non subscribers.
Among the all dailies, the largest newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat, gets the largest share of its total circulation from the digital edition. In 2016, 78 percent of the total circulation of 321,828 copies came from the printed version and 22 percent or 69,770 copies from digital editions.
In 2015, of the 180 subscribed-to newspapers, 43 are dailies published 4-7 times a week and 137 are local papers published 1-3 times a week. The two afternoon tabloids, Ilta-Sanomat and Iltalehti have not audited their circulations after 2014. The circulation figures in the following considerations are based mainly on 2016 and in some cases on previous years.
The main products of the print industry in Finland are printed and digital editions of daily newspapers, non-daily newspapers, free newspapers, magazines, periodicals and books. In 2015, the total newspaper sales, consisting of subscriptions and single-copy sales of printed newspapers and sales of their digital versions was €962m. The dailies accounted for €830m or 86 percent of the total and the non-dailies for €132m or 14 percent. (Statistics Finland/Mass Media statistics.)
In 2015, print media was still 56.5 percent of the total mass media market, though its relative share has slowly decreased and that of electronic media has increased. The biggest share of the print media, 25.8 percent of the total volume, comes from daily and non-daily newspapers. The combined share of electronic media, television, radio and Internet advertising is 37.8 percent. The largest share in the electronic media sector comes from television, including commercial and public service television, at 28.4 percent. Internet advertising is second with 7.7 percent and radio is third with 1.7 percent. Audio recordings, DVDs and cinemas have a total share of 5.7 percent.
The mass media are highly influenced by fluctuations in the national economy. The impact of economic recession varies between various media: the print media in particular have suffered from the weakening economy since autumn 2008. Reacting to the worsening economy, newspaper publishers have made structural changes, discontinued loss-making operations and taken cost-saving measures. The measures often take their toll on the printed version of the newspapers, while the online editions receive more funding.
In 2007, a governmental subsidy for transport, delivery and other costs of newspapers and also benefiting politically affiliated newspapers, was discontinued. Since 2008, there is only one type of government subsidy to newspapers. This discretionary subsidy is granted to newspapers published in national minority languages and their corresponding online publications. Subsidies are also granted to Swedish-language news services. Since 2008, the discretionary subsidy by the government has been a constant €0.5m per year. (Ministry of Transport and Communications.)
In 2016, the value added tax (VAT) for print newspaper subscriptions was 10 percent ‑ the same as for books. For single-copy sales and digital versions of newspapers, the VAT is 24 percent ‑ the same as for digital versions of magazines and books. The public service TV licence fee was replaced with a public broadcasting tax in 2013.
It is important to note the changes in newspaper revenues from advertising and subscriptions and single-copy sales. In 1965, newspaper revenues from advertising were 74 percent and 26 percent came from subscriptions. In 1988, the daily newspaper earnings were 71 percent from advertising and 29 percent from subscriptions. In 2015, the shares switched places: dailies made 45 percent of their revenues from advertising and 55 percent from subscriptions. Revenue from online sales is included from 2010 onward. (Statistics Finland/Media Statistics.) Due to the increased share of subscription revenue, newspapers have to pay more attention to their readers to better know their desires, interests and needs than some thirty years ago, so that they may produce better content.
The share of the publishing sector fell by 15 percent from 1997 to 2015 and that of electronic media rose by 17.8 percent. At the same time, the share of recorded media fell by 2.5 percentage points. Regardless of losses in total circulation and market volume, the newspaper industry has been relatively stable during the 70 post-war years.
The structure of the Finnish newspaper industry is mixed: it is based on a few national newspapers, on a wide provincial or regional daily press and on numerous local papers. These elements are significant due to their influence on where and how advertising is sold and how to find the types of advertisers that use newspapers for advertising. With a strong connection to local audiences, newspapers are able to provide content that is more closely focused on meeting the needs of news consumers.
The number of localities with three or four rival dailies has strongly decreased since the 1950s and Finland is now a country where just a single newspaper, issued 4-7 times a week, is published in each locality. Competition among daily newspapers in a locality is rare. There is only one city where more than one Finnish-language daily newspapers is published: the capital city of Helsinki.
In Helsinki, there are eight newspapers: the seven-day daily Helsingin Sanomat, the leading Swedish-language daily Hufvudstadsbladet, two nationwide six-day afternoon papers, Ilta-Sanomat and Iltalehti, and two other special newspapers, the five-day business daily Kauppalehti and the rural paper Maaseudun Tulevaisuus. Two party-affiliated weeklies, Demokraatti and Kansan Uutiset Viikkolehti, are also published.
With dailies and non-dailies, there are seven cities where more than one newspaper is published: Hämeenlinna, Kouvola, Kuopio, Oulu, Pori, Salo and Uusikaupunki.
In the southern city of Hämeenlinna the seven-day daily Hämeen Sanomat and the weekly Keski-Häme are published. In the south-east city of Kouvola there are the seven-day daily Kouvolan Sanomat and the weekly Elimäen Sanomat. In the eastern city of Kuopio there are the seven-day daily Savon Sanomat and the weekly Pitäjäläinen. In the northern city of Oulu there are the seven-day daily Kaleva, the two-times-a-week Rantapohja and the weekly Suomenmaa, the party newspaper of the Centre Party.
In the west-coast city of Pori there are the seven-day daily Satakunnan Kansa and the weekly Luoteisväylä and the social-democratic weekly Uusi Aika. In the south-west city of Salo there are the six-day daily Salon Seudun Sanomat and the weekly Perniönseudun Lehti. In the south-west coast city of Uusikaupunki there are the five-day daily Vakka-Suomen Sanomat and the three-day-a-week Uudenkaupungin Sanomat.
Due to the history of Finland and its two official languages, the five cities, including Helsinki, where a Finnish-language and a Swedish-language newspaper are published, are all located on the southern and western coasts.
In Porvoo, the seven-day daily Uusimaa and the two-day paper Östnyland (in Swedish language) are published. In the former Finnish capital Turku there are the seven-day daily Turun Sanomat and the five-day daily Åbo Underrättelser. In Vaasa there are the seven-day daily Pohjalainen and the six-day daily Vasabladet. In Pietarsaari is the six-day daily Österbottens Tidning in Swedish and a weekly Pietarsaaren Sanomat in Finnish.
A weekly with Swedish and Finnish content in the same issue is published in two cities on the southern coast. The weekly Hangötidningen - Hangonlehti is published in the southern city of Hanko and Pargas Kungörelser - Paraisten Kuulutukset in Parainen.
There are two cities in mainland Finland, where newspapers are published just in Swedish: the west-coast city of Raasepori with the five-day daily Västra Nyland and Närpiö, in the province of Ostrobothnia, with the three-day-a-week paper Syd-Österbotten.
There is fierce competition in sales and circulation in just one city in Finland. In Maarianhamina, the capital of the autonomous province of the Åland Islands, there are two rival Swedish-language newspapers: the six-day daily Ålandstidningen (1891, circulation of 9,577 copies) and the five-day daily Nya Åland (1981, circulation 6,464).
In addition to Finnish-language newspapers, ten newspapers are published in Swedish. All these newspapers are politically unaffiliated and eight of them are dailies. Eight newspapers are published in the south and west coasts and two in Maarianhamina on the Åland Islands.
Swedish-language newspaper circulation is 115,515 or 5.1 percent of the total newspaper circulation. The Swedish-speaking population is 290,910 people, or 5.3 percent of the total population.
A historical curiosity is that all three of the oldest Finnish newspapers still maintain their original titles in Swedish. The oldest still-published daily newspaper is the Swedish-language Åbo Underrättelser (founded 1824, circulation 6,000), being published five days a week in Turku, the former capital.
The two second oldest newspapers are the six-day daily Vasabladet (1856, circulation 16,407) and the seven-day daily Hufvudstadsbladet (1864, circulation 30,735). The oldest Finnish-language newspaper still being published is Keskisuomalainen (1871, circulation 52,672) in Jyväskylä.
The overwhelming majority of Finnish newspapers are non-affiliated. The party press or newspapers declared loyal to a party are few in number, their circulation and number of pages are less than that of average newspapers and they are published less frequently. Due to the increased costs of print newspapers, all parties have invested the majority of their parliamentary subsidy aimed for media in the development of their websites and on their presence in social media instead of the printed newspapers.
Since the Second World War a trend for party newspapers has been to declare themselves politically unaffiliated, resulting in a gradual decline of the party-political press. In 1910, just 20 of 117 general newspapers did not have a party affiliation and in 1925 the figure was 11 out of 109. In 1946, there were 66 party-affiliated newspapers and 43 in 1965. In 1946, just 35 percent of the total circulation was by unaffiliated papers.
In 1950, the structure of newspapers was still dominated by the political press system. The trend towards unaffiliated newspapers strengthened between 1950 and 1970. In 1997, the Finnish Newspapers Association had 214 members, of which just 18 had a formal party affiliation (Salokangas 1999, 95-97).
Roughly 95 percent of Finnish newspapers declare themselves politically unaffiliated. The level of affiliation between a paper and a party varies, and if one speaks about a party newspaper, it does not mean the paper is under the authority of a given party. The ties may be loose and still give the newspaper, that is somehow near or loyal to a given political movement, full independence. In the course of 60 years, party newspapers have used descriptions like “mouthpiece”, “independent centrist” or “independent leftist” depending on the position of the paper towards the official organisation.
The print versions of party newspapers have substantially decreased their publication frequency. By definition, in mid-2016, no printed party newspapers were published in Finland. All party-affiliated newspapers were published less than once a week. In all, there are 10 printed publications announcing a party or political affiliation.
In the order of publication frequency of the party papers, there are five weeklies. The Social Democratic Party has two weeklies, Demokraatti (founded 1895, circulation 9,125, Helsinki) and Uusi Aika (founded 1919, circulation 7,121, Pori). The Left Alliance has weekly Kansan Uutiset Viikkolehti (founded 1956, circulation 7,361, Helsinki). The Centre Party's mouthpiece Suomenmaa (founded 1908, circulation 11,197, Oulu) appears nationwide once a week and of those issues six are published in the form of member magazine (circulation 84,000).
Three party publications are published once a month. The National Coalition Party has magazine Nykypäivä (founded 1955, circulation 22,433, Helsinki), the Christian Democrats publish KD-Lehti (founded 1966, circulation 6,300, Helsinki) and the Finns Party has Suomen Uutiset (founded 1996, circulation 25,000, Helsinki).
The Green League of Finland publishes its Vihreä Lanka (founded 1983, circulation 10,200, Helsinki) eight times a year and the Swedish People's Party publishes five times a year its party newspaper Medborgarbladet (founded 1943, circulation 35,000, Helsinki).
The total circulation of politically affiliated newspapers is 217,737 copies, which is less than the circulation of the biggest daily Helsingin Sanomat. Few party papers are included in circulation audits or record their circulation figures. In all, the printed party press in Finland is a curiosity.
At the beginning of 2009, after the parliamentary press subsidy was no longer earmarked, the big parties heavily increased their focus on the Internet. The press subsidy is now part of the general party subsidy and a party can decide with relative freedom how much of it to allocate to its publications.
Even though the amount of money available to parties through the general party subsidy has increased, the amount of money for party newspapers has decreased. The Internet enables the use of more cost-efficient tools than printed papers, but the money could be equally well spent developing the websites of the papers in question.
The future of party newspapers depends on how much the parties invest in online publications and services and social media. In the latest parliamentary elections, all parties seemed to place emphasis on the brand new forms of social media at the expense of printed papers. Parties intensively developed party websites and created newly tailored portals with interactive channels as well as platforms for video clips, photos and commentaries from the party members and from wider audiences.
All party organisations publish the news of the day on the websites of their printed paper. Former party newspapers have moved in format and content towards a type of a long-form or feature magazine. At the same time, all parties placed more emphasis on in-house news reporting on their news sites as well as their presence on social media. Membership numbers in all parties have gradually gone down.
By subscription numbers, the consumption of newspapers in Finnish households has slightly decreased. In 2008, the number of households was 2.46m. The total circulation of all newspapers, 3.0m copies, divided by the total number of households equals 1.2 annual subscriptions per household. In 1990, the same figure was 2.0 per household. This means that there are clearly fewer newspapers available and accessible for the average 2.8 million people living in families than ten years ago.
The amount of readers of print editions has decreased significantly during the last 15 years. The top 10 dailies’ readership between 2000 and 2015 shows that readership has decreased from 4.4 million in 2000 to 2.5 million in 2015 or by 43 percent. In 2000, the top 10 dailies had on average 3.1 readers per daily and in 2015, respectively, 2.4 readers.
The total circulation of printed newspapers published 1-7 times a week has decreased between 2004 and 2014 by 33 percentage points or from 617 to 411 persons per 1,000 persons. In the same period, the respective figures for dailies issued 4-7 times a week has fallen by 34 percentage points from 431 to 284.
On average, in 2015 Finns aged 15-69 spent 24 minutes per day reading printed and digital editions of newspapers and free papers. By age groups, the most avid readers were aged 60-69 with 34 minutes and readers aged 15-24 spent just 10 minutes reading (TNS Atlas Intermedia/TNS Gallup Oy).
The great majority of the Finnish newspapers are sold on subscriptions, but the number of subscriptions is on a decline. The ratio between subscriptions and single-copy sales is about nine to one. Regarding the total single-copy sales of 48m copies of newspapers, 46m copies or 96 percent are by two tabloids, Ilta-Sanomat by Sanoma Corporation and Iltalehti by Alma Media. The tabloids are mostly sold on kiosks, grocery shops and petrol stations.
In 2015, Finnish Postal Office (Posti) delivered 277m newspapers, a decrease of 27 percent from 2014 (Posti Annual Report 2015). At the same time, total circulation of newspapers decreased by five percent. Around 80 percent of newspapers were delivered in early morning delivery and 20 percent with regular mail (Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority). State-owned Posti has a 67 percent share of the newspaper delivery market, with the rest divided between 11 delivery companies.
According to empirical studies, there are some underlying reasons for the decline in subscriptions. Such reasons include poor economic resources, unemployment, low-level income, working people, persons living in rental apartments; unsuitable living habits in the case of youths, students, unmarried and single parents; and minor integration into the society for larger groups, including people moving out of the circulation area of the newspaper, politically passive, the unemployed and immigrants. While a part of the middle-aged gets unaccustomed to newspapers for these reasons, a new generation grows learning from their parents that it is not worth subscribing to a newspaper. Future generations may acquire otherwise different consumer habits and ways of using mass media. (Hujanen 2007.)
In 2015, there were 18 newspaper publishing groups in Finland. Here a publishing group means a company with at least two newspapers, published 1-7 times a week, excluding free newspapers. Regarding all 26 seven-day dailies, two titles are published outside publishing groups. Regarding all dailies, published 4-7 times a week, four newspapers are published outside newspaper groups. Three groups publish Swedish-language newspapers and one of them in addition a Finnish-language newspaper. The group companies differ in their size and in the amount of titles. Regarding all 18 group companies, four companies publish just local newspapers, issued 1-3 times a week, but no dailies. (Suomen Lehdistö 4/2016, 18-30; the data for this report processed by the author.)
Of all 180 newspapers, 129 titles or 72 percent belong to newspaper groups. Regarding all 43 daily newspapers, 39 titles, and of all 137 non-daily newspapers, 129 titles are published by newspaper groups. In addition to newspapers issued 4-7 times a week, all newspaper group companies also publish city papers or other free sheets including their digital editions, which are not included in the definitive method of measuring the size of a group company. By total circulation, three publishing groups are clearly in the top.
The largest publisher is Sanoma Corporation with just two dailies, but the largest papers by circulation in the country, Helsingin Sanomat and the tabloid Ilta-Sanomat, with 377,320 copies or 21.1 percent of total circulation of all group newspapers. In 2014, Sanoma Corporation sold three seven-day dailies published in the south-east provincial centres and several local papers to Länsi-Savo newspaper group.
The second largest company is Alma Media with six dailies and 14 non-dailies with 376,682 copies or 20.0 percent of total circulation. Alma Media publishes two second largest newspapers, Aamulehti in the city of Tampere and the tabloid Iltalehti and among others, the five-day daily business paper Kauppalehti and the seven-day daily Satakunnan Kansa in Pori. In addition, Alma Media owned the six-day dailies Lapin Kansa in Rovaniemi and Pohjolan Sanomat in Kemi. The latter was merged to Lapin Kansa in April 2017.
In comparison with 2006, two largest companies ‑ Sanoma Corporation and Alma Media ‑ accounted for 56 percent of the total circulation of the dailies (Jyrkiäinen 2007, 99).
The third largest is Keskisuomalainen Group in the city of Jyväskylä, which has the biggest number of papers at 28, of which 10 are dailies and 18 are non-dailies, with 308,735 copies or 17.2 percent of total newspaper circulation. Keskisuomalainen publishes the seven-day dailies Keskisuomalainen in Jyväskylä, Savon Sanomat in Kuopio, Etelä-Suomen Sanomat in Lahti, Aamuposti in Hyvinkää, Keski-Uusimaa in Tuusula and Iisalmen Sanomat in Iisalmi. In the past, Keskisuomalainen has been the most active in buying newspaper houses. In mid-2016, Keskisuomalainen acquired another publishing group Mediatalo Esa in the city of Lahti, with its local radio station (Radio Voima), entering for the first time the broadcasting media.
The fourth largest publishing group is TS Group (Turun Sanomat) in the city of Turku with two dailies and seven non-dailies and an aggregate circulation of 144,002 copies or 8.0 percent of the total circulation. TS Group publishes the seven-day dailies Turun Sanomat in Turku and Salon Seudun Sanomat in the city of Salo, and seven non-dailies.
The fifth largest is the Länsi-Savo Group in the city of Mikkeli with five seven-day dailies and nine non-dailies with an aggregate circulation of 134,391 copies or 7.5 percent of the total circulation of newspaper groups. Länsi-Savo publishes dailies Etelä-Saimaa in the city of Lappeenranta, Kouvolan Sanomat in Kouvola, Länsi-Savo in Mikkeli, Kymen Sanomat in Kotka and Itä-Savo in Savonlinna.
The five largest newspaper groups account for 75 percent and the other 13 newspaper groups for 25 percent of the total circulation of group newspapers. Among the other newspaper groups there are four companies that publish no dailies.
According to the circulation figures of dailies, published 4-7 times a week, the biggest publisher’s share in 2014 was 19 percent, the four biggest publishers’ share was 55 percent and that of the eight biggest 70 percent. In 30 years, the share of the four biggest publishers has increased substantially, since in 1986 the share was 31 percent and that of the eight publishers 43 percent.
When comparing companies, one must note that the breakdown of net sales (ie newspaper subscriptions, single-copy and advertising sales combined) gives a more profound understanding of the market dominance of publishing companies than that of circulation figures. There were no data available on the net sales of Finnish newspapers for the year 2015, because not all dailies published paper-specific figures for special annual issue of the industry magazine Suomen Lehdistö by the Finnish Newspapers Association.
For a long time, a trend towards higher degree of regional ownership concentration in newspaper publishing has been forecast. The market shares of the largest newspaper publishing companies, measured by circulation, have increased to a high degree. At the regional level, concentration is even more distinctive and most Finnish regions are dominated by one major player. (Grönlund and Lehtisaari 2015, 137.) The most obvious incentive for concentration are economies of scale: more efficiency in concerted printing, financial management, selling and in marketing and managing the investments for digital platforms. Additional benefits through concentration are the benefits of cooperation in the development work of digitalisation due to the difficulties of finding profitability with the traditional small players. Due to weakening profitability, publishers are forced to consider ownership changes, too. In addition, the possibilities for tighter editorial cooperation arise then with larger amount of titles to look for a better household reach. However, to continue operating alone depends on the interest and willingness of the owners to carry on financing a loss-making business. The degree of locality in editorial matters, readership loyalty and distinctly profiled services to the readers are additional important factors for a newspaper to be a lucrative object for purchasing.
The largest Finnish publishers, eg Sanoma Corporation and Alma Media, have lately rather divested their newspaper publishing than invested in it. For long, the companies have focused more on digital business outside newspaper business and the regional print papers do not fit well in this equation.
The biggest Swedish-language newspaper group, comprising the four papers belonging to the KSF Media Ab, control about 55 percent of the total circulation in Swedish. KSF Media’s share of the total circulation of Finnish dailies is 5.7 percent. The leading paper is seven-day daily HBL (formerly Hufvudstadsbladet, circulation 30,735) in Helsinki. The four other papers are: five-day daily Västra Nyland (circulation 8,548, Raasepori), five-day daily Östnyland (circulation 7,543, Porvoo), the weekly Hangötidningen - Hangonlehti (circulation 2,439, Hanko) published in Swedish and Finnish, and the two-times-a-week Loviisan Sanomat (circulation 4,235, Loviisa) in Finnish.
The second biggest Swedish-language newspaper group is HSS Media with a share of 35 percent. HSS Media publishes three papers: six-day daily Vasabladet (circulation 16,407, Vaasa), six-day daily Österbottens Tidning (circulation 11,631, Pietarsaari) and three-day paper Syd-Österbotten (circulation 5,716, Närpiö).
The third group, with a share of 10 percent, is Förlag Ab Sydvästkusten with its five-day daily Åbo Underrättelser (circulation 5,982, Turku) and one-day paper Pargas Kungörelser - Paraisten Kuulutukset (circulation 4,275, Parainen) in Swedish and Finnish.
Among Swedish-language newspapers in Finland, we must also note the party-politically unaffiliated, leftist online monthly periodical Ny Tid, whose paper version has 2,000 subscribers.
In the Finnish newspaper classification into national, regional and local newspapers there are in addition more than ten nationwide special newspapers, profiled by content or for being targeted to special audiences. The country’s two tabloids are the biggest special newspapers. In 2015, the total circulation of the afternoon papers was 183,751 copies. Ilta-Sanomat, published by Sanoma Corporation, had a circulation of 110,226 copies and Iltalehti, by Alma Media, 71,195 copies.
Another special newspaper is the only business daily Kauppalehti (The Business Journal, founded 1898, circulation 47,732 copies) published five times a week by Alma Media. Maaseudun Tulevaisuus (The Rural Future, founded 1916) specialises in agriculture, forestry and the life in the countryside. It is published three times a week with 77,329 copies. It is owned by the Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners and has had a correspondent in Brussels since 1995, when Finland joined the EU. Hevosurheilu (Horse Sports, founded 1924) is published two times a week with 20,000 copies for people interested in trotting and horse racing. Kotimaa (Homeland, founded 1905) is a Christian weekly with a circulation of 42,000 copies. All these special papers are part of a media family by the same publisher, including websites and other publications.
There are a lot of criteria for comparing the size of newspapers: eg total circulation, circulation, reach, readership and volume. In the latest auditing releases for 2015, the information includes print and online newspaper editions. Two definitions are used in Finland: the total circulation (total circulation) is the amount of sold copies and corresponding digital copies - and which may be a key indicator in the near future in circulation auditing - and the circulation (circulation), the amount of sold copies (subscriptions and single-copies) of the print newspaper. In 2015, there were four dailies with a circulation of more than 100,000 in Finland.
The largest was the politically unaffiliated seven-day daily Helsingin Sanomat by Sanoma Corporation (total circulation 324,451), the largest subscription-based daily in the Nordic countries. The second largest was the six-day tabloid, Ilta-Sanomat (110,226) by Sanoma Corporation. The third was the regional seven day daily Aamulehti (103,180) in Tampere by Alma Media. The fourth was the five-day daily, business newspaper Kauppalehti (101,067) by Alma Media, which had the largest proportion of its total circulation from digital subscriptions, 53,335 subscriptions or 53 percent.
The fifth was the regional seven-day daily Turun Sanomat (89,049) in Turku by TS Group. The sixth was the six-day daily, the second afternoon tabloid, Iltalehti (71,195), by Alma Media. The seventh was the regional seven-day daily Kaleva 62,733 in Oulu by Kaleva Group. The eight was the regional seven-day daily Etelä-Suomen Sanomat 47,403 in Lahti by Keskisuomalainen company. Keskisuomalainen (founded 1871) is the oldest Finnish-language daily newspaper still published in Finland. The ninth was the regional seven-day daily Ilkka 46,338 in Seinäjoki by the Ilkka Group and the tenth the regional seven-day daily Satakunnan Kansa 43,494 in Pori by Alma Media.
To try and fix their bottom line, newspapers are switching in printing from larger broadsheet format to tabloid, developing new digital services for their readers, bundling print and online subscriptions and increasing the amount of joint editorial material/work. The switch to tabloid format decreases printing costs and is reflected in the amount of recycled paper available for the paper industry.
In the autumn of 2014, six newspaper companies founded a joint venture, Lännen Media (Western Media), with a national newsroom and a joint advertising sales network. A total of 11 regional newspapers, mostly from western and northern Finland, are involved and own the company.
There are 40 journalists working as part of the joint editorial office of the Lännen Media, producing news on politics and the economy, feature stories, themed pages and online news and reports for the newspapers. Because of this, the same news story may appear in all 11 newspapers, both in print and online.
The participating newspapers of Lännen Media include four regional newspapers from Alma Media: Aamulehti (Tampere), Satakunnan Kansa (Pori) and Lapin Kansa (Rovaniemi) and Pohjolan Sanomat (Kemi). Ilkka-Mediat group owns newspapers Ilkka (Seinäjoki) and Pohjalainen (Vaasa), Hämeen Sanomat corporation the two dailies Hämeen Sanomat (Hämeenlinna) and Forssan Lehti (Forssa), TS-Group the daily Turun Sanomat (Turku), Kaleva corporation the daily Kaleva (Oulu), Keskipohjanmaa corporation the daily Keskipohjanmaa (Kokkola) and Suomalainen Lehtipaino owns Kainuun Sanomat (Kajaani).
Of the 11 participating newspapers in Lännen Media, eight use tabloid format. Keskipohjanmaa, Turun Sanomat, Ilkka and Pohjalainen use broadsheet, but the latter two are switching to tabloid format in the spring of 2018.
A joint editorial office of this size has never existed before in Finland ‑ except for STT (Finnish News Agency), which serves almost every news media. Lännen Media has offices in 11 regional capitals as well as the main newsroom in the capital Helsinki. In 2016, Lännen Media’s total circulation for print newspapers was almost 500,000 copies.
A new joint editorial office called Uutissuomalainen (News Finn) started on February 1, 2017, with journalists from each of the eight daily newspapers that founded the operation.
Participating provincial dailies Keskisuomalainen (Jyväskylä), Savon Sanomat (Kuopio), Etelä-Suomen Sanomat (Lahti) and Karjalainen (Joensuu) are owned by Väli-Suomen Media company. Since 1998, these four have been publishing a shared weekend supplement called Sunnuntaisuomalainen (Sunday Finn). Participating regional dailies Aamuposti (Hyvinkää), Keski-Uusimaa (Tuusula), Länsi-Uusimaa (Lohja) and Uusimaa (Porvoo) are by Etelä-Suomen Media. Four of the papers are currently published in broadsheet, four in tabloid format.
Each journalist at Uutissuomalainen produces content for the print and online editions of the eight papers. One journalist focuses on the Finnish parliament and four are at their original newspaper’s offices in Joensuu, Jyväskylä, Kuopio and Lahti, with the rest in the capital area. In 2016, the combined total circulation of the eight newspapers was 236,719 copies.
Financial difficulties of newspaper companies and increased co-operation between major newspapers has lead to job losses. According to the employers’ organisation (Viestinnän Keskusliitto), the total number of editorial employees in dailies and non-dailies issued 1-7 times a week was 3,333 in 2008 and 2,507 at the end of 2015 with a fall of 25 percent (Suomen Lehdistö 4/2016). Many journalists have been let go and those retired have not had their former positions filled. A common slogan at newspapers is that the paper needs to be made with a digital-first strategy.
Like other Nordic people, the Finns have long been avid newspaper readers. Due to newspapers’ widespread and manifold offerings, Finland ranks first in newspaper reading among the Nordic countries in the EU. In the autumn of 2015, 67 percent of the population of Finland aged 15 or more read a newspaper every day or nearly every day. The next was Sweden with 66 percent and third Denmark with 48 percent. In the 28 EU countries, the respective figure was 31 percent. (Standard Eurobarometer 84, Annex.) However, among all Nordic countries, Norway ranked first.
In 2015, the highest circulation of daily newspapers, issued 4-7 times a week, per 1,000 adult inhabitants was in Japan (400 dailies per 1,000 adults), Switzerland was second (386), third was Norway (341), fourth India (317) and fifth Finland (298) (World Press Trends 2016, 40-41). The circulation figures of Finland are for 2014 as two tabloids have not audited their circulations after the 2014. The highest figures in all Nordic countries peaked already in 1989-1990, after that the rates have fallen.
Media statistics support the image of high newspaper consumption. In 2015, the share of daily and non-daily newspapers of the total mass media turnover was 26 percent and of the advertising revenue 36 percent. In 2015, the daily reach of print and online editions of newspapers in the age groups over 15 years was 36 percent and that of newspapers’ web pages was 20 percent.
The number of newspapers was the highest in 1990 with 252 titles. In 2015, a total of 180 newspapers were published, with a total circulation of 2.3m. The combined circulation of the 43 dailies was 1.6m copies or 69 percent of the total circulation and that of non-dailies 694,466 copies or 31 percent of the total circulation.
Of all 43 dailies, published 4-7 times a week, 26 are published seven times a week, nine papers six times and eight papers five times. Regarding non-dailies, 14 are published three times a week, 35 two times and 88 one time a week. No papers are published four times a week. Between 1997 and 2015, the number of dailies decreased from 56 titles to 43 and that of non-dailies from 167 titles to 137. Out of 31 titles of 6-7-day dailies, 21 are currently printed in tabloid format and ten in broadsheet.
Every day of the week, 26 dailies are published, more than in any other Nordic country, with a circulation of 1,2m copies. The share of seven-day dailies of the total newspaper circulation is 52 percent. The average circulation of every-day dailies is 44,825. Nine papers are published six times a week with 258,489 copies and with an average circulation of 28,721 copies. Eight papers are published five times a week with 116,055 copies and with an average circulation of 17,912 copies.
There are 137 non-dailies, published 1-3 times a week, with a total circulation of 694,466 copies and with an average circulation of 5,069 copies. Regarding all 137 non-dailies, 14 are published three times a week, 39 two times a week and 84 once a week.
In 2015, the total sales volume of Finnish newspapers was €962m. The share of dailies over the total newspaper sales is €830m or 86 percent and that of non-dailies €132m or 14 percent. (Finnish Newspapers Association; Statistics Finland/Media statistics.)
Today there is no regular systematic monitoring or measuring of editorial content trends of Finnish newspapers. The share of domestic production in different sectors of mass communication was last studied in 2012. The share of subscriptions and single-copy sales of domestic newspapers was also measured. In 2012, the sales of foreign newspapers was about 91,000 copies at €312,000 and 0.2 percent of the total sales of single copies. The single-copy sales of foreign newspapers in Finland has remained minimal.
A wide content analysis showed that differences in content between Finnish newspapers narrowed over time and topics covered and amount of coverage became more uniform among newspapers during the second half of the 1900s. Whereas there were large differences in what was covered and the amount of coverage in newspapers in the 1950s, there was high similarity in the profile of coverage in 2000. (Picard 2003, 109-111.) The main data of this quantitative content coding on story types in newspapers was based on a sample week of November in 1955, 1970, 1990 and 2000 (N= 28,021 items). The sample consists of nine newspapers in the first three years and of six in the final year, due to the closure of three papers. One week was chosen to represent each sample year: the second or third week of November, the dates ranging from the 9th to the 20th.
In all types of newspapers, there were five topics that scored the highest. In each sampled year, the topics Sports, Culture, Business, Foreign Countries and Transport ranked among the first seven. Sports and Culture particularly ranked high each year. The second group consisted of Local Government, Politics, Law and Order and Labour Market. These topics rose steadily in this order: Environment, Economy, Social Issues, European Integration, Home Economics and Consumer Protection, Travel and Equality. The stories of the topics Health Issues and Family gradually sank in ranking. The rank order remained nearly unchanged for the topics Education System, Social Security and Opinion Polls. Other findings show that the percentage of content devoted to news declined and the percentage devoted to non-news articles increased. These kinds of changes are evident in the overall reporting of percentage of content devoted to the top-ten topics in newspapers in years 1950, 1970, 1990 and 2000. These results occurred mainly because the amount of content increased and the new content was primarily other than conventional news. In terms of opinion material, the percentage of content devoted to editorials and columns increased. (Picard 2003, 110.)
In terms of percentage points in the ranking, the share of domestic news constantly decreased between 1990 and 2000 and that of international news slightly decreased. Respectively, the share of entertainment has increased and that of economy has slightly increased. The proportion of radio and television pages in newspapers has slightly increased and that of sports has varied, but stayed mainly at the same level.
The overall content trends of Finnish newspapers have been monitored by the Finnish Newspapers Association between 1985 and 2006, based on one-week samples of dailies (“Editorial Material Statistics”). There were notable changes between 1966 and 2006. In the editorial space, the share of home news in the main circulation area and other areas of the country decreased from 32 percent to 24 percent; material on economy increased from 8 to 10 percent and the space for entertainment increased from 14 percent to 20 percent. In other editorial material, the space remained almost unchanged: In articles, culture, international news, sports, radio and TV pages, letters to editors and cartoons the changes were at the most of just one percent. Between 1966 and 2006, in the breakdown of the total registered space, the space of editorial material decreased from 69 percent to 67 percent and that of advertisements increased from 31 to 33 percent.
An annual monitoring of news media was published in 2006, 2008 and 2010. In the 2010 study, based on systematic content analysis on the news content of two weeks in 2009 and 2010, Finnish newspapers’ front pages, main radio and television news and the webpages of 18 different media were analysed. The data includes 2,997 news stories or story clusters, 670 stories from dailies and 317 from four dailies and two tabloids. The number of stories on six newspaper websites was 168. Newspapers comprised 33 percent of the data.
The results show front pages mostly covering leisure topics such as sports, entertainment and culture, outdoor activities and relationships. Other major topics were politics and public safety, such as accidents and crimes. Compared with the years 2006, 2008 and 2010, the decrease in content related to politics and especially foreign politics is striking. The share of public safety and health news increased in 2008 and 2010. The proportion of foreign states as actors in the news stories decreased. The proportion of men as main actors, central speakers or figures in pictures was still almost threefold in comparison to women. Material depicting violence was most on view on the front pages of tabloids. The most significant divergence between online news content and traditional-media news content was the emphasis on stories on accidents and crime. In tabloid newspapers, the divergence was evident in that leisure and health stories were focused on in their paper versions. (Suomalaisen uutismedian vuosiseuranta 2010.)
In terms of turnover, the biggest media companies are not among the 40 biggest Finnish companies. In 2015, by turnover, there were 10 media companies among the 500 largest corporations, so one could say the largest media companies are just relatively big. (Talouselämä 20/2016, 38-57.) In 2015, there were four Finnish media companies among the top 25 media companies in the Nordic countries by their Nordic revenue: Sanoma Corporation was 8th, Yle, the Finnish Broadcasting Company 14th, the book publisher Otava 21st and Alma Media 22nd (The Nordic Media Statistics).
Looking at the latest results of the biggest stock exchange newspaper companies they do not rank very high in the list of all biggest companies in Finland. In order of the 2016 turnover, Sanoma ranks 46th by €1.6bn, Alma Media 156th by €353m, TS-Concern 330th by €159m, Keskisuomalainen 347th by €152m and Pohjois-Karjalan Kirjapaino 596th by €78m (Talouselämä 22/2017 36-55; 23/2017, 34-35).
In 2015, the biggest media and newspaper company Sanoma Corporation, with a turnover of €1.7bn, placed 44th in the ranking of the 500 largest corporations of Finland. The share of Sanoma Corporation is listed on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki.
Sanoma Corporation has grown to a European media operator with two business segments. The consumer media unit consists of Sanoma Media BeNe (Belgium and the Netherlands) and Sanoma Media Finland. These units are responsible for newspapers, magazines and TV operations in Finland, the Netherlands and Belgium and for respective online and mobile services. Sanoma Learning & Literature is a leading European provider of multi-channel educational solutions. Its main markets are Belgium, Finland, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden.
According to its annual report of 2015, Sanoma Corporation made 37 percent of total net sales from Finland, 45 percent from the Netherlands, 11 percent from Belgium and 7 percent from Poland, Sweden and other sources. The company employed more than 6,000 people. Around 35 percent of Sanoma Corporation’s net sales is from media advertising and some 34 percent from single-copy or subscription sales. (Sanoma Annual Report 2015.)
The second largest media company, the Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle, with €468m, is at the 122nd place. (Talouselämä 21/2016.)
The third largest media company, Bonnier AB in Finland only (including broadcasting group MTV Oy, Bonnier Books Finland Oy, Bonnier Publications Oy, FS Film Oy, a radio channel, pay-tv channels) with a turnover of €332m, is at place 242. The fourth largest is the book and magazine group Otava with €293m at place 196. The fifth largest is the newspaper group Alma Media with €292m at place 197.
Second largest newspaper house after Sanoma Corporation is Alma Media with six dailies and 14 regional and local non-dailies and a total circulation of 376,682 copies or 16.8 percent of the total newspaper circulation. Alma Media also publishes five free newspapers. Other units include digital consumer and business services and printing and delivery businesses. Its international business focuses on recruitment services and business marketplaces in Eastern Europe and Sweden.
In the spring of 2016, Alma Media acquired magazine and book publisher Talentum (turnover €73m), strengthening the publishing of magazines, trade literature and business services in Sweden, Estonia and Latvia. Alma Media has about 2,400 employees (excluding newspaper delivery personnel), of whom one fourth work outside Finland.
The name of the new combined business unit of Alma Media and Talentum is Alma Talent, which publishes the five-day business newspaper Kauppalehti (47,732), with a high total print and digital circulation of 79,327 copies and Talouselämä (75,141), Finland’s only weekly business magazine and the largest in the Nordic countries.
The remaining media companies among the top 10 media corporations and the 500 largest companies are: newspaper and printing house TS Group with a turnover of €155m, the newspaper, printing and radio group Keskisuomalainen with €150m and which acquired Mediatalo ESA in 2016; next are the magazine and book publisher Nordic Morning (formerly Edita) with €105m, the magazine publisher A-Lehdet with €101m and the newspaper and printing group Pohjois-Karjalan Kirjapaino with €94m.
Among the largest media companies are also the cinema theatre chain Finnkino with €81m and the magazine and book publisher Talentum with a turnover of €73m. Alma Media acquired Talentum in the spring of 2016.
Historically the Finnish newspapers have the roots of their ownership within families. The major owners in the largest company, Sanoma Corporation, are Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation (24 percent), Holding Manutas/Antti Herlin (11 percent), Robin Langenskiöld (8 percent), Rafaela Seppälä (6 percent) and Helsingin Sanomat Foundation (4 percent).
The main owners in the second largest company, Alma media, are Ilkka-Yhtymä (27 percent), Mariatorp/Niklas Herlin (19 percent), Kaleva Publishing House (7 percent) and three employee pension-security companies (16 percent).
The third largest Keskisuomalainen Group is also owned by families and private persons with no majority owner. The fourth largest TS Group in Turku is a private limited company owned by the Ketonen family. The fifth largest publisher Länsi-Savo Group in Mikkeli is a private limited company owned by the Tikka family since the 1940s.
Print newspaper industry in Finland is a mature industry with little growth potential. However, after year 2000, there are five new seven-day dailies. This is due to increases in print frequency of existing papers, not because of new arrivals.
The most notable change in the Finnish media market has been the collapse of total newspaper circulation. In 1989, total circulation was a record 4.1m copies, but in 2014, it was 2.3m copies - a reduction of 45 percent. Circulation peak for dailies was in 1990 at 2.8m copies, but in 2014 circulation was just 1.6m, a decrease of 44 percent.
Between 2005 and 2015 the top ten newspapers’ readership for print and digital editions decreased by 41 percent and between 2014 and 2015 by nine percent. Digital subscriptions are on a slight increase.
All trends indicate a reduction in the share of advertising in print newspapers. If total advertising expenditure remains at current levels or decreases, it means less income for newspapers. If total expenditure increases, newspapers receive more income despite the shrinking share. In the long run, newspapers are becoming less attractive to investors. Operating as media houses, newspapers may collect the same amount or more of advertising expenditure, but more of the advertising will be published online than printed.
Approximately 72 free newspapers were published in 2016. Regarding those, 53 are by members of the Finnish Newspapers Association. In 2015, the net revenue of free newspapers was €71m. More than half are published two times a week, the rest once a week. There are roughly 140 employees at free newspapers.
The largest free newspaper Metro, with 350,000 copies, is a five-day weekly distributed by Sanoma Corporation in metropolitan Helsinki and other 17 cities. All large newspaper groups publish several free newspapers, eg Keskisuomalainen has 18 free newspapers, of which three in metropolitan Helsinki. Alma Media publishes five free newspapers.
After newspapers and books, the third biggest category in print media is magazines and periodicals. In 2015, magazines accounted for 505m or 13.5 percent of the mass media market. Magazines and periodicals had a 82m or a 7.1 percent share of media advertising. Regarding magazine revenues in 2015, 74 percent were from subscriptions, 7 percent from single copy-sales and 18 percent from advertising (Statistics Finland/Media statistics).
In 2015, the total sales value of single-copy Finnish and foreign magazines and periodicals was €73.4m and 15.2m copies. The share of Finnish magazines was €56.3m or 12.7m copies and foreign magazines’ share €17.1m or 2.5m copies.
In 2016, the value added tax (VAT) on magazine subscriptions was 10 percent. On single-copy sales and digital versions of magazines, it was 24 percent. The Ministry of Education and Culture grants an annual subsidy for culture magazines, which in 2015 was €1.1m.
In 2015, Sweden as a country of origin had the largest proportion of single-copy sales of foreign magazines at 44 percent, followed by the United Kingdom at 33 percent, Germany at seven percent and USA at six percent.
In Finnish media statistics, magazines and periodicals are divided into three categories: consumer magazines, trade and business magazines and customer magazines. These categories are divided into subgroups in the national circulation and readership auditing done by MediaAuditFinland.
With magazines in particular, different interest groups, such as magazine publishers, delivery companies, circulation auditors and advertising agencies each use their own classification methods. International classifications of magazines also vary, so for international comparisons, differences in classification are to be taken into account.
Of the total media market, consumer magazines accounted for €38m or 3.3 percent, trade and business magazines for €35m or 3.0 percent and customer magazines for €10m or 0.8 percent. Total market volume of magazines decreased by 3.4 percent between 2014 and 2015.
The number of magazines and periodicals published varies from year to year. The total number of magazines in 2015 was 3,897 titles, of which 3,379 were in Finnish, 174 in Swedish, 176 in Finnish and Swedish and 168 in other languages. Statistics of Finnish printed publications are based on deposit copies received from publishers (The National Library of Finland).
In 2016, 29 new magazine titles were introduced to the Finnish market, almost the same amount as in 2015. All but one new titles are consumer magazines. A new trade and organization paper, Uusi Teknologia (New Technology), is the only digital one among the new titles. Regarding the new titles, 16 or more than a half, are about hobbies such as crosswords, sports, cooking and food. The total number of magazine and periodicals in Finland is nearly 4,000. (Aikakausmedia.)
The total circulation of consumer magazines in 2014 was 4.9m copies or 62 percent of the total circulation of magazines, trade and business magazines 1.1 million copies or 14 percent and customer magazines 1.9m copies or 24 percent.
Of the magazines, 95 percent were delivered via regular mail directly to the recipients and the share of single-copy sales was about 5 percent, which is less than the average in Europe. In 2015, 200m copies of magazines were delivered by mail, a nine percent decrease from the previous year (Posti Annual Report 2015). Single-copy sales decreased eight percent and magazine circulation by nearly 10 percent (Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority - FICORA).
A total of 250m copies of magazines and periodicals were sold in 2015. Regarding all magazines, 95 percent are delivered to homes by mail and five percent are sold as single copies, showing how strongly the sale of print media is based on subscriptions in Finland. There is no data available on the number of subscriptions to foreign magazines.
Minor opinion and cultural magazines may apply for governmental subsidies, which support circulation, online publishing, delivery and library subscriptions. The Ministry of Education and Culture annually grants a subsidy payable subsequently to cultural periodicals, mostly to paid-for papers for maintaining societal discussion about culture, science, art or religious life.
In 2016, a subsidy of more than €1.1m was divided between 111 cultural magazines. The objective of the allowance is to promote the versatility of culture, the diversity of communication and plurality in the society. Regarding the subsidy, €859,000 were granted to the delivery, the printing and the development costs of printed papers. A sum of €120,000 was given to circulation promotion. In addition, €152,000 were granted to libraries for subscriptions to cultural magazines.
A subsidy extended to libraries for subscribing to more cultural magazines had tripled from the year before. This subsidy aims to secure an equal regional availability of cultural magazines to all citizens.
Among the subsidised magazines, there were several new titles: Ana magazine, directed to young Muslims, Asukki (Denizen) magazine, for homeless single people, Translator magazine by the Union of Finnish translators and interpreters, the Romano Boodos magazine in Romany language, SOS Aktuellt, a social policy publication by the Union of the Finnish-Swedish Handicapped and SQS online magazine by the Society of the Finnish Queer research.
In 2015, Sanoma Corporation in Finland consolidated its media operations into Sanoma Media Finland with newspapers, magazines, TV operations, radio operations as well as online and mobile operations in Finland.
Sanoma Media Finland has made some operational changes in the last three years: Talentum Media acquired Tietokone magazine from Sanoma Media Finland and Radio Helsinki was sold. Sanoma also sold its Finnish press distribution company Lehtipiste and divested four of its Finnish magazines.
The largest subscribed-to magazine in Finland, published by Sanoma Corporation, is the comics magazine Aku Ankka (Donald Duck). It was first published on 5 December, 1951 and still is the largest subscribed-to weekly magazine with a readership of 723,000 children and youth as well as adults in families with young children.
In the group of general and family magazines, Sanoma publishes the most popular magazine ET-lehti (ET Magazine) with 187,849 copies, which is aimed at senior citizens and was the largest consumer magazine by circulation in the Nordic countries in 2014.
The second largest general interest and family magazine is Seiska (Seven) magazine published by Aller Media (Denmark) with a circulation of 158,207 copies. The third is Seura magazine (Companion) by Otavamedia with 131,884 copies. The fourth is Apu magazine (Aid) by A-Lehdet company with 128,059 copies. Magazines Seiska, Seura and Apu compete fiercely for circulation and advertising money.
The fifth general magazine is Valitut Palat, the Finnish edition of Reader’s Digest. In the Finnish media arena Valitut Palat is unique: It is the very first foreign mass media in Finland. Since the launch in June 1945, the magazine has grown to be the ninth largest magazine with 110,193 copies in 2015.
Among the general and women’s magazines the largest are Kodin Kuvalehti with 124,811 copies and Me Naiset (Us Women) with 108,378 copies by Sanoma Corporation, and Eeva with 100,373 copies by A-Lehdet company. These women’s magazines compete heavily.
The biggest special-interest magazines are the health magazine Hyvä Terveys (Good Health) with 116,330 copies by Sanoma Corporation and for car and technology enthusiasts Moottori (Engine) with 110,280 copies and Tekniikan Maailma (World of Technology) with 99,192 copies by Otavamedia.
In Finland there is only one weekly current-news magazine - alike Spiegel or Time Magazine - Suomen Kuvalehti (Finland Illustrated) with 77,267 copies by Otavamedia. During a year Otavamedia also publishes eight issues of Kanava, a magazine focused on society, politics, economy and culture with 6,934 copies and six issues of the leading literature periodical Parnasso with 5,908 copies.
Bonnier Publications company, part of the Swedish Bonnier Group, publishes seven special magazines in Finland: Kunto Plus (Fitness Plus, 19,164), Tieteen Kuvalehti (Science Illustrated, 34,924), Tieteen Kuvalehti Historia (Science Illustrated History, 23,054), National Geographic Finland (8,826), Tee Itse (Do It Yourself, 9,714), Digikuva (Digital Photo, 3,528) and Kotimikro (Home Computer, 5,983). The turnover of Bonnier Publications Finland was €25.4m. Bonnier Group is the biggest media company in the Nordic countries.
Bonnier sponsors an annual Great Journalist Award recognizing and honoring the best in journalism in Finland. According to the Bonnier Annual Report, the award represents Bonnier’s core values and the importance of protecting free speech and supporting a pluralistic media landscape. In addition, the company recently launched a media-for-equity fund called M4E Finland Fund I.
Egmont Publishing Finland publishes 16 magazines for children and sports and hobby enthusiasts along with comics and books for children. Egmont Publishing is equally owned by Sanoma Media Finland and Danish Egmont, one of the leading Nordic media companies and children’s book publishers.
Egmont’s most popular hobby magazines are Jääkiekkolehti (Ice Hockey, 8,447), Goal, the largest football magazine in the Scandinavian countries (print run 8,000), Pro Hockey (print run 5,000) and Horse Fan (print run 5,500).
Between 2004 and 2014, the total circulation of the top nine general consumer magazines decreased 27 percent. In 1995, the total circulation of the top ten customer magazines was 2.0m copies. In 2014, it was 1.5m (Statistics Finland/Media Statistics).
Traditional book and magazine publishing company Otava changed its name to Otavamedia on April 1, 2010. The portfolio of magazines published by Otavamedia includes 24 magazines and periodicals. Regarding these, four are general magazines: Viva (circulation 43,442 copies), Seura (131,884), Hymy (Smile, 54,400) and Suomen Kuvalehti (77,267), all of which are available for subscriptions in print and online. In 2010, Suomen Kuvalehti was the first Finnish magazine offering a tablet edition.
Otavamedia publishes four women’s magazines: Kotiliesi (92,344), Anna (82,912), Kotilääkäri (22,870) and Kaksplus (11,108), all also in digital editions. The 10 hobby papers include magazines TM (World of Technology, 99,192), Suuri Käsityö (Handicrafts, 52,457), Metsästys & Kalastus (Hunting & Fishing, 44,761), TM Rakennusmaailma (World of Building, 39,610), Erä (Hunt, 36,622), Maalla (In the Country, 29,339), Deko (Décor, 27,638), Kippari (Motor Boating, 15,191), Vene (Boat, 13,367) and Vauhdin maailma (World of Speed, 10,492), all available in paper and digital editions.
Otavamedia also publishes six special interest magazines: Superristikot (Super Crosswords), Parnasso (Parnassus), Kanava (Channel), Alibi (Alibi) and a youth and children magazine Koululainen (Schoolchild). Only the Alibi magazine has a digital edition.
The largest Otavamedia magazine is the television guide TV-Maailma (TV World) with 172,091 copies. However, it is not included as a single title, because some 95 percent of the title's circulation is from the free copies going to the subscribers of the magazines Seura and Suomen Kuvalehti. Otavamedia owns a wide archive and an agency with 10m photos and images, Suomen Kuvapalvelu (Finnish Press Agency).
A-Lehdet (A-Papers) is a Finnish family-owned magazine publisher and the third largest magazine house with 20 magazines. This family business was started in Helsinki in 1933, when a magazine named Apu was founded. Today the A-lehdet Group comprises Finnish Design Shop, half of the company Oma Terveys and minority shares in the interior decoration portal StyleRoom AB and the 3D product visualisation company Sayduck. A-lehdet Dialogi Oy merged with A-Lehdet at the beginning of 2017.
A-Lehdet is the third largest magazine publisher with a total sales of €101m in 2015. A-Lehdet publishes 20 titles, each having a website of its own. The titles cover a wide array of interests: family, women’s and young women’s general and special interests, interior decoration, housing and building, fashion, gardening, lifestyle, well-being, hobbies, sports, travelling and cars.
The largest weekly general magazine, Apu, has a circulation of 128,059 copies. The women’s magazine Eeva (100,373) is the largest monthly magazine. In addition, four titles of the A-Lehdet have a circulation of more than 80,000 copies: Kotivinkki (83,054) for lifestyle, housekeeping, food, interior decoration and welfare, Avotakka (82,351) for home decoration, ViherPiha (80,480) for gardening and Tuulilasi (80,062) for cars and traffic.
Aller Publications started publishing in Denmark in 1873 and in Finland in 1992, when it launched a Finnish edition of the Danish Se og Hør magazine, first calling it 7 Days and then Seiska (158,207). Elle is the local edition of ELLE magazine (25,545), women’s fashion magazine started in May 2008. In March 2015, Aller ended the circulation auditing of its magazines and will in the future publish information using digital auditing. Of other magazines by Aller, Fit specialises in sports, fitness and well-being, Koti ja Keittiö (Home and Kitchen) focuses on living, decorating, food and travel, Oma Aika (Own Time) is for adult women and men and TV Guide Katso (Look) is a TV and radio guide. Aller has websites for all titles and in addition an online TV schedule, Telvis.fi. The company owns 50 percent of the biggest web community, Suomi24.fi. The Idealista.fi web portal combines the contents of Aller lifestyle brands, such as Home and Kitchen, Fit, Mamalife, Own Time, Costume, Olivialehti.fi and the online content of the Divan blog, produced by the editorial office of Aller. In March 2016, Alma Media company acquired Talentum’s business operations, which have then been incorporated into Kauppalehti. The new unit Alma Talent continues publication operations, business information services and media expertise activities.
The two largest customer magazines belong to the two largest trading groups Kesko and S Group. Kesko is a Finnish-listed trading company operating in grocery trade, building and technical trade and car trade. Its customer magazine is Pirkka with a print run of 800,000 copies. S Group is a Finnish network of companies operating in the retail and service sectors. Its customer magazine is Yhteishyvä with a print run of 1.859,192 copies in 2015. Yhteishyvä is published by the A-Lehdet group subsidiary A-lehdet Dialogi.
Alma Talent publishes 19 business magazines and newspapers, as well as professional and business books, such as publication series of Finnish Law and legal usage. Alma Talent publications include the 5-day-a-week business newspaper Kauppalehti, business magazine Talouselämä, industry and technology magazine Tekniikka & Talous (Technology & Economy), marketing magazine Markkinointi & Mainonta (Marketing & Advertising), monthly investment magazine Arvopaperi (Stock) and monthly magazine Tivi (Information Technology). In Sweden, publications by Alma Talent include Affärsvärlden (Business World), Ny Teknik (New Technology) and Dagens Media (Daily Media). All magazines are available online.