In 2015, the Hungarian publishing industry’s total revenues were, according to Magyar Lapkiadók Egyesülete (Hungarian Publishers’ Association), 96.456bn forints (€313.5m). Of this, advertising revenues amounted to 32.234bn forints (€104.7m), while more than 50 percent of the total revenues, 57.953bn forints (€188.3m), came from distribution. Online advertising revenues amounted to 6.27bn forints (€20.1m), showing a 12 percent growth compared to 2014.
According to Whitereport Financials, the total revenues of the 31 print dailies amounted to 61bn forints (€198.3m) in 2015, figure which makes dailies the strongest segment of the newspaper industry. The top five cluster made up 90 percent of the industry’s total revenues (36.1 percent by dailies, 19.5 percent by women’s magazines, 16.2 percent by free weeklies and the advertising press, 9.3 percent by economic and general interest magazines, and 8.9 percent by the B2B press). The 2015 total revenue figure shows a decline of 13 percent compared to that of 2011, which was over 111bn forints (€360.8 m), of which 41,663bn forints (€135.4m) came from advertising and 70bn forints (€227.5m) from distribution. Advertising revenues dropped by 22 percent between 2011 and 2015, while the revenues generated by distribution decreased by 17 percent.
According to Nemzeti Olvasottság Kutatás (National Survey on Reading Habits), 80 percent of the population—a total of 6,746,000 people—read newspapers. In 2011, their numbers were 6,828,000.
While in terms of their total revenues, the dailies are the industry’s leading segment, in terms of the titles, over 1300 monthlies or glossies constitute the top segment of the newspaper industry. According to Whitereport mediabrowser, there were 31 dailies, 262 weeklies, 176 biweeklies, 1,358 monthlies, 542 bi-monthlies, 1,129 quarterlies, 363 bi-annuals and 2,792 other publications in the second quarter of 2016. In the third quarter of that year, sales evinced a slow decrease or stagnation in comparison with the third quarter of 2015, according to Magyar Terjesztés-ellenőrző Szövetség (Hungarian Distribution Monitoring Association, MATESZ).
According to the latest data provided by MATESZ, the most widely read newspaper in the first term of 2016 was the centre-left quality daily Népszabadság with an average daily circulation of 37,246 copies (yet the paper was closed down by its new owner in October 2016). The conservative daily Magyar Nemzet was second in line, with an average of 18,100 copies. This was followed by Népszava, another centre-left quality daily, with an average of 10,582 copies. No data are available on the circulation figures of the three other national dailies, including the pro-government Magyar Hírlap and Magyar Idők, and the pro-government business daily Világgazdaság, as these have no active registration with MATESZ. In the first quarter of 2014, the average circulation figure of Magyar Hírlap was 6,625 copies. The two tabloids, Blikk and Bors are the best-selling dailies in Hungary with an average circulation of 116,423 and 64,774 copies, and are followed by the sports daily Nemzeti Sport with 41,506 copies.
Local and regional daily newspapers have high circulation figures, but these depend on the population living in the given county. The best-selling regional daily is Kisalföld with an average circulation of 56,365 copies, followed by Vas Népe with 40,134 copies, Zalai Hírlap with 39,068 copies, Kelet-Magyarország with 34,704 copies, and Észak-Magyarország and Délmagyarország with 34,550 and 34,304 copies, respectively.
As the state-owned Budapest Transportation Company and Hungarian Railways did not renew their contracts with Metropol, a free daily owned by Lajos Simicska with an average daily circulation of 330,000 copies, the company was closed down at the end of 2015 with a loss, and Metropol left the Hungarian market. Its place was taken by Lokál, a new free daily owned by Árpád Habony, with an average daily circulation of 150,000 copies.
Weeklies have the highest circulation figures in Hungary. Gossip magazines are the best-selling: Story is published in 162,119 copies on average, Vasárnapi Blikk (the Sunday version of the daily tabloid) in 72,663 copies, Best in 74,225 copies and Hot! in 55,661 copies. The most popular weekly television programme guide is Színes RTV with an average of 152,028 copies. The most popular women’s magazines include: Nők Lapja with 215,903 copies, Kiskegyed with 186,886 copies, Meglepetés with 90,353 copies, Fanny with 73,323 copies and Blikk Nők with 59,255 copies. Public affair weeklies with high circulation figures include: HVG with 32,874 copies, Vasárnapi Hírek with 18,871 copies, 168 Óra with 13,141 copies and Élet és Irodalom with 10-11,000 copies on average.
The leading outlets mentioned above are published by:
- Blikk Ltd.: Blikk (tabloid daily), Kiskegyed (women’s weekly), Blikk Nők (women’s weekly), Vasárnapi Blikk (weekly tabloid);
- Central Mediacsoport Plt.: Meglepetés (women’s weekly), Nők Lapja (women’s weekly), Színes RTV (television programme weekly), Story (gossip weekly);
- Geomedia Kiadói Ltd.: Vasárnapi Hírek (political weekly);
- HVG Kiadó Plt.: HVG (political and business weekly);
- Irodalom Ltd.: Élet és Irodalom (political and cultural weekly);
- Lapcom Ltd.: Best (gossip weekly), Bors (tabloid daily), Délmagyarország (regional daily), Kisalföld (regional daily),
- Magyar Hírlap Kiadói Ltd.: Magyar Hírlap (quality daily);
- Magyar Idők Kiadó Ltd.: Magyar Idők (quality daily)
- Mediaworks Hungary Ltd.: Hot! (gossip weekly), Nemzeti Sport (sports daily), Világgazdaság (business daily);
- Modern Media Group Plt.: Lokál (free daily);
- Nemzet Lap- és Könyvkiadó Ltd.: Magyar Nemzet (quality daily);
- Népszava Lapkiadó Ltd.: Népszava (quality daily);
- Pannon Lapok Társasága Kiadói Ltd.: Vas Népe (regional daily), Zalai Hírlap (regional daily);
- Ringier Axel Springer Magyarország Ltd.: Kiskegyed (women’s weekly);
- Russmedia Ltd.: Észak-Magyarország (local daily), Kelet-Magyarország (regional daily);
- Telegráf Kiadó Ltd.: 168 Óra (political weekly).