Tinius Digest September 2019

Tinius Digest

Tinius Digest report on changes, trends and developments within the media business at large. This is our key findings from September 2019.

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Download this month’s report (PDF) here.

Insight from September 2019

The growing problem of fake news

Researchers at the University of Oxford have found evidence of organized social media disinformation campaigns in 70 countries. That’s more than twice as many as was discovered in 2017.

The new report shows how disinformation and fake news have become a global problem: And in its center is Facebook. 

Download the report here.

Five interesting findings:


Organized manipulation

There is evidence of organized social media manipulation campaigns in 70 countries. That’s up from 48 countries in 2018 and 28 countries in 2017.


Sweden on the list

Sweden is the only Nordic country on the list.


It's center is Facebook

Facebook is the main platform, and the researchers found disinformation campaigns on Facebook in 56 countries. To compare: Twitter (47 countries), Facebook-owned WhatsApp (12), Google-owned YouTube (12), and Facebook-owned Instagram (8).


Embraced by authoritarian regimes

Many authoritarian regimes embrace social media to distribute propaganda and disinformation to suppress fundamental human rights, discredit political opponents, and drown out dissenting opinions.


China is a major player

China has become a major – if not THE major – player in the global information order in company with India, Iran, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi-Arabia, and Venezuela. 

Best practice for reaching young news consumers

One question has for years riddled news publishers all over the world: How can they attract young readers, listeners, and viewers?

A new report from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism might provide some answers. The report is written by journalist and digital strategist Nic Newman, who played a crucial role in shaping the BBC’s internet services over more than a decade. 

Newman points out that the digital success of traditional newspapers today might be a result of bringing the old readers to digital platforms – by providing them a paper-like experience. And hence are distancing themselves further from a younger (digital) audience.

Download the report here.

Four main advice from the report:


A global perspective

Young news consumers have a more global perspective on the news. Local news is, therefore, not seen as equally relevant.


Crave constructive news

Negative news and conflicts are dominating traditional news media. What is argued as the main factor in the purpose of journalism, is perceived as unfair targeting of people — particularly those in the public eye (politicians and celebrities). Young audiences crave a presentation of multiple opinions rather than a polemic evaluation of the news. Objective journalism is not perceived as essential for them. 


Must be accessible

The experience of news should feel as easy and accessible as Facebook and Netflix. Clearer language, more explanatory content, and relevant and exciting content.


Diverse storytelling

News brands need to change the way they cover stories – and the way they tell stories. Diverse platforms require diverse narratives. 


Create new habits

Create new habits. Key ingredients are continuity, relevance, and ease of use. Do. Or do not. There is no try.

Swedish children are quitting their homework – but not YouTube

More than half of Swedish children between the ages of 9 and 12 admit that their media usage has a negative impact on homework, bedtime, or housework – every single week.

The study from Statens Medieråd is the eighth since 2005, and maps out how children between the ages of 0 and 18 use media in their spare time. The results are presented in four reports, three of which are now published.

Download the reports:

Småungar och medier 2019. Download here. Ungar och medier 2019. Download here. Föräldrar och medier 2019. Download here.

Seven main findings:


Increased use of mobile phones

81 percent of 9-year-olds use their mobile phones every day, and among the 11-year-olds, the proportion increased to 95 percent.


Girls spend more time on social

More girls than boys spend more than three hours each day on their smartphones – and girls spend more time on social media than boys.


Boys spend more time on gaming

The proportion of children who spend more than three hours a day playing computer- or videogames is higher among boys than girls – and while the difference was previously visible at age 12, it is now evident from age ten.


YouTube is a platform winner

Over the past four years, time spent on online videos are near doubled, and the winner is – yeah, you guessed it: YouTube.


Decline in reading books

Only 11 percent of 17-18 year-olds read books or newspapers in their spare time – in 2012, that figure was 23 percent.


Increase in online bullying

19 percent of 13-16 year-olds have been bullied or disgusted online. This is an increase from 11 percent in 2016.


Negative impact on homework

38 percent of parents with children aged 9-12 admit that (at least ‘sometimes a week’) media use causes the kids not to do homework, not helping at home or go to bed at the right time. The proportion increases to 42 percent when only looking at the responses from parents with children between the ages of 13 and 18.

Strong growth for programmatic advertising

For the fifth time, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has published its annual report on the development and attitudes to programmatic advertising.

The reports deal with 31 different markets.

Download the report here.

What you need to know:


Increased revenue

Programmatic advertising revenue increased by 33 percent in 2018, ending at €16.8 billion (NOK 174 billion). 


Social media dominates

Social media dominates, but even when removing these platforms from the equation, the increase is 26.6 percent. Turnover without social media is NOK 54 billion.


More is placed through programmatic

More than 70 percent of display ads and more than 50 percent of video ads are now placed through programmatic processes.


Expected growth

Growth is expected to continue in the next 12 months. The main growth areas for programmatic advertising are audio, digital TV consumption, and digital outdoor advertising.


Three main challenges

Three main challenges: 1. Lack of transparency about the processes that drive programmatic ad purchases, 2. Ad fraud, and 3. Brand safety in ad placement.

Public service media at risk of decline and ultimately irrelevance

A new report from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism paints a bleak picture of the future of Europe’s public broadcasters.

The lead author of the report, Anne Schulz, said in a press release:

If the online performance of these news brands does not improve, public service media risk continued decline and ultimately irrelevance to much of the public. 

Her words are echoed by the director of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, and co-author of the report, Rasmus Kleis Nielsen:

The challenges that face public service media are bigger – much bigger – than is commonly acknowledged. If they do not find more compelling and engaging ways of delivering online news, they ultimately will not be able to deliver on their public service mission or justify the public funding they receive.

The report addresses the public broadcasters in Finland, Germany, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Spain, Italy, France, and Greece.

Download the report here.

Five main findings:


Limited audience

Broadcasters generally reach the same people digitally, as they do through traditional television and radio broadcasts.


Often older people

The users are often older people with higher education. On average, more than half of the users are over 55 years of age.


Fewer young adults

Public broadcasters struggle to reach people with lower education and reach fewer and fewer young adults (18-25 years).


Attract left-wing users

Politically, state public broadcasters attract left-wing users to a greater extent, compared to private, public broadcasters where users are, to a greater extent, right-wingers — however, a significant deal of overlap.


Trust in public broadcasting

In five of the eight countries, users have greater confidence in their state public broadcasting than in private.

Norwegian news publishers still overwhelmingly print dependent

The surge in digital subscriptions is providing Norwegian news publisher ample time to think and make changes. And changes are inevitable: The print editions share of the total revenue is, on average, 74 percent.

The Norwegian Media Authority’s report on the economy in Norwegian newspaper houses paints a picture of an industry where money may be used for restructuring – but where the fear of losing old revenue is greater than the desire to obtain new ones.

Be aware: The report comes the same month as several Norwegian newspapers report a decline in the number of digital subscribers.

And: The report only takes into account advertising revenue in general. It does not mention the grocery sector in a single word. This despite the fact that most of the income for many local newspapers, is based on grocery stores’ willingness to buy expensive print advertising.

Download the report here.

Five findings from the report:


Increased expenses

Norwegian newspapers last year had a total profit of NOK 824 million (-7.7%) – or SEK 889m/DKK614m. The decline is due to increased expenses – not lower revenues.


Stable revenue growth

For the first time since 2011, revenue growth has been stable. And for the first time, digital revenue growth outweighed the fall in print revenue.


Ad revenue is falling

Non-subscription and ad revenue is falling (!) for the third consecutive year – and is now lower than in 2014.


Reduced operating costs

Over the past five years, newspapers have lost NOK 2 billion in operating revenues (SEK2.1bn/DKK1.5bn), while they have reduced operating costs by NOK 2.3 billion (SEK2.5bn/DKK1.7bn).


Dependent on print

74 percent of the total revenue of the news organizations still comes from print. In 2014, the share was 85 percent.

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