2010 was a challenging year, but NRK strengthened its position in the everyday media reality of the public.
At the beginning of 2010 NRK was facing some major challenges. Norway had won the Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow in 2009 and NRK was to host the international final. We would not just be planning and executing the broadcasting of a large international TV show, this event would take a huge bite out of our programme budget during a period of prevailing fierce competition. The digitalisation of TV signals has provided the public with a greater choice. Radio has been experiencing tougher competition and as a result of new media habits, it is essential that our content becomes available on new mobile media platforms.
At the same time NRK dared to go against the tide. While other TV stations were opting to reduce or discontinue their news services, NRK elected to extend the length of Dagsrevyen (The Daily Review) from 30 to 45 minutes. We decided to invest in a daily foreign affairs feature programme and regular cultural programmes on NRK2, and we premiered Super-Nytt (Super News) for children on NRKSuper. We received plenty of warnings from our European colleagues. However, Dagsrevyen’s viewing statistics increased in 2010 and Kulturstripa (Culture Slot) and Urix (Foreign Affairs) were well received by the public.
Young media users present an obvious challenge to NRK. Unlike previous generations, the generation of today is not displaying the same degree of loyalty to radio or TV stations. Young people actively search for content and the broadcaster serves a secondary purpose. NRK has experience in developing attractive content for young listeners on the radio station P3. By engaging in targeted work designed to update the station's image, P3 managed to boost its impact in 2010. At the same time P3 adjusted its content to suit the new media platforms. Furthermore, after NRK acquired full distribution rights to all its TV services, NRK3 succeeded in becoming the favourite channel of many young people during the autumn of 2010. Programmes such as Radioresepsjonen på TV (Radio Reception on TV), Sigrid søker kjæreste (Sigrid Seeks a Lover) and Trekant (Threesome) sparked a debate, but they also helped to strengthen the relationship between young people and NRK. This is also important with regard to future media usage, and when NRK transferred its traditional children's TV programme Barne-tv from NRK 1 to NRK Super, the viewers followed suit. During the course of 2010 NRK Super's share of the market increased from 22% to 35% among 2-11 year-olds. Furthermore, for the first time NRK was also most popular among 12-29 year-olds.
The public expect to find NRK's content on the Internet and other mobile media platforms. This applies in particular to the news, but also cultural content and entertainment. An increasing number of people prefer to view TV content online when it suits them. It was therefore highly gratifying when nrk.no was nominated as the 2010 Website of the Year during the Nordic Media Festival in Bergen.
In 2010 more than eight out of ten Norwegians used of one of NRK's services each day. For NRK being a major media contender is not a satisfactory target on its own, but it is a proviso for enabling us to comply with our mandate. Only by being relevant and important to many people will we be able to fulfil our mandate.
NRK has been given a special mandate by the Norwegian people. NRK shall present content that is generally valuable for all target groups in our society. Like us, many people are keen for NRK's content to make a difference. It is not enough to implement commercial measures in order to attract the public. NRK also needs to fulfil its social mandate and this relates in particular to presenting Norwegian reality. It concerns strengthening and developing the Norwegian and Sami languages and helping to create community spirit and understanding in Norwegian society. It is our job to explore our identity as Norwegians, Europeans and global citizens. We should provide information, present challenges and become involved, but we should also provide entertainment. NRK should also pave the way for a shared, common understanding. The Winter Olympics in Vancouver was an example of one such common experience. The Eurovision Song Contest was another example. At the same time NRK is to provide experiences with added value. When the ESC project managers were about to embark on their task, they wanted to create a vision for the event. This vision was given the name Share the moment – visualised through Madcon's “Glow” where the audience shared the moment by participating in a public dance show broadcast from and to the whole of Europe.
2010 was a challenging year, but NRK strengthened its position in the everyday media reality of the public. We believe that the recipe involves providing the public with good, attractive content and being available wherever people are to be found.
Nrk.no shall always present the most important events in the world, Norway and on NRK right now. All advertisements were removed from NRK's website on 15 th of September 2010 as a result of plans to present NRK as a non-commercial public broadcaster. Nrk.no also launched an entirely new front page and new sub-sections in December 2009 in order to more clearly prioritise its content and to highlight online radio and TV more. This work produced results in 2010. Since the launch there has been explosive growth in the number of users and they are returning on a more regular basis for more content. In May 2010 nrk.no was awarded a prize as ”Website of the Year” distributed by a professional jury operating under the auspices of the Norwegian Media Businesses' Association. The jury provided the following reasons for its decision:
" During the last year the Website of the Year has acquired clearer focus on the news, a purer design and easier navigation. This website has a broad online radio and TV content and separate websites for children. It has exciting joint venture partners and together they have succeeded in creating excellent services such as UT (OUT) and YR (Drizzle). "
NRK provides online services such as nrksuper.no, P3.no, yr.no and UT.no, as well as NRKskole. The adaptation of useful services such as yr.no and UT.no represent a natural development of traditional public service content and are recent innovations that provide the public with content in a more user-friendly manner through the use of new technology.
NRK's nett-tv (online TV) service is popular with the public. The number of weekly nett-tv users increased by almost 80% during the final quarter of 2010, compared to the same quarter of the previous year. This growth derives from the fact that the public increasingly prefer to watch TV programmes direct on the Internet and to catch programmes that they were unable to watch previously. There are now more online users who say that they prefer NRK's online TV channel to YouTube, i.e. 60% and 51% respectively. Nett-tv serves as a method of distribution that gives programmes a longer life and appeals to young target groups. Much of the viewing involved is prompted by so-called catch-up viewing, i.e. people catching up with programmes that they missed on the TV, and most online TV viewing takes place during the first seven days after the programmes in question are made available. NRK is hoping to make all radio and TV programmes available on the Internet. Current restrictions are due to a lack of rights.
The Norwegian Internet Panel (NIP) was established in 2010, which means that Norway has established a working Internet panel similar to the TV Survey Panel and the PPM radio surveys. The ranking of nrk.no on the Internet Panel switched from being the second to the fourth most visited Norwegian website in 2010.
In the autumn of 2010 NRK celebrated the 50th anniversary of TV in Norway and this celebration was echoed in the newspapers and showed the huge impact that TV has had on people's everyday lives and how important NRK has been in Norway and in Norwegian public life.
" TV is a window on the world and it still plays a key role in our relationship with the society in which we live. TV sets the agenda, turns our attention towards important social issues and helps to establish a common cultural public arena through the Norwegian language and cultural expression. Obviously, our 50-year old birthday boy, NRK, features heavily in this picture. " Gunn Enli, Hallvard Moe, Vilde Schanke Sunde and Trine Syvertsen. Aftenposten, 20 August 2010
Following the digitalisation of the ground-based digital network, which commenced during the autumn of 2007, NRK has organised its programmes on NRK1, NRK2 and NRK3/Super to provide the public with three real options when they turn on their TVs.
NRK1 is a comprehensive, national TV channel. It covers a wide range of genres and its aim is to reach large groups of viewers of all ages and with a wide range of interests. Several changes were made to the channel’s broadcasting format during the past year, including the establishment of Førkveld (Early Evening) at 1800 hrs aimed to fill the gap whenBarne-TV (Children’s TV) stopped airing on NRK1, just on NRK Super.. Dagsrevyen (The Daily Review) at 1900 hrs was extended by 15 minutes to 44 minutes, and a weekly 1-hour debate broadcast from the House of Literature saw the light of day in 2010. The factual programmes Puls (Pulse), Ut i naturen (Out in the Countryside), FBI (The Consumer Reporters) and Schrödingers katt (Schrödinger’s Cat) also gained extra broadcasting time in 2010. Norwegian and Nordic drama were combined under one drama slot at 2130 hrs on Mondays in order to achieve a greater degree of predictability and better quality (broadcasts were previously sent on two different days). NRK1 was also heavily involved in broadcasting major events such as the Olympic Games in Vancouver in February and the Eurovision Song Contest in May.
NRK2's primary focus is on current affairs, culture and knowledge. This channel is designed to provide in-depth material and experiences that fall within these three core areas. NRK's image was strengthened in 2010 with the establishment of Aktuelt (Current Affairs) and four weekly Urix (Foreign Affairs) broadcasts. Urix was previously broadcast once a week on NRK1, with a repeat on NRK2. Both programmes are broadcast Monday to Thursday. Kulturstripen (The Cultural Slot), which is broadcast at 2130 hrs on Monday to Thursday, was launched during the autumn of 2010 and represents a clear expansion of NRK's cultural services.
NRK3 provides absorbing, entertaining and exciting programmes with relevance to youth culture and identity. This channel offers a wide-ranging service to an age group that is familiar with the media, which has highly diverging interests and is undergoing constant development. Along with NRK P3, mP3 and nrk.no's initiatives, NRK3 provides relevant content for younger age groups. NRK3 shares its channel space with NRK Super and broadcasts its programmes from 1930 to 0600 hrs. NRK3's main target group is viewers in the 12-29 year age bracket and this channel has made its mark in 2010 as a popular channel for this target group. Ever since its inception, NRK3 has worked on the long-term development of several Norwegian initiatives, and it achieved great success in the autumn of 2010 with a number of new Norwegian series.
NRK Super is Norway's largest children's channel for the 2-12 age group, broadcasting from 0630 hrs to 1930 hrs. NRK Super reflects the everyday lives of children throughout Norway and provides diversity in content, language and various genres presented. High priority has been placed on using nynorsk (New Norwegian) and dialects when dubbing series and in the recruitment of presenters. NRK Super has permanent Sami content and a high percentage of programmes are produced outside Oslo. In 2010 NRK launched separate news broadcasts for children. Supernytt (Super News), which had its première on 4 January, creates TV news for children between the ages of 8 and 12. This programme is broadcast on NRK Super on Monday to Friday at 1850 - 1858 hrs.
NRK P1 is Norway's largest radio station, aiming to provide good content to a wide group of listeners over the age of 30. This station places emphasis on news, music, entertainment and everyday journalism. P1 is also a contingency station, broadcasting news programmes at regular times and also providing extraordinary coverage as necessary. In 2010 NRK P1 placed greater emphasis on presenting the news quickly, often outside the station's regular news broadcasts, in order to provide listeners with extra high-quality updates. Local and regional content is an important part of P1's profile, and NRK's regional offices are responsible for three important broadcasting slots on weekdays.
NRK P2 provides in-depth programmes in NRK's radio universe. It aims to challenge curious listeners and provide them with an insight into cultural and social matters. The music on P2 is primarily motivated by its journalists and genres like classical, jazz and folk music feature heavily. This channel has set itself a goal designed to strengthen its position among 30-50 year-olds and it has made changes in its broadcasting schedule. One of these changes involves a new appearance for Nyhetsmorgen (News Morning), along with fewer presenters and the provision of a more integrated service to the public. Dagsnytt Atten (The News at six) is P2's most important reference programme and NRK P2 hopes that more of its scheduled programmes will acquire a similar position.
NRK P3 is a radio station for young people, focussing on new music, comedy and entertainment. Its target group is young people in Norway between the ages of 15 and 30. P3's main objective is to be a relevant, entertaining and important station for its target group, to provide its listeners with good music and unique experiences and to present youth reality. P3 aims to exploit its independence by making bold choices both in respect of its content and its major commitments. Furthermore, P3's role as a cultural presenter of new Norwegian music constitutes an important part of NRK's public broadcasting mandate. Through its live broadcasts on P3sessions and Urørt (Untouched), NRK P3 brings several new Norwegian artists into the limelight each year. NRK P3 also aims to be present in the same places as those frequented by young people, to deliver content from the largest Norwegian music festivals and to go on tour with School Sessions. Under its collaboration with VG-Lista Topp 20 (VG's Top 20 Listings) P3 visits Norway's largest cities with the most popular artists.
Approximately 96% of NRK's activities are funded by TV licence fees and thus have no special links to commercial services or products. Licence funds and other public income should not subsidise commercial activities. NRK has the opportunity to develop commercial services which contribute towards funding public broadcasting services, but this occurs entirely via NRK's wholly-owned commercial subsidiary NRK Aktivum. In this way NRK is able to maintain a clear accounting and operational division between NRK's commercial activities and its public broadcasting activities. NRK operates on all platforms without any advertising. This applies to TV, radio and Internet. During the course of 2010 NRK removed its banner advertisements on its websites. One of the reasons for this is that new media and the Internet have become defined as part of NRK's public broadcasting mandate and these services should therefore be part of what people already have paid for via licence fees.
Media usage in Norway is approaching eight hours per day. Over the course of ten years daily media usage has increased by almost two hours. This increase is due to the ever-increasing availability of a greater variety of media while people are still using traditional media and new media are being adopted in new places. 2010 saw particular attention being devoted to tablet computers, especially iPad which was launched in September and smart phones that are creating new opportunities for using the mobile Internet. At the end of the year 17% of the population were using the mobile Internet on a daily basis, i.e. well over a threefold increase in just one year.
Each day average Internet users spent almost two hours online. Facebook was the third largest media channel in Norway and the largest channel among 15-29 year-olds, with 81% daily coverage in this age bracket. The increase in online usage among young people means that nrk.no is important for reaching young target groups. In 2010 almost 10% of 20-29 year-olds used just NRK's online services and no other NRK services. This is an increase of 1% when compared to the previous year.
TV viewing stabilised in 2010. After several years of marked increases in TV viewing in Norway, this trend came to end with 183 minutes of daily TV viewing in 2010, which is a drop of one minute when compared to the previous year. Average TV viewers generally watch channels intended for the Norwegian TV market. 87% of all TV viewing is divided between the four large Norwegian TV channels, i.e. NRK1, TV2, TV Norge and TV3, and their eight smaller channels (NRK2, NRK3/Super, FEM, Viasat 4, TV2 Zebra and TV2 Nyheter, Max and TV2 Bliss.
Radio listening increased by two minutes per day in 2010, up from 98 minutes in 2009 to 100 minutes in 2010. This increase was particularly prevalent among the under 30s and over 60s. Several countries in Europe are experiencing a reduction in the amount of time people spend listening to the radio, but this trend has seen a reverse in Norway. This could partly be attributable to the fact that Radio Norge took over the licence for Kanal 24 as a nationwide commercial station in April 2008, doubling its share of the market over just a short period of time, and then continued to move forward in 2010. In 2009 a new licencing round for local radio resulted in the establishment of new radio channels like P5 and Radio Metro Storby. In other words, this increase in radio listeners was due to more young people listening to the commercial stations, but also to the increased strength of NRK which was able to stave off the competition and increase its share of the market on all its main channels in 2010.
In 2010, 85% of the population made use of NRK services during the course of an average day, i.e. 1% more than during the previous year. Usage of online and mobile services saw the greatest increase, but the TV and radio are still responsible for the bulk of NRK's daily viewing/listening statistics. In some social groups NRK has less than 80% of the daily cover provided. This applies to 12-29 year-olds, where NRK provides 69% of their daily viewing/listening. Among multicultural groups originating from Africa, Asia and Latin America, etc, the corresponding percentage is 63%. There was increased support for NRK from both these groups in 2010. The connection here is obvious since members of minority populations in Norway are younger than the average population.