Business environment

Information on media industry and an independent peer group comparison report, provided by Balance Consulting, are available on this page.

Media industry trends


Digitalisation is a megatrend that has changed, and continues to change the global media industry and plays a key role in the media field. In Finland, for example, the Internet has already surpassed television as the most important media. Advertising, marketing, buying and selling also increasingly take place in the online realm. Digitalisation has also facilitated many other development trends that have a significant impact on the media industry, such as the popularity of social media and the rise of citizen journalism.

The way consumers use media is also undergoing a major shift. As people feel busier and busier, their use of time becomes more fragmented and so do their media needs. Many people now seek media content to fill passing idle moments in fragmented daily life by using quick and location-independent platforms such as various mobile devices. The nature of media consumption and consumer expectations regarding the media they use can also change from one moment to the next: sometimes people just want to access information quickly and efficiently, at other times they look for more experience-oriented and thought-provoking content, characterised by a slower consumption speed. Media is also expected to facilitate interaction between readers and journalists as well as between the readers themselves.

The central role media plays in the lives of consumers is also reflected in increasingly critical attitudes towards media. For example in Finland, the number of consumer complaints reported to the Council for Mass Media, the self-regulatory body of mass media, is increasing. Consumers are more interested in many aspects of media operations, such as transparency in journalistic processes, decision-making criteria in editorial work and the environmental impacts of media.

Evolving advertising

Advertisers' primary objective has remained unchanged: the goal is to create and strengthen customer relationships and increase sales. The reach and effectiveness of advertising and the credibility of the media environment plays a key role in media choices: advertisers are looking for better ways to target their messages, measure their results and make buying their products or services as easy as possible.

Studies on the perceptions of Finnish consumers regarding advertising in different media channels indicate that Finns have the most positive attitudes towards newspaper advertising and the most negative attitudes towards direct marketing. Digital advertising channels such as online and mobile advertising offer interesting opportunities for the targeting and measurement of advertising. Location-based mobile advertising is expected to make a major breakthrough in the near future.

Online commerce becoming increasingly commonplace is making it possible for marketing communications and the marketplace to come together online, allowing consumers to easily purchase a product immediately after seeing an advertisement for it.

Intensifying competition

Competition in the media industry has intensified greatly in the 21st century, with the battle over consumer and advertiser customers becoming tighter and more international. Advertisers can now choose from a broad variety of digital alternatives with a global reach to build and strengthen customer relationships. We have come a long way from the time when domestic newspapers were competing only against other domestic media for the euros spent on advertising.

As international rivals are entering the fray, the domestic competitive field in media advertising is also undergoing a major shift. Online advertising is constantly finding new forms and competing channels such as regional television advertising are also getting a strong marketing push. In printed media, developments in printing and distribution technology are enabling increasingly diverse and targeted media solutions such as regional or target group based issues and accordingly targeted advertising. Publishers are actively looking for entirely new revenue models to complement subscription and advertising sales.

The number of media choices available to consumers has also grown extremely rapidly. At the same time, an ever-increasing variety of other activities are competing for consumers' free time. Many people now read daily basic news online, often via social media, filtered by their network of friends. As basic news articles are increasingly read online, people expect the printed newspaper to provide a more interpretive and explanatory take on news. In a multi-channel world, the subscription alternatives of newspapers are also growing more diverse in response to changing consumer needs. There is now demand for alternatives such as combination subscriptions that allow consumers access to a digital edition read on mobile devices on weekdays and the printed newspaper on weekends.