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Finland – (E5) Affordable public and private news media

Score in short:

The prices of media services in relation to household income are affordable.

Score in detail:

Finland is a comparatively rich country characterized by a general high cost of living. In relation to the average household income (€24,696 per income recipient in 2008), the prices of mass media are generally not exceptionally high. On average, Finnish households spent €1,241 (4.1 % of total consumption expenditure) on mass media (excluding telecommunications) in 2006. The share of mass media of all consumption has slightly declined since 1995 (Finnish Mass Media 2010, p. 51).

The average price for an annual subscription to a daily newspaper is €225, while the annual subscription to the largest newspaper Helsingin Sanomat is currently €269.8 Newspapers also offer various discounts for students, weekend-only subscriptions and combinations of print and online editions. Most newspapers continue to offer at least parts of their content online for free. Free newspapers, distributed in public transportation, are available in larger cities.

The annual television license fee was €231 in 2010. Broadband connection fees have remained more or less stable during the past few years. According to the regulatory authority, the average monthly price for a 1 Mbit/s connection in 2010 was €31 (Ficora 2010), but the prices appear to be cheaper in more densely populated areas, where leading telecom operators currently provide a 8-10 Mbit/s connection for around 25-30 euro. Basic social security (income support) in Finland covers basic media use (telephone, newspaper subscription and TV license), but not broadband connection.