Norway is setting the global pace for new media technology adoption. Zenith Optimedia’s New Media Forecasts study recorded an average penetration of 38.8% throughout 2012.
However, the Nordic country’s growth will slow according to Zenith’s predictions, with the Netherlands likely to supplant it by 2015. In the space of three years, Dutch average penetration will almost double from 35.1% in 2012 to 65.1% in 2015.
It’s not the first time Norway has been punching above its weight on the digital world stage. Figures from eMarketer estimated that the country will beat the USA on average B2C e-commerce sales per digital buyer from 2013 to 2016.
Norwegians' large disposable income
Magnus Nilsson, Managing Director at Red Performance, a Norway-based performance agency, attributes his country’s new media prominence to low unemployment rates and a healthy amount of disposable income.
"I believe the key factors to Norway leading the pack are: a low unemployment rate (around the 3%-mark) and high salaries leaving people with a fair chunk of disposable income, combined with a high level of education with a focus on engineering due to the dominant oil industry,” he said.
Smartphone adoption of 65%, bettering Zenith’s 44% average, could be the instigator of Norway’s lofty ranking. Tablets were found to be 13%, compared to a 9% average across the 19 markets ranked in the research.
Zenith Optimedia’s report echoed Nilsson’s own reference to Norway being a nation of early adopters. “As an illustrative note, an estimated 1% of the population in Norway owned an imported iPad before it was even sold locally in 2010,” he revealed.
France sits just behind Norway in second place with an average penetration of 35.1% in 2012. The good news for the French is that they’ll retain the second place well into 2015, according to Zenith’s findings.
The UK doesn’t perform particularly well compared to its European counterparts. Growth of 10.9% in new media penetration is forecasted from now until 2015, which ranks the UK behind the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and financially stricken, Spain.