Distribution Subsidies

It costs money to distribute and deliver newspapers to all subscribers. With distribution subsidies, the newspaper receives a subsidy for each copy distributed. The aim of these subsidies is to promote cooperation between newspapers and to contribute to wider distribution of newspapers throughout the country. The distribution subsidies are part of the press subsidies.

Daily newspapers included in co-distribution can receive distribution subsidies. The newspapers included in co-distribution are subject to an equal price principle. Subsidies are paid per copy distributed, with a sliding scale for large-circulation newspapers. Most of the country’s daily newspapers participate in co-distribution and thus receive distribution subsidies.

There are two forms of financial support that news media may apply for – press subsidies and media subsidies. These financial subsidies exist to promote a diversity of news media at both the national and local level, as well as to reinforce the presence of news media even in low-coverage areas of the country. The Media Subsidies Council decides which news media are to receive subsidies.

Two types of subsidies for the media

The two types of subsidies, press subsidies and media subsidies, are only available to general news media, but they are targeted at different types of news media in the sector. Press subsidies are entitlement subsidies, which means that if the newspaper meets all the criteria it will always receive subsidies, while media subsidies are granted on a means-tested basis. The requirements media outlets are to meet in order to receive subsidies are regulated in the Press Subsidies Ordinance and the Media Subsidies Ordinance.

Press Subsidies

Aimed at both printed and digital newspapers with paying subscribers. This could be your national or local morning paper, for example. There are two forms of subsidies within press subsidies – distribution subsidies and operational subsidies. To be eligible for press subsidies, the newspaper need to meet a number of criteria. One of the basic requirements for press subsidies is that the newspaper is regularly published, at least once a week, and has at least 1,500 paying subscribers.

Media Subsidies

Aimed at all general news media whose main purpose is to convey news. The content can be text, audio or moving images delivered via web-based media, printed newspapers, radio or television. Paid and free media are both eligible for media subsidies. Media subsidies may therefore be given to news media regardless of the form of publication or distribution. There are three types of media subsidies – Subsidies for Local Journalism, Innovation and Development Subsidies and Editorial Subsidies.

How distribution subsidies are calculated

You receive distribution subsidies for each subscribed copy of any daily newspaper

  • For which circulation is mainly paid for by subscribers.
  • Which have a subscription price that differs by no more than 25 per cent from the price of newspapers in the category to which the newspaper fall into.
  • That is distributed by a distribution company or by a carrier as part of rural mail delivery rounds or special newspaper delivery rounds in which at least two newspaper companies participate.

The Media Subsidies Council pays the subsidy monthly in arrears to the distribution company, which in turn passes on the subsidy to your newspaper.